Enchanting -Call for Presentations

Call For Presentations

2021 Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference

Enchanting…music, magic, spells

Saturday 12 June 2021 9am – 4.30pm Zoom

Monday 14 June 2021  9am – 4.30pm Newtown Hall

To en-chant…

To en-thrall…

This is the ancient rhythm of storytelling, 

a rhythm passed down from the so-called “spinsters” spinning their yarn and chanting their refrains 

so that words and music were twined together to draw in the shared circle of story.

This is the magic we want to make this year, as we come together after being distanced for so long – the magic of shared performance and connection.

The real fairy tale magic is how the words of stories transform the audience by bringing us together so we invite you to share your own magic of 

relating fairy tale, performer, audience, and venue.

What are the differences between written and performed stories?

How are the layers of meaning in fairy tales represented and expressed when the stories are staged?

How can we  transform fairy tales for Australian audiences 

so that performance reveals truth?

The Australian Fairy Tale Society was established to investigate, create, and communicate fairy tales from an Australian perspective.  Our previous conferences have been on The Fairy Tale in Australia, Transformations, Into the Bush, So Many Mattresses, Gardens of Good and Evil, and Magic Mirrors: The Seen and the Unseen.  Local Rings gather five times a year, and our Magic Mirrors gather by Zoom almost every month, to explore specific fairy tales like a book club for fairy tales.  We have an irregular Ezine and will soon publish an original Anthology, South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century. 

We invite you to submit proposals for what you could present at our conference in a variety of forms, because diversity is one of the delights of an AFTS conference.

Please submit your proposal on our online form here by midnight 26 January 2021. Enquiries: austfairytales@gmail.com

We are looking for

  • Talks of no more than 25 minutes total including Q & A.  It is possible that, if we receive many high quality submissions, we may invite several people to collaborate in a joint presentation.  Please indicate if that would not be acceptable to you.
  • Case studies of a creative process of staging a fairy tale performance.
  • Panel discussions of no more than 25 minutes total including Q & A.
  • Performances of storytelling, puppetry, theatre, singing, music, dance, etc, of no more than 10 minutes performance (could be recorded for Zoom presentation) with an option for 5 minutes Q&A.   
  • Workshops (eg art, writing, storytelling, puppetry, gardening, cake decorating etc) of no more than 30 minutes total including set up time.  
  • Games or participative activities eg dancing, singing, of no more than 10 minutes.
  • Displays of your books, art, puppets, toys, costumes, etc to decorate Newtown Hall.
  • Stalls to sell  your books, art, puppets, toys, costumes, etc
  • Launches – of your book, video game, performance 

Feel free to contact us with a new idea.  We want to celebrate your creativity not stifle it!

Some themes you could choose to explore:

Enchanting words

  • How fairy tales incorporate magic spells eg

 Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Rumpelstiltskin, The Juniper Tree, The Golem of Prague, Tatterhood, The Girl Who Pretended to be a Boy,  The Snow Queen, Snow White, Aladdin

  • How magicians, witches, fairies, wizards use words to make magic.
  • How poetry, literature, and spells enchant Australians today.

Enchanting music

  • The significance of music, performance, and  spells in fairy tales eg The Pied Piper of Hamelin and the magic harp in Jack and the Beanstalk. 
  • How fairy tales have been adapted in:
  • musicals and pantomimes
  • operas and ballets eg  The Nutcracker, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, La Cenerentola, The Snow Queen
  • How music can be used to interpret fairy tales today.

Enchanting performances

  • How  fairy tales incorporate dance:

eg Cinderella, 12 Dancing Princesses, The Red Shoes, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, The Little Mermaid, Dancing with the Birch Fairy (Czech), The Little Bird Who Loved to Dance (Mali), The Fairy Dance (Irish). 

  • How fairy tales have been adapted on stage and film eg Cinderella, The Red Shoes, Hans Christian Andersen,  Disney films, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre, Once Upon a Time.
  • What has Australia achieved with screen or stage adaptations? Why are there no Australian fairy tale films?
  • What can performances communicate that written fairy tales can’t?

Enchanting communication

How can fairy tales be adapted to suit:

  • Particular contemporary Australian  audiences, according to

– Cultural heritage 

– Impairments and abilities – sensory, mobility, intellectual, language

– Ages

  • Particular venues and  platforms:  in person, recorded, online, outdoors, staged etc.
  • Particular performance forms eg films, tv, webseries, games, stage, live informal, radio, cd, podcast.


As always, our focus is on the Australian interpretation of fairy tales, particularly contemporary multicultural, diverse Australia.

Please submit your proposal on our online form here by midnight 26 January 2021. Enquiries: austfairytales@gmail.com