Grumpy Old Fairy Tales Call For Submissions

Submission Call
Grumpy Old Fairy Tales
Volume 1:

Stormdance Publications is branching out of mythology and heading into the realm of Fairy! 

There have been a lot of retellings of classic Fairytales, but we noticed that there were very few GRUMPY retellings.   We’re looking for fun new twists on classic Grimm fairytales and well-known folklore.  Is your tale of little Red Riding Hood told from Granny’s perspective?  Maybe she’s a werewolf? Then you might be writing a story for Grumpy Old Fairy Tales. 

In the grand tradition of fairytales, we have a distinct preference for clever characters that manage to get themselves into and out of deep trouble.  Subvert our expectations and make beloved tales new again by changing the setting, theme, or POV. 

If you give us sparkling dialogue, well-drawn characters, and (most of all) a real ending with a twist, it will make our little editing hearts skip a beat.

We are seeking twisted tales, grumpy retellings from the villain’s perspective, masterful switch-ups where the audience is tricked into seeing the tale they expect to see until the last minute (foreshadowing on this is key to keep readers engaged but not give the game away too soon).  

We much prefer a hopeful, humorous take on the subject and theme. Make the reader chortle, chuckle, or choke on their tea if they drink it at the wrong time.

Be creative with the stories. Show us something we haven’t seen before and most of all, make us laugh!


Required: Must have GRUMPY OLD FAIRYTALES VOLUME 1 in the Subject Line of your email. This helps us wade through the correspondence tsunami and spot the right anthology among the hundreds of emails.

So PLEASE be specific. Seriously. We’re begging you guys.  Insane editors edit no anthologies, so if we lose our minds, all the Grumpy fun will end.  

Must include a bio of the author (not that we’re going to judge anyone by their bio…it just makes putting the book together a lot easier if all the information is in the same place).

Social Media and promotion expectations.

No poetry. No plays/screenplays. No matter how amazing your poems are (and some of them have been) we simply don’t have a payment structure in place for something that short. As for screenplays/plays… we don’t have the marketing staff to branch out, and they obviously don’t work in an anthology.

Genre: Speculative Fiction.

Deadline: December 31st, 2021

Payment:  Royalty Split.  

What the heck IS Speculative Fiction?

Well, Wikipedia says… “It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism.”

In our case, we want a fairytale element, but feel free to pick and choose where you set your story. We’re as likely to pick out fairytales in space as we are to enjoy a nice Viking battle set in a Steampunk Edwardian era that never was.

Most of all, for the love of little green gnomes, have fun with it! These stories are meant to be fun for the reader, but it’s our belief that they can’t be for the reader if they aren’t fun for the writer.

So, let that inner Muse out! Feed her pixie sticks, and see how much awesomeness she can cram into 4000 words.

(All Muses must be convinced to write in American English since the Editors of this anthology do not speak Ancient Greek, Latin, Gaelic, Phoenician, or Egyptian.  Also, if you are writing mythology, please submit it to Grumpy Old Gods rather than Grumpy Old Fairytales)

Words: 3000-4000

Rating: PG13-PG17

Submission Format:  Word Doc / RTF format

(No PDFs or Google docs please.  We’re willing to work with you if you need to submit in a different format, just contact us!) All info including BIOs should be submitted in a separate Word Doc RTF format, not in the body of the email.

What rights are we asking for?

We’re asking for the exclusive rights to publish the stories for one year in the anthology and non-exclusive rights thereafter. We prefer first-run rights, but judge each story on its own merit.


All authors who participate in the collection will receive an equal portion of the profit per a contract will be signed between the authors and Stormdance before publication. None of the startup costs for the book (book cover, formatting, etc…) will be deducted from the proceeds.


Vanessa Wells , Juneta Key, and Vanessa Finaughty.

Submit to:

Who we are:

Vanessa Wells: Self-professed short story junkie, writer, and editor of anthologies. (Seventeen Stones series / Topeka Cozy Mysteries / Area 52). 

Juneta Key: Juneta is a speculative fiction writer. She writes about space opera, fantasy, paranormal fantasy while playing with the complexity of human nature with elements of mystery and romance. She wears a lot of hats as a story development coach, a Ninja Writers Team member, Insecure Writer’s Support Group admin, one of seven founders and host of the Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop, as well as published author. Editor of Grump Old Gods Volume 1-5. Learn more about Juneta here.

Vanessa Finaughty: A talented editor and fantasy author. She has written and edited for magazines, national newspapers in South Africa, Oxford University Press Southern Africa and the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, among others.

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