folklore and fairy tales

{11} Questions

Tagged by @blackbloodyprince

Rules: (1) Answer the questions given to you by the tagger (2) Write 11 questions of your own. (3) Tag 11 people

1.  Would you rather be able to pull things out of your dreams, or shape shift into any animal you want?  

I imagine if I could become anything at will, I would become a very selfish conniving person. I would probably do a lot of things I wouldn’t otherwise simply because I could, I might not be the same person after all of that.
I would choose to pull things out of my dreams. I want to dream up cures, masterpieces, and lost friends — that sounds like unlimited power.

2. What do you love doing if it‘s raining or storming outside?

Go out in it or hide - I hate thunder.

3. Do you believe in folklore or fairy tale, or wish they would be true?

Hell - I want a dragon to ride into work on and eat people I don’t like.

4. Rather burn to death or drown?  

Burn. I like how clean it is. Please, keep my skull.

5. If you could, would you live in another fictional world – which one? 

Certainly, there must be better than this. I would choose “Ghost in the Shell” (攻殻機動隊). I like technology and biology, so having a cybernetic mind and body without human limitations sounds excellent.

6. Most beautiful place in the world? (Been there or not)   

This took me a moment. I think the most beautiful place is the children’s oncology clinic or the bedside of my love. Both have demonstrated strength I have not always known was inside me, they give me the ability to tell myself; “If they overcome that  - this is nothing.”
       — and I think that is beautiful.

7. Would you dare to walk barefoot through the forest?

I could run though the woods and forgotten fields as a child, chase feral horses and jump creek beds without second thought. Now, I am heavy and sound like a water buffalo trampling through in my steel toe boots…

8. Favorite historical person and why?

Anne Boleyn. She wraps her hands around her throat and says “…I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck…”

9. Unpopular opinion you have. (Can be about anything)

Hm… I actually don’t find the muscular, shaggy/’rugged’ appearance I see too much of now days attractive.   I don’t like it.
    I find softness and cleanliness to be incredibly sexy.

10. Character trait you love about yourself   

I think many would choose their resilience or strength. But, I don’t think there would be a reason to live if I could not have my compassion .

11.  Did you ever get your heart broken by a red velvet cake?

 Whom ever hasn’t known love lost has never lived~

1&2. Do you think you’re a ‘good’ person? Do you think the people around you are 'good’ people?
3&4. Imagine the person you’re most reliant on or most love. Now imagine they are an imposter - they killed and took the identity of person you believed them to be years ago. Do you confront them? Would you want to find the body?
5&6. If you lost all of your possessions, what would be the first thing you would replace? What thing would you miss most?
7&8. What is one thing you would never wish on your worse enemy? Have you ever experienced it?
9&10. Choose 1 superpower. Why did you choose that?
11. What is one piece of advice you could give that you’ve learned about life?

Keep reading

I’d love to be in a wintery, witchy fairy tale. My home would be an old quaint castle hidden in the forest, I’d be the young witch of the woods villagers would brave traveling to for tinctures, cures, and spells for ailments. And I’d always be known as kind, but very dangerous.

HEARTWOOD: Non-binary Tales of Sylvan Fantasy is the newest anthology from P&M Press.

Across time and cultures, humanity has spun tales about the forest: tales of caution, adventure, rites of passage, and discovery. Some of those stories persist as the folklore and fairy tales that delight our imaginations today, and the forest remains a symbol for facing the unknown and emerging transformed.

This anthology is for everyone who’s walked through the undergrowth, in the silence of nature, and longed for an adventure of their own to unfold. These stories of modern-day sylvan fantasy will showcase the best non-binary cartoonists of our day, guiding characters like us into the woods and back again.

Submission Period

Submissions will be open to the public from October 16th - November 13th. (A line-up of preselected creators will also be unveiled throughout this period!)

Who Can Participate

We want submissions from people who identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, bigender, neutrois, twospirit, genderfluid, demigender, trans fem or trans masc, and other genders outside the “man or woman” binary. 

For team submissions, at least the writer must meet the above criteria. If two submissions are equally matched, the all non-binary team will be prioritized. Use #TeamHeartwood (Tumblr or Twitter) to find teammates!

Age Restrictions

All contributors must be 18 years or older. All content must be suitable for readers as young as 14 years old.


  • Comics from 4 - 12 pages long
  • 6” x 9” trim size (template provided)
  • Bleed? Yes.
  • Black & White or Grayscale (no screentones please)
  • 600 dpi


Selection Process (October 2017 - December 2017)

  • Project Announcement - 2 weeks
  • Open Submissions - 4 weeks
  • Final Selection - 2 weeks

Work Period (December 2017 - July 2018)

  • Creator Portraits - 1 week
  • Script + Thumbnails - 8 weeks
  • Pencils - 10 weeks
  • Inks - 6 weeks
  • Grayscale - 6 weeks
  • Letters - 2 weeks
  • Bios - 1 week

Kickstarter (Fall 2018)


Contributors to our first anthology were paid $100/page plus Kickstarter bonuses. In keeping with P&M Press’ founding goal of increasing pay with each successive campaign, HEARTWOOD contributors will be compensated at $105/page plus any Kickstarter bonuses.

Contributors also receive a minimum of 10 complimentary copies of the anthology, royalties on all digital sales, and royalties on any print runs of the anthology after the first printing sells out.


Creators will cede exclusive first worldwide print and digital rights to their stories for a full calendar year from the date of publication, and non-exclusive worldwide print and digital rights in perpetuity. Ownership remains with the creators.

What We Want

  • Previously unpublished stories.
  • Forests. Jungles. Decaying structures reclaimed by nature. Trees, trees, and - oh yeah - more trees! Deep, lush settings that have character. (If you absolutely hate drawing backgrounds/characters interacting with their environment, you may want to sit this one out.)
  • At least one protagonist must be non-binary.
  • At least one non-binary protagonist must be human (they can be half magical-species-you-made-up, but their gender should not be portrayed as a “fantastical” result of that).
  • Stories set now-ish (a hard date isn’t necessary, but keep the human fashion and any tech to post-1990 and pre-2030).
  • Movement from one space to another (entering, leaving, traveling), literally and/or metaphorically.
  • Personified aspects of the natural world (e.g. whispering winds, walking plants, talking animals, etc).
  • Original fantastical creatures/beings.
  • Discovery and Understanding.
  • Tests (of will, wits, ethics, etc).
  • Person Allied With Nature.
  • A spirit of adventure!

What We DON’T Want

  • No fan works. No auto-bio. No prose. No one-off illustrations.
  • Stories that basically amount to “protagonist realizes they are non-binary and explains gender to the other characters/the reader.” Your character can come to understand their gender better by the end of the story, but there should be a plot beyond that.
  • Meet-cutes. (“Two people meet and crush at first sight, the end.”)
  • Horror: this includes horror tropes, body horror, classic horror monsters like werewolves or vampires, popular cryptids/urban legends like Slender Man or the Jersey Devil, and so on. Your story can use fear and danger as plot elements, but if instilling fear/existential dread in the reader is the overarching theme, this is the wrong anthology.
  • Tolkienian fantasy: no elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. We won’t freak out if you make something up that’s very loosely(!) inspired by any of these (unless it replicates the problematic elements of Tolkien’s work, in which case your work will not be accepted).
  • Cursing is permitted as long as words aren’t used literally (i.e. “Shit, you scared me!” as opposed to “Let’s go shit in the woods!”) and are used very sparingly when used at all. In general, we’d prefer not.
  • No porn. No references to specific sexual acts. No explicit nudity whether sexual or non-sexual (sorry, folks). “Consensual fade-to-black sex between legal adults” is fine.
  • No depictions of abuse (sexual, physical, psychological) whether pictorial or written. Characters may vaguely reference (in non-graphic language) abuse that they have suffered in the past if doing so serves the story or is integral to the character (i.e. maybe the story is about a survivor working on their agoraphobia by going on what they believe will be a brief, non-magical hike…).
  • No gore. People can get hurt, bleed, die, etc, but not in a grossly over-the-top way that fetishizes violence.
  • No slurs, no racism (not even “fantasy racism”), no misogyny, no transphobia, no ableism, no xenophobia, no white supremacist nonsense in general. (And please, no stories whose sole purpose is to teach that these things are bad.)

Ready? Here’s How To Pitch

Send us an email at with the subject line “Heartwood Pitch” that includes the following information/attachments:

  1. The name, pronouns, and role of everyone on your team (or just yourself for solo submissions). Give the name(s) you want used during communications with you, marketing of your contribution, and credits in the book (even if those are all different).
  2. A working title and page count for your comic (doesn’t have to be exact).
  3. A synopsis of your story, including a beginning, middle, and end. Spoil everything, but try to keep it under 500 words.
  4. Preliminary sketches associated with your pitch: character ideas, important creature designs, environment concepts (the latter is especially important if your portfolio lacks strong examples of background art), etc. These don’t need to be final or polished pieces! Just detailed enough to give us an idea.
  5. Links to any relevant publishing credits (whether you’re writing the comic, drawing it, lettering it, or doing everything yourself). Self-published works and webcomics count as credits! Choose examples that best reflect the style you intend to use for this comic. You may simply include a link to your portfolio if you have no pre-existing credits, but please note that folks with sequential storytelling examples will receive preference.
  6. Tell us about yourself, your cultural and artistic background, and why you want to be in HEARTWOOD. Short and sweet is best!

More Questions? 

Check out the FAQ. If your answer isn’t there, Ask away!

Promptis week day 6: Fairy Tale/getting caught

Two minutes before midnight..!

Kinda very rushed, but hey, at least it’s something for today c:

(I misread the prompt as fantasy and not fairy tales, but I guess folklore can be included? Maybe?? Anyhow, here’s a harpy version of them

The Wife is a Witch, a Ukrainian folk fairy tale

Two young people got married. Some time after that, the man met his aunt. 

- You are so skinny, - she told him. - What happened to you? You are young, but you do not look good. 

And he answered:

- My dear aunt, I do not know myself. I grow weaker every day. 

Then, the aunt said:

- If you do not tell anybody I did it, I will tell you.

The young man promised to keep it a secret, and the aunt started her story.

- Listen to me. In few days, there will be a new moon. It will be Wednesday. Tell your wife you have some work to do out in the field, and leave the house for a day, and have a good rest. When you come back home in the evening, do not sleep, but watch your wife closely.  She soon will give you your supper and tell you to go to bed, and you must pretend like you do. She will do the housework, and then, when she is done, she will think you are asleep: that is when she will take a bridle and will want to hit you with it. You will have to get up and take it from her before she does it. Because your wife is a witch, a bosorkanya, and if she does, you will turn into a horse and she will ride you all night, but if you do, she will turn into a mare herself.

The man did as he was told, and then he rode the mare his wife turned into wherever she would go herself. 

They soon arrived at a meadow, and there already were many witches, all riding horses. One of the witches said:

- Our head witch is not here, and we can not continue our gathering. We all have to go home now. 

So they did. As the man was returning home, he went to the house of a relative who was a smith and asked to shoe the horse. The man first suggested they should wait till it is light outside, but the young one insisted that he wanted to ride it to a fair early in the morning. Not wanting to insult a family, the smith agreed. Then the young man returned home and left the mare in the stables.

In the morning, he returned and saw his own wife there, with horseshoes attached to her feet and hands, and covered in blood. He was scared, and went to his aunt again to ask for another advice.

- And why did you do that?, she asked, - Why did you shoe her? Now your wife will die, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Now, go home, take the horseshoes off of her, and tell people it was an accident. When she is buried, come here again, and I will tell you what to do next.

The man did as he was told, and soon returned. That is what his aunt told him:

- Now you have to spend three nights by your wife’s grave, or you will die. Take some chalk, some holy water, and an iron rod. When you arrive at the graveyard, stand by her head, and make a circle around you with chalk and holy water, then turn to the grave, and put the rod in front of you - she will not see you behind it. Stand there until the roosters sing.

So the man did as he was told again. Soon the grave opened, and his wife stormed out of it towards their house. She was there until roosters sang, and returned to her grave. When the man came home, he saw a great disorder, and everythign was in a mess. Same happened on the next night.

Before the third night, the aunt told him to wait until his wife is back to her coffin. And as she will be half under the ground, he will have to say, “I forgive you, and you forgive me”. Then she will have no right to leave her grave any more.

That is what he did. On the third night, as his wife came back to her grave by morning, he said:

- I forgive you, and you forgive me.

- You are tricky! Well, now I forgive you.

And she never appeared again, and the man lived on. And still does, unless he died.

My flatmate was like “in the Philippines it feels like fairy tales and folklore can really happen” and I was like “in the American south it feels like the devil might be lurking behind any given tree”

We’re honored to host a cover reveal today for A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS, an anthology edited by WNDB’s own Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman and featuring stories from a diverse group of talented authors. Congratulations!

More information from the publisher: 

Star crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.                      

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creature sand Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

Name: Likho, Licho

Area of Origin: Slavic Cultures (Russian, Belarusian, Polish)

The Likho is a spirit found in Slavic fairy tales, where it is portrayed as an embodiment of evil fate and misfortune. Across the different cultures, there are variations in how it is said to physically appear. In a particularly popular variation, it is seen as a frail, old woman dressed in black. In others, it appears as a forest-dwelling goblin-like being. However, if there’s a consistent detail across these variations, it’s that the Likho only possesses a singular eye. In all encounters with a Likho, one is always doomed to lose. It is often accompanied by tales where an individual attempting to cheat the Likho has the tables turned on them. Often it is seen clinging onto the neck of the victim, only to never let go. Victims have been described to try and drown the old hag, only to perish themselves as the Likho floats safely to the surface.

Fairy tales are more than moral lessons and time capsules for cultural commentary; they are natural law. The child raised on folklore will quickly learn the rules of crossroads and lakes, mirrors and mushroom rings. They’ll never eat or drink of a strange harvest or insult an old woman or fritter away their name as though there’s no power in it. They’ll never underestimate the youngest son or touch anyone’s hairpin or rosebush or bed without asking, and their steps through the woods will be light and unpresumptuous. Little ones who seek out fairy tales are taught to be shrewd and courteous citizens of the seen world, just in case the unseen one ever bleeds over.
—  S.T. Gibson