South of the Sun Castlemaine library launch

Celebrate the launch of this groundbreaking anthology with Carmel Bird, Cate Kennedy and Sarah Hart, in a panel chaired by Lorena Carrington, as they discuss fairy tales for grown-ups in contemporary Australia.

Date and time

Sat., 3 July 2021

10:00 am – 11:00 am AEST


Castlemaine Library

212 Barker Street

Castlemaine, VIC 3450


Goldfields Libraries officer Hayley West, authors Carmel Bird and Cate Kennedy and illustrator Lorena Carrington are looking forward to the July 3 event.

Read the Fairytales for Grownups article in the Midland express here

Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard

Little Red Riding Hood: A Discourse of Disciplinary Punishment by AFTS member Claudia Barnett can be read in the next issue of Gramarye -The Journal of the Chichester Centre for  Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction.

Pre order here

Claudia is also presenting a paper entitled Inside Her Skin: Gendered Violence In Ex Machina & Bluebeard at the Popular Culture Association’s Conference on the 5th June, 2021.

Date: Saturday, June 5, 2021
Time: 12:30pm to 1:50pm

Congratulations Claudia!

South of the Sun – Pre orders!

South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century is an enchanting illustrated book of fairy tales – but not the kind you read to children at bedtime.

They are strictly for grown-ups. Often dark, the stories visit places where things don’t end happily ever after, where a single decision can haunt you forever.

But there are also tales to make you laugh out loud, stories of sweet revenge and scenes of sheer delight in the work of magic and the fey.

Discover stories from emerging talent and leading award-winning Australian writers including Carmel Bird, Sophie Masson, Cate Kennedy and Eugen Bacon, along with artwork from foremost illustrators such as Lorena Carrington and Kathleen Jennings.

So if you’re ready – once upon a time…

Pre-order South of the Sun from our partner publisher Serenity Press

We are made by the stories we are told and by the stories we tell. Reading this collection reveals that we are bold, funny and inventive. We are nourished by history, and face the future with poetry in our hearts. This is a triumph of an anthology that truly captures the 21st Australian Fairy Tale –


Wicked and wise, amusing and unexpected. Fresh fairy tales from some of Australia’s finest voices, both established and new.


Reading South of the Sun feels like collecting shells or pebbles or feathers: the stories belong together but are strikingly individual. Here you will find the hilarious and the bittersweet, the poetic and the in-your-face brash, the historical, the contemporary and the futuristic. And each is brimful with magic. This anthology is a delight from start to finish. 


ONCE UPON A TIME: Fairy tales for our times

Six AFTS fairies from our book South of the Sun are guests of Bendigo Writers Festival!

Along with their own sessions, several are on a fairytale panel  ONCE UPON A TIME: Fairy tales for our times.

Claudia BarnettLorena Carrington and Sophie Masson with host Eugen Bacon Friday 7 May 4.30pm-5.30pm Capital Theatre $20 / $16 concession

Who tells fairy stories? And who gets to listen? The tales handed down through the generations are worked and reworked by inventive writers and new stories are added to the store. What’s their lasting appeal and why have they been so necessary to different cultures? Eugen Bacon is joined by Claudia Barnett, Lorena Carrington and Sophie Masson to bring us up to date with the fairy world.

We are also delighted to be celebrating with these authors the publication of South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century.

Sophie Masson and Eugen Bacon present additional sessions Sat and/or Sun, Rachel Nightingale joins Eugen, and Carmel Bird presents on Saturday night. 

To read their profiles and/or book tickets:

South of the Sun – Launch

Join us to celebrate the official launch of South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century.

Virtual launch party: Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th of July 18:30 AEST

BYO: You bring the Fizzy and we will bring the Fairy Tales. You can join us on Zoom (link posted before the event on facebook) or watch live on Facebook

North of the Moon

Two former AFTS presidents (Reilly McCarron & Louisa JohnKrol) have joined mythic-rock legend Adrienne Piggott of Spiral Dance to compile an Autumnal album:

North of the Moon – Three Australian Faerie Bards

Three fey Celtic-Australian minstrels unite at the Autumn Equinox to bring you some of their most fairytale-ish songs. They hail from three States: Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Instruments on this album include flute, mandolin, accordion, charango, various guitars and harps, and of course bardic vocals, from folklorists honed in storytelling, mythology, poetry and Druidic / Pagan / Faery paths. Let these whimsical balladeers carry you through seas and groves of the Faery Lands.

Please join/follow/endorse us at our new shared sites at Bandcamp You Tube:

In Tree Time, three Celtic-Australians wove music with myth and fairytale. From Druidic circles to taverns, carnivals, fey indie labels, fairy shops, storytelling guilds, castles and audiobook soundtracks, they’ve fostered links between folklore and eco-spirituality.
Fey wishes
Louisa✨, Reilly ✨ and Adrienne ✨

Three Australian Fairy Tale Society women

Three Australian Fairy Tale Society women feature in an exhibition/book/album presentation at Castlemaine State Festival in historic Buda House 19th March to 18th April: Reilly McCarron’s debut CD ‘Il était une fois’ (Once Upon A Time) is a soundtrack for Sophie Masson’s book ‘French Fairy Tales’. Lorena Carrington illustrated both. All three fey women are in our intercultural anthology ‘South of the Sun – Australian fairy tales for the 21st century’ due this Autumn.

details at Australian Fairy Review.

And here is a link to the exhibition, where the book, CD & artwork will be presented:

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:

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: