Last weekend I drove up to Nottingham to attend an event held at Nottingham Writers’ Studio, to celebrate the launch of The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2, the second book of fairy-tales to be published by Mother’s Milk Books.
As well as an opportunity to meet Teika Bellamy, the founder of Mother’s Milk Books (and also my editor on Baby X) who, after many long telephone calls and email exchanges, I felt I already knew, it was a chance to get together with the other writers with stories in the anthology, and hear them read their work in front of an audience.
Ana Salote, author of the middle-grade fantasy novel Oy Yew, longlisted for the Times/Chickenhouse prize for children’s fiction, and also published by Mother’s Milk Books, read from her story Grimm Reality, about what happens when a little bit of the world of fairy-tales bleeds into our world, in this case, a flat in a tower block at the Elephant and Castle.
Ronne Randall read from her gruesome and gripping tale Lilasette, about an evil queen, her violent controlling ways, and eventual comeuppance, the story which inspired the front cover of the book.
And Marija Smits – who looks suspiciously like Mother’s Milk founder Teika Bellamy – read from her sci-fi story with a twist, Little Lost Soul.
It was lovely to meet so many of the other authors – a special shout out to Anuradha Gupta, Deborah Osbourne, and Julie Pemberton – thank you for sharing your stories.
I was up first, reading a small section of my story Rumpelstiltskin. It was pretty nerve-wracking – I’m not someone who finds standing in front of a crowd easy, especially if I’m also expected to open my mouth and speak.
But it also felt like an important moment – not the first time I’ve read my work aloud to others, but the first time I’ve read my work aloud from a published book.
The press is planning to publish The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3 in March 2017 and is open now to submissions.
Here’s what they say on the submissions page:
Original short stories or flash fiction of approx. 500 – 5000 words. Think Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Think the Brothers Grimm. Think the fairy tales of Charles Perrault. Think Angela Carter, Angela Slatter, Angela Readman… Think Moss Witch by Sara Maitland (published by Comma Press). Think Rupetta by Nike Sulway (published by Tartarus Press). Think New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin (published by Salt). Fantastical stories set anywhere, and in any time/place would be welcomed as well as stories set in the present day. We also welcome well-written sci-fi that reflects the aims of Mother’s Milk Books.
To submit a short story you will need to purchase a copy of either The Forgotten and the Fantastical (almost entirely sold out now) or The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2 from the Mother’s Milk Books online store. More information on submissions to Mother’s Milk Books here.