A fairytale-themed arts trail

Totterdown Front Room Art Trail 2017Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail erupts on 18th and 19th 2017 November with a Fairytales, Myths and Legends theme – perfect for stirring imaginations.

“This doesn’t mean to say the art needs to reflect the theme, but expect to see some folklore related ‘goings-on,'” says Trail organiser Gail Orr. “This year we hope to attract 200 local artists across 90 different venues, with thousands of visitors coming from across the city and beyond. It’s a fantastic opportunity for local artists to display their work to the public, and it’s also a great opportunity for the public to visit, view, discuss and buy original works of arts and crafts directly from the artist.”

Never been to an art trail? This is a great one to dip your toe (or jump head first) into. The first to appear in Bristol 17 years ago, it offers a chance for artists to showcase their work within their own homes, and for us public to a) enjoy said art, and b) get away with being nosy about other people’s décor to our heart’s content.

There’s also potential for lots of inspiration gleaning, not to mention a golden opportunity to start the Christmas shopping with some one-off originals.

Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail is on from 18-19th November 2017. Find full details at frontroom.org.uk.

Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail_cr Judy Darley

Call for fairytales inspired by Donkeyskin

Donkey cr Judy DarleyDo you know the French fairytale Donkeyskin? I hadn’t heard of it either, until Kate Wolford posted it as a theme for Enchanted Conversation’s May submissions slot.

It turns out to be a French fairytale by Charles Perrault published in 1695. In it, a grieving king is persuaded to remarry, but the only woman he’ll consider is his own daughter. Zut alors! After trying to save her skin by making impossible demands, the princess fled, disguising her beauty by dressing in a donkey skin.

Kate is accepting poems and short stories inspired by the original tale between 1st and 31st May 2017.

Stories should be no shorter than 700 words and no longer than 3,000. Poems may be of any length.

Payments will be issued in US dollars via PayPal at $30 per story and $10 per poem.

Find full guidelines and links to previous published work.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com

Enter the mind of Angela Carter

The Misfits by Nicola Bealing

The Misfits by Nicola Bealing

Author Angela Carter put her own twist on many traditional fairytales, as well as dreaming up her own unsettling stories that hark from ancient fables. In celebration of her askew imagination, the RWA is hosting Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter, an exhibition of artworks inspired by her writing, as well as original cover art from her novels and more.

After The Masked Visitor by Lisa Wright

After The Masked Visitor by Lisa Wright

Eerie, beautiful, thought-provoking and discombobulating, the pieces on show include Marc Chagall, Paula Rego and some truly luscious works by Leonora Carrington, as well as plenty of others that seem selected to haunt your dreams and stir your imagination.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Marie Mulvey-Roberts of UWE, and the artist and writer Fiona Robinson. Among my favourites were works by the wonderfully macabre Heather Nevey (below), and an understatedly unnerving oil painting titled Grandma’s Footsteps by Angela Lizon.

The Murder 1 cr Heather Nevay

The Murder 1 cr Heather Nevay

Other highlights include the chance to see Angela Carter’s photos, pens and other artefacts. For me the best part of all, and the most alarming, was stepping through a curtain into a gallery populated by strange figures with outlandishly large egg-like heads, seated around a table where a naked, terrified man lay prostrate – an installation by Ana Maria Pacheco titled The Banquet.

Wonderfully, while some of these works were inspired by Carter’s fiction, others, such as Chagall’s work, helped to fuel her creativity, while others still sprang from similar ideas, proving what a rich conversation visual and written works can enjoy.

Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter is on at RWA, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1PX until 19th March 2017.

Dawn Thread – a poem

Happy Summer Solstice! Today began when most of us were still sleeping (at 4.06am, rumour has it) and the air was green and fragrant. Gorgeous.

Nicholas Oakwell red feather dressThis week I’m pleased to share the news that my poem Dawn Thread has been selected for a special Midsummer issue of Enchanted Conversations: A Fairy Tale Magazine. In case you don’t know, Enchanted Conversations is a beautiful online journal of original fairytales, which has regular calls for submissions.

My poem came in a flurry after seeing an exquisite dress embellished by students and tutors at the Royal School of Needlework for designer Nicholas Oakwell (pictured left). The gown was hand sewn all over with more than 200,000 feathers, dyed in 18 shades of red, and made me think of the kind of tasks traditionally given to maidens in fairytales. The profusion of red made me think of the transition from girl to woman, and the feathers drew to mind several fairytales about long men turned into swans, and their sister sewing them shirts to return them to their human forms.

My poetic tale offers a rather different ending, culminating at dawn on the longest day.

Read it here.

A call for fairytales about rain

Scottish Trees cr Judy DarleyFairytale magazine Enchanted Conversations invites original fairytales for their March open submissions period.

The theme for this month is rain, which means that rain must be present in the foreground or background of your story or poem – the possibilities of this seem beautiful and bountiful, so why not let it drive the heart of your narrative?

The window for submissions closes at 11:59 p.m., EDT, Z on 30th March 2016.

Stories should be no shorter than 700 words and no longer than 3,000. Poems may be of any length.

The essence of classic fairy tales must be maintained when you write these stories. You are free to explore themes by retelling a classic tale, but it must be in your own way and in keeping with the theme.

It’s advisable to read past EC stories and poems to see what they publish. Also, Beyond the Glass Slipper, Krampusnacht and Frozen Fairy Tales give great insight into what I publish. You can find them at Amazon, B&N and other booksellers. All are available in ebook form.

Submit your entry to ecsub2016@gmail.com. Do not send attachments. They will not be opened or considered. Paste your work in the body of an email.

Your last name, the month and the year should be in the subject line of the email.

You must try to use American English word forms and punctuation.

No fancy spacing or characters, please. Do not indent for new paragraphs. Just do an extra return between them. Heavy dialogue is very hard to format. Resist the urge. Most classic tales are not heavy on dialogue.

Your submission must include how you follow EC. Methods include something Google related, Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest (the board called New Posts at Enchanted Conversation). You only need to follow in one way. But if you don’t follow, your work will not be considered.

Only first electronic rights are being bought. Once the story is published, you are free to shop it elsewhere. Authors of accepted stories receive $30, while poets receive $10, in US dollars made through PayPal only.

Find full details at www.fairytalemagazine.com/p/blog-page_22.html?m=1.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.

Sapling – a fairytale

Mossy tree cr Judy DarleyThis week I received the exciting news that one of my short stories has been chosen to appear on the Enchanted Conversations websites, a fabulous hub of original fairytales and homages to traditional ones.

Asleep in the Moonlight cr Richard Doyle

You can read my story, Sapling, here. The atmospheric image selected by editor & Publisher Kate Wolford is by artist Richard Doyle.

My story begins like this:

I was the only one who saw him. Everyone else, even my mother, it seems, only saw the tree. I lay in the long grass playing with my soldiers who were using the lawn as a jungle. Sunlight fell thick and heavy through the strands of grass, darkness falling briefly as my mother passed. I glanced up to see where she was going – saw her reach the tree, climb the trunk and disappear into the leaves. I gazed, amazed. My mother had never climbed a tree in my life, that I knew of. I stared at the old oak, then heard a rustling, a sharp gasp, and my mother fell. By the time she hit the ground, my father was halfway down the lawn, running full tilt. Yet only I saw the man in the branches, his skin the color and texture of bark, eyes like two bright spaces between the leaves where light leached through.

Read on…

Find out how to write fairytales here.