We craft and tell stories because we’ve stood on the uncertain edge between the waking world and our imagination, between enchantment and fear. And we remember other stories that help us build our own stories, scraps of lumber and fragments of narrative we gather together to make stories for ourselves.

Call for Submissions: Fairy Brides

Who are they, these women and men who wander through the old tales and take a mortal for a husband or a wife? Cranes and swans and seals who take the form of a woman, and become the mother of a man’s children for ever after, or seven years, or three days? Bears and falcons and green knights who court a merchant’s daughters, and take the youngest, disappearing through the forest of bones and across the river filled with blood? She’s ta’en True Thomas up behind; he fetchd the sickle, to crop the nettle; aye whan the dog did wow, in haste they cross’d and sain’d themselves frae the ghaist. What do they want, these strangers and wanderers, who pass by in the unsettled twilight, and leave behind wisdom, or fear, or love—and a bitter sorrow?

We invite submissions that address the folk motif of fairy brides and bridegrooms. As always, study the motif before you forget: here’s Joseph Jacobs’s version of The Swan Maidens, and Claire Massey’s re-telling of the same.And here’s a number of variants of the peculiar, eerie old ballad ‘Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight’. And please read through our submission guidelines (tab 3 above) before sending anything.

Artists interested in illustrating for the issue should send an inquiry in the first instance to info(at)unsettlingwonder(dot)com.

Submissions are open till 21 September 2013.

The formal CFP can be viewed and downloaded here.

Unsettling Wonder is a new literary journal that publishes both creative and academic work on fairy tales, folklore, and mythology. We welcome original writing that deals honestly with such topics as worthwhile in and of themselves: new stories, retellings, and imaginative appropriations. We are both an online and a print publication.

We invite submissions for Volume 1, Issue 2: Fairy Brides. Please send your poetry, prose, flash fiction, and academic abstracts to submissions(at)unsettlingwonder(dot)com by 21 September 2013. For more information and to view our submission guidelines, please visit: www.unsettlingwonder.com/submissions

Reader Comments

  1. Dear editors!
    I’ve got the fairy tale “Genre obliges” concerning the fairy bride )): princess who doesn’t wand to marry with the Prince Charming – as the genre obliges.

    But this story is about 19.000 words. Is it too long for you?
    Surely, I’ve read you submission guideline and know the rules but as I understand sometimes you publish longer stories.

    1. Hi Nadya, thanks for your comment.

      Yes, 19,000 words is rather too much longer than our maximum word count to be considered for the journal. If you can find a way to tell the story in 3,000 words, or if there’s a 3,000 word section that works well enough on its own, you’d be welcome to submit that. But if you’re absolutely convinced that this story is perfect for us at 19,000 words, you would need to submit a formal query letter and synopsis in the first instance.

      If you have other questions about your submission not answered in the submission guidelines, go ahead and send us an email at info[at]unsettlingwonder.com. Our resident Info Elf usually knows where to find answers!

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