The other day on Twitter a writer friend of mine asked for recommendations of literary magazines or publishers who welcome submissions of fairy tales. Off the top of my head I supplied her with a few names, but then I thought that really, what I needed to do was compile a more detailed overview of the field. Here then, is that promised overview! (nb. although I’ve read stories from most of these magazines and/or presses and think they’re good venues, DO make sure you do the professional thing and read some of their stories yourself to see if your story may be a good fit. If you can afford to, consider buying from them too – many magazines are run on a shoestring.
Fairy tale-specific venues
Some literary magazines and small presses publish nothing but fairy tales, be they contemporary reworkings or original tales or fables with a specific twist. They are:
- Fairy Tale Review is a well-respected annual literary journal that has been going since 2005.
- Enchanted Conversation “is a bi-monthly webzine that publishes original stories using fairy tale, folktale, and mythic themes.” Their fab newsletter is packed full of literary goodies (including more calls for submissions) and very well worth subscribing to.
- Gramarye: The Journal of the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction is a journal associated with the University of Chichester. (Check out their latest call for submissions on their blog.)
- Dancing Bear Books are passionate and new to the scene and on the lookout for fairy tales (short stories and full-length manuscripts). They’re especially interested in publishing stories with a diverse range of characters.
- Cunning Folk is a new “beautifully curated independent magazine set to hit shelves in December 2019”. From the look of the stylish design of their website, this is a magazine to keep an eye on!
- Timeless Tales Magazine generally have themed submissions.
- Three Drops From A Cauldron – a fantastic web journal of the fantastic – is currently closed to submissions BUT will reopen in September 2020.
- Corvid Queen – part of Sword and Kettle press – is relatively new to the scene and currently accepting submissions of feminist folklore and fairy tales.
- Gingerbread House Lit Mag seeks poetry and fiction with a magical element.
- Though not, strictly speaking, a fairy-tale only venue, Fantasia Divinity fantasy publisher is currently seeking fairy tales for a new series of anthologies of fairy tale retellings.
Literary fiction/magical realism
There’s a fair bit of overlap between fairy tales and magical realism. One author brilliant at this kind of short story is Angela Readman, and I’d urge you to check out her collection Don’t Try This At Home to see how she works her magic. As magical realism often comes under the umbrella of literary fiction, it’s worth checking out the following venues as they may well welcome contemporary retellings of fairy tales or stories embued with the kind of magical realism that puts one in mind of traditional fairy tales. To reiterate: the most important thing is to read the stories on their site to see if your work may be a good fit.
- Fictive Dream
- Unsettling Wonder (their website doesn’t seem to have been updated for a while but that doesn’t mean they won’t reopen to submissions at some point in the future)
- TSS Publishing
- Brittle Star
- Under the Radar
Literary horror/folk horror/weird fiction
Fairy tales can sometimes be gruesome. (Or specific to a certain far-flung location – folk tales are often grounded in a specific location.) Which means that there’s overlap with the horror genre.
- Blood Bath Literary Zine
- The Shadow Booth
- Neon literary magazine
- Occult Detective Quarterly
- Black Static
Although the following are presses that don’t accept single short stories, they are open to short story collections. They produce stunning books and are well worth checking out:
Speculative and SFF venues
Many SFF magazines welcome reworkings of fairy tales (of course there’s an overlap with fantasy), as well as fairy tales with a science fiction slant. Many presses publish anthologies and it’s worth checking out the guidelines (or subscribing to their newsletters) so that you can be first to hear of their newest call for submissions. As the number of SFF venues is large, I’ve only listed a selection of some of my favourite. Here, also, is a brilliant, comprehensive website that gives links to a huge number of SFF venues and payment details: https://www.ralan.com/index.htm
- Particular shout-out to Afrocentric Books who are currently on the look-out for stories for AfroMyth 2: A Fantasy Collection (I can highly recommend the first in the collection).
To keep an eye on…
Check out the following excellent presses, too, who may now, or in the future, be open to short story collections and or anthology calls that would, potentially, be welcoming of fairy tales/fairy tale reworkings/mash-ups:
As well as my very own Mother’s Milk Books
Lastly, some general resources for short story writers that list yet more venues for short stories/fairy tales.
Cathy’s Comps & Calls (a brilliant monthly listing of free-to-enter competitions and calls for submissions)
Mslexia Indie Press Guide (an essential resource for the serious poet or short story writer)
And if you want to submit your fairy tale to a competition (some of which have entry fees), then check out the following handy list created by Neon Books.
A final reminder – before you submit your story do you research and read the stories available from the magazine or press. Invest in a book or magazine if you can. Edit and polish your submission. Approach them professionally. And… good luck! (Also, please comment below if you know of any other suitable venue that welcomes fairy tales.)