I approached The Brown Issue meditating on the drab suggestion of the hue assigned to me by Fairy Tale Review’s founder and editor Kate Bernheimer. Less vibrant than red, the motif of the previous issue dedicated to Little Red Riding Hood, the color brown suggests something weary. What would I do with that? It was a quietly interesting challenge and I wondered if Kate had played a fairy-tale trick on me somehow.
I had no theme in mind as I began reading the submissions, but one did begin to take shape, as if the authors themselves felt inspired by the autumnal, the aged, the decaying. And I realized that brown is at the heart of many fairy tale props and conveyors of plot and poetry—gingerbread walls, fallen leaves, loaves of bread. Wolves, horses, hedgehogs, rabbits. The boards of cradles and coffins.
For this, the lucky seventh issue of Fairy Tale Review, I accepted pieces I loved, but also rejected pieces I loved; and I rejected any number that were publishable. I felt guilty taking such pleasure in reading so much fine work that I knew I’d nonetheless have to send back to the authors; yet, in a perverse way, this also was good, a reminder to all of us that fairy tales absolutely flourish today.
I enjoyed noting various shared impulses among the writers submitting work: prominent among them, in addition to motifs of brown, was glass. There were children of glass, houses of glass, horses of glass. Perhaps all of that is a reflection of these fragile times? (Glass, of course, is one of the most traditional of fairy-tale motifs; see A. S. Byatt’s wonderful essay, “Ice, Snow, and Glass” for a discussion.)
In discussing all the glass, Kate and I decided that a future issue will indeed be The Glass Issue. Which reminds me to let you know that Fairy Tale Review’s reading period is open again: please see guidelines below. (These will eventually be on the website.) Please spread the word.
My many thanks to all who submitted work for The Brown Issue of Fairy Tale Review. It is now in the early stages of production and forthcoming later this year. And thanks especially to Kate Bernheimer for allowing me to take part in her important literary project.
Please repost and distribute:
Call for Submissions
Fairy Tale Review (The Grey Issue)
Themed Issue on Lost Girls & Boys
We are currently accepting submissions for the eighth annual issue of Fairy Tale Review, The Grey Issue, to be Guest Edited by Alissa Nutting. This is a themed issue, dedicated to Lost Girls & Boys.
We’re interested in writing that visits and turns on tropes of children and young adults, girls and boys, becoming lost (whether figuratively or literally) in fairy tales and in the contemporary literature that reinterprets or is informed by fairy tales. This includes characters who are separated from parents, who are stuck inside an animal’s stomach, who are faced with bewildering choices, who are running away to or from who-knows-where, who are confused in the forest—lost in any sense, and in any form of writing. Please send poetry, fiction, essays, drama, creative nonfiction, comics, illustration, etc.
The submission period is open until we announce it is closed sometime in spring. We will consider only previously unpublished work and new translations. Please submit work to email@example.com as word, .doc, .rtf, or .pdf files. Artwork must be in high-resolution (300 dpi or higher) to be considered. The Grey Issue will be published in 2012. All submissions will be responded to within four months of receipt. Simultaneous submissions absolutely accepted; simply let us know as soon as your work under consideration by us is taken elsewhere.
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Curious about what we publish? The web edition of The Red Issue is online. Also, the first issue of Fairy Tale Review, The Blue Issue, is available as a free PDF download. Print back issues of Fairy Tale Review are sold out, though some are for sale here albeit at astronomical prices. We hope to have some more copies of The Red Issue delivered to Small Press Distribution, and Weightless Books always has all issues as e-books on hand!