Calling Australian illustrators!

The anthology South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century welcomes your expressions of interest. Please email three examples of your work (image files under 2MB each please), and a link to your website or Instagram account if relevant, to by 1st March 2020. Chosen illustrators will be paired with a story, and be asked to create a new illustration for the anthology.

Illustrators will be paid $100 per illustration, and retain the copyright of their work.

Fairy Tale Submissions


The South of the Sun editorial committee has finally chosen the fairy tale winners. It was a truly difficult job – we were inundated with talented submissions and we’ve spent many a long hour short-listing, re-short-listing, arguing and finally agreeing on the following. A big thank you to everyone who sent in their entries. Congratulations to everyone who’s on the list – and commiserations to those who didn’t make it. 

Anezka Sero ̶ The Snowgum Maiden

Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson ̶ Jack, the Beanstalk and the NBN

Yvette Ladzinski ̶ The Lonely Mosque

Melissa Min Harvey ̶ The Wild Moon Call

Clare Testoni ̶ The Lyrebird

Krystal Barton ̶ North Coburg to Flinders St Station

Rachel Nightingale ̶ Riverbend

Jackie Kerin ̶ No Horse, No Cart, No Shoes

Angie Rega ̶ The Tale of the Seven Magpies

Danielle McGee – The Origami Mother

June Perkins – Into the Song Wood

Zoya Nojin ̶ Rubeliya

Ella Lamb – The Curse of the Swan Prince

Muriel Cooper ̶ There was something different about him

Carolyn Alfonzetti ̶ Hundreds and Thousands

Jennifer Lehmann ̶ Cricket

Nola Wernicke ̶ If Cinderella lived in Melbourne

Erin-Claire Barrow ̶ The Crows

Natalie Cooke ̶ Gold

If you have specific questions, email us at

Submission Guidelines

We are seeking

  • Fairy tales of up to 3,000 words, flash fiction (500 words). See below for discussion of what a fairy tale is
  • Lyrics/poems with a fairy tale element up to 3,000 words
  • An Australian-ness, whether in context, setting, characters, culture, history, language etc.
  • Adult and YA tales—challenging, not childish.
  • Rated G, no gratuitous violence or explicit sexual refs
  • Traditional or experimental: stretch boundaries, let your imagination roam, spin magic. See below for some suggestions
  • Original, previously unpublished stories, in English
  • Stories that reflect Australia’s diversity. These articles may provide guidance.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Character in Fiction

Writing Diverse Characters

Protocols for producing Australian Indigenous Writing

We are not seeking:

  • Any pieces indicating or involving appropriation of indigenous culture. See Protocols for producing Indigenous Australian writing (link provided above)
  • Any company names or product placement
  • Any pieces indicating racism, sexism, homophobia or bigotry

Submission Procedure

There is a $10 submission fee. This should be paid to AFTS Anthology Fundraiser, BSB 033-002, Act No 078099. Note that if we are unable to raise enough funds to pay for the anthology this will be refunded.

All submissions are electronic. Please email to

This email must include the following information and attachments:

  • Your submission (for details of formatting see below) .doc or .docX only.
  • Front page must contain your full name, contact details, title of the piece and word count.
  • Your writer’s bio note (50-200 words).
  • The receipt for the submission fee.
  • Include ‘Submission’ and your story title in the subject line of your email.

Submission Format

  • Standard Manuscript Format with Times New Roman 12 point and all paragraphs except the first indented
  • Poems or lyrics should be formatted as you wish them published
  • Prose should be double spaced
  • Pages numbered top right
  • Your name and title of the piece in header
  • Single quote marks for inverted commas/dialogue
  • No embedded pics or graphics
  • Use standard English (British not American)


  • Stories: 6 cents a word
  • Poems/lyrics: small poems (e.g. haiku) $30. Long poems $40

Further Information

  • Writers do not have to be Australian or living in Australia
  • We cannot give feedback and no discussion will be entered into as to why a submission is accepted or declined
  • We will notify you that a submission has been received
  • People whose work has been accepted will be notified in January 2020

Intellectual Property Rights

Copyright in each submission remains with the author of the submission, subject to the following:

  • The writer granting to the AFTS anthology sub-committee a non-exclusive, royalty free perpetual right to use, publish, reproduce and reprint the piece on a worldwide basis through all media (including print, digital, radio and social media)
  • The writer agrees not to publish their piece in any manner (including print, digital or social media) until six months after the publication of the anthology in September 2020
  • The AFTS anthology sub-committee reserve the right to edit the submission

Here are some fairy-tale ideas, tropes or motifs you could explore:

trickery/ tricksters
rewards & punishments
keys, riddles or codes to crack
disguise, secrets, other mysteries
quests or challenges
overturning fortune (e.g. rags to riches)
magic numbers or other patterns
botanical magic
cycles (seasonal, lunar, etc.)
spells, incantations, curses, oaths
totems (e.g. animal guides)
prophecies, scrying
villains or spies, versus helpers or guides (as in role-playing games or epic fantasy)
playful language (e.g. puns, alliteration, assonance, metaphors)
binary oppositions (youth/age, loyalty/treachery, cruelty/kindness, etc.)
mirrors, echoes

A brief note on fairy-tale definition

What is an Australian Fairy Tale?

An extract from the AFTS website definition by Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario

‘The roots of fairy tale reach deep into the past of myths, legends, and old wives’ tales. Ancient Greek stories of Rhodopis and Cupid and Psyche, for instance, merge into tales of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Whether you think fairy tales emerged from a collective unconscious, or were passed along time-worn trade routes, told by old peasant women, or sung by troubadours, it is likely there is truth to all theories. Fairy tales come to us as a ragbag of histories… The term fairy tale is the legacy of Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness d’Aulnoy from her collection Les Contes des Fées (1697). Not all fairy tales feature fairies. Fairy tales can include magic, supernatural creatures, metamorphosis, happy endings, true love, superstitions, swordfights, cross-dressing, and even morals, but there are no rules and no definitive claims on authenticity… There are many kinds of fairy tale and they are bound less by what they have in common and more by their capricious nature. / Australia’s fairy tale tradition is rooted in colonialism… distinct from Indigenous storytelling. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many attempted to create Australian fairy tales – authors and illustrators like Sister Agnes, Atha Westbury, Ida Rentoul-Outhwaite, May Gibbs, and Hume Cook…. As the twentieth century progressed, more authors engaged with Australia’s landscape and national identity, but frequently in dialogue with European tradition. Today, our fairy tales increasingly reflect our diverse population and traditions from Japan, Malaysia, India, Sudan and elsewhere are emerging… The question, in the end, is less what is a fairy tale and more… what can a fairy tale be?’