“Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life.”
— Johann Christoph Friederich v. Schiller
There is a tendency, I think, to not take fairy tales seriously. A hundred years of relegating them to the nursery has hidden their power: to educate, to entertain, to challenge and change us. And yet, the magic of “Once upon a time …” remains. Televisions shows and movies borrow from them. Comic books and stories are filled with sleeping princesses, talking animals, spells to be broken and kingdoms to be saved.
Fairy tales endure not in spite of their plasticity, but because of it. The story of Cinderella is found all over the world, in hundreds of different versions. Details vary depending upon the culture that tells the tale. Despite the alterations, though, the story is recognizable time and again.
And it is this malleability that I am counting on in my project, Spellbound and Spindles. To give a brief introduction and history, Spellbound is a children’s fantasy magazine published by my company, Eggplant Literary Productions. In each issue we publish fiction, poetry and art, all fantasy related. One of our priorities is putting out a publication that reflects our global readership. We actively solicit submissions that are diverse in their settings and characters.
It is with that goal in mind, coupled with my belief in the power of fairy tales, that I launched the Kickstarter campaign for Spellbound & Spindles. The plan is to publish a special edition of Spellbound, as well as a companion adult anthology, of fairy tales retold to include POC, LGBT, and disabled characters. The anthologies will be produced in both e-book and limited edition hardcover.
We — myself, and the staff at Eggplant — view this as an opportunity to build upon what we’ve already done and to push the field of children’s and fairy tale literature into a more inclusive direction. As the mother of a biracial child, it is a project that is close to my heart. If the idea intrigues you, please check out the campaign and back us.