Welcome, Dr Michelle Smith – our 2023 keynote!

Dr Michelle Smith

Dr Michelle J. Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University, where she teaches fairy tales and children’s literature.

She has published research on Australian fairy tales and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the Victorian era, as well as guest-editing an issue of Marvels & Tales. Michelle is currently writing chapters about fairy tales in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific for The Routledge Companion to Fairy Tales and The Cambridge History of Children’s Literature in English.

She is the author of three academic books and six edited collections on children’s literature and Victorian literature. Two co-edited books will be published in the coming year: Literary Cultures and the Nineteenth-Century Childhoods (Palgrave) and The Edinburgh History of Children’s Periodicals, for which she has written a chapter on fairy tales in St. Nicholas magazine.

Announcing Salonline!

Salonline is a new webseries telling the stories of our stories in a whole new way.

Watch the subversive fairy tale writer of the French Salons meet to discuss their scandalous lives and share their latest stories – and read the book, now available on Amazon and Apple Books.

The screen shows headshots of 3 women in elaborate wigs each speaking from salons featuring fine furnishings. On the top left is Charlotte Rose de Caumont de la Force smiling in a lime-shaded salon; on the top righ is Henriette-Julie de Castelnau du Murat looking mischievous in a pink-shaded salon, and on the bottom is Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy beaming from a blue-shaded salon.

Created between August 2021 and September 2022, this original webseries communicates the stories of the origins of the fairy tale genre in the French Fairy Tale Salons of the late 17th century through the fictionalised dramatic lives of the most significant Salonnières: D’Aulnoy, Murat, and De La Force, and their performances of fairy tales they wrote.

Catch up with both well-known and little-known fairy tales and behind-the-scenes gossip on the Salonline AFTS You Tube channel.

Meet our Salonnières –

Against the lime-tinted background of a richly furnished salon, two ornate gilded frames hang. On the left is a photograph of a woman resting her arms on antique furniture, and on the right is a seventeenth century portrait of a woman resting her hands on a harpsichord. The text reads Starring Alyssa Curtayne as Charlotte Rose Caumont de la Force.

Alyssa Curtayne – storyteller, Ring Leader of the Perth Fairy Tale Ring, and academic, currently researching Charlotte Rose Caumont De La Force for her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Deakin University. Alyssa re-enacts De La Force’s romantic life and performs some of her stories – Green and Blue, Fairer Than a Fairy, The Good Woman, and most famously, Persinette, the story which became known as Rapunzel.

Against the pink-tinted background of a richly furnished salon, two ornate gilded frames hang. On the left is a photograph of a woman in a garden, and on the right is a seventeenth century portrait of a woman in a garden. The text reads Starring Jo Henwood as Henriette-Julie de Murat.

Jo Henwood – storyteller, tour guide, and President, Ring Maiden and co-founder of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, is a museum theatre creative, and workshop leader on literature, history, creative writing, folklore, and storytelling. As Henriette-Julie de Murat, most scandalous of the scandalous Salonnières, she performs The Savage, The Pig King, The Isle of Magnificence, and The Turbot, re-telling these stories, just as Murat retold stories she found in Straparola.

Eliane Morel – writer, actor, producer, and singer of cabaret and opera, continues to perform her award-winning show ‘Disenchanted: A Cabaret of Twisted Fairy Tales’ which plays with the character of Marie Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, the Baroness d’Aulnoy, the leader of the fairy tale writers. Eliane performs some D’Aulnoy stories – The Ram, The White Cat (which you might know from the ballet of Sleeping Beauty), and Belle-Belle, which the AFTS explored in September 2020.

The Salonline webseries, edited by our website Guardian, Kathy Smart, is already available on YouTube for free viewing.

And very soon, an eBook full of biographies, timelines, essays, and the retellings of these forgotten fairy tales, illustrated with art by Debra Phillips and with graphic design by Devahuti Chahlia, will be for sale from this website.

We hope you enjoy this magnificent fairy tale offering from the Australian Fairy Tale Society.

Three smiling women stand in front of a screen showing a salon with ornate furnishings with a banner saying Salonline above it. The women are in colourful casual clothes, with Alyssa Curtayne on the left, Eliane Morel in the middle, and Jo Henwood on the right.
Alyssa Curtayne, Eliane Morel, and Jo Henwood, stars of the Salonline series.

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: https://www.bendigowritersfestival.com.au/all-writers

Arts Law Centre beams national Case Study of AFTS Anthology!

We are thrilled to announce an unexpected honour. It involves the Australian Fairy Tale Society’s anthology, South of the Sun – Australian fairy tales for the 21st century. Our subcommittee liaised with the national Arts Law Centre to develop contracts for contributing authors and illustrators, as well as a publishing licence/service agreement with Serenity Press. ALC has a policy called Artists First, and is so pleased with our work – particularly as a not-for-profit group – that they requested to turn us into a Case Study!

After considering the pros and cons, we voted unanimously YES. Our chief illustrator, Lorena Carrington, graciously met their request to present our book’s front cover. This is excellent for our profile. It means AFTS effectively stands as an example for other Arts groups to follow. Law students can study us. Lawyers can refer to our work, and the ALC’s library may well carry the templates we developed together.

Here is a link to the Case Study:https://www.artslaw.com.au/case-studies/arts-law-assists-the-australian-fairy-tale-society/

2019 AFTS Award winner

2019 AFTS award ann

Congrats Dr Robyn Floyd on winning the 2019 Australian Fairy Tale Society’s national Fairy Tale Award! The prize acknowledges contributions to the fairy-tale field in Australia. Robyn is an expert on Australian fairy tales, exploring the history and impact of their publication, with her PhD thesis and blog, Early Australian Fairy Taleshttps://robynelainefloyd.blogspot.com/ 
She’s served on our Committee, presented seminars and frequently contributed to our Ezine. 

Welcome to the Australian Fairy Tale Society’s new website!

The AFTS sparked to life over a casual Facebook conversation between co-founders Reilly McCarron and Jo Henwood in July 2013. Since then the foundations of the society have been soundly built, we have a strong Founding Membership including internationally renowned fairy tale scholars Jack Zipes and Maria Tatar, a successful crowd funding campaign, and a wonderful inaugural conference to set us on our path of enchantment.

Our very first committee was elected at the conference on Monday 9th June, 2014, and I’d like to formally welcome Julie Mundy-Taylor as Vice President, Pam Blamey as Secretary, Danuta Raine as Treasurer, and Jo Henwood (co-founder), Belinda Calderone, and Thang D. Luong as committee members.

This website is a platform for fairy tale lovers across Australia, and beyond, to gather together around the ether-hearth and share in the magic of Australian fairy tales. It belongs to all of us so please feel free to contribute your fairy tale folklore, events, news, reviews, and comments.

Thanks for your interest and support.

From the depths of the forest,

Reilly McCarron.

AFTS President