Do you still reread that tattered book of fairy tales from your childhood, even though you know all the words by heart? Does that Arthur Rackam illustration in your feed still make your breath catch? Maybe you came to fairy tales long after school, long after you had permission to dwell in “stories for kids,” but something about Cinderella’s slipper or Baba Yaga’s hut is so familiar that you’d swear you’ve danced on glass and personally terrorized (or personally saved) a forest.
You feel this because there is magic in these stories. And you feel it because these stories are yours.
The world doesn’t often make space for fairy tales and for finding your place inside them. The press of dishes, laundry, and bills doesn’t exactly lend itself to whimsy and reflection. And feeling alone in your quest for magic, or just kind of weird for loving fairy tales, doesn’t help either.
Welcome to Carterhaugh, where we’re all a little weird and we all believe in fairy tales.
For us, real magic – gritty, sink-your-teeth-into-it, beautiful magic – is in story, is in art, is in folklore. It’s in an ancient charm for protection against storms, and in the crafting of a poem that captures its power. It’s in your painting inspired by the Greek myth of Ariadne, in the garden you keep, in the fairy tales you still remember, and tell again and again, because you need to.
But how does a simple story become an act of magic? How does cooking dinner from an old recipe create enchantment? How might you apply a fairy tale to your own (tax-paying, grocery-shopping) (beautiful) life?
FIND YOUR FAIRY TALE will open the gates to a community of like-minded, passionate dreamers and creators. The lectures and discussions will provide both inspiration and direction for the storytelling process, while our weekly quests will help you produce a collection of stories through poetry and photographs, spoken word and videos. And you’ll learn to talk about fairy tales like a pro!
At its heart, this course is about enchantment and connection. For us, enchantment exists at the crossroads of knowledge and wonder – it’s a deep dive into fairy tales in all their multiplicities, and the imagination and courage to see them reflect and refract onto your own life story.
At Carterhaugh, we craft our courses to be both academically rigorous and open to enchantment. We take folklore seriously – hell, we got PhDs in it, which is not dissimilar to surviving almost a decade of impossible tasks. (Carry water in this sieve! Sort a huge pile of lentils in one night! Kill a monster that can be killed by no man! Write a dissertation!) We built Carterhaugh to bring the study of folklore beyond the ivory tower (across the moat but still on the estate), and we’ve flung open the doors to the curious seekers and creators who feel stories quickening in their fingertips and behind their eyelashes. You’ll be learning from two highly trained folklorists, literary scholars, creative writers, and embarrassingly enthusiastic readers. As your teachers and guides, we will help you recognize and navigate the briars of misinformation – they are encroaching, well-camouflaged, and absolutely everywhere in the magical realm of the Internet – and all the different ways to evaluate a story’s “truth.”
We, Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman, both earned our PhDs in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University. We specialize in folk narrative – folk tales, myths, and legends – and fairy tales, especially the creepy ones, are our passion. We have published academic articles and reviews in Marvels & Tales: The Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, Supernatural Studies, Humanities, Gramarye: The Journal of the Sussex Center for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy, the book Channeling Wonder: Fairy Tales on Television, the encyclopedia Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the World, and many more. Sara’s dissertation explores how folklore creates and shapes discourses of disability in nineteenth-century British literature – for example, she explores how the character of Watho the witch in George MacDonald’s literary fairy tale “The Day Boy and the Night Girl” intersects with and complicates the late Victorian “mad” scientist trope. Brittany’s dissertation argues that there is an understudied link between folklore and Gothic literature that reveals a great deal about the “dark” side of fairy tales and fairy legends we always seem to “return to” in contemporary retellings.
We love teaching – we get to geek out about the weirdest, most wonderful stories, and we get to watch our students create their own magic with what they learn. We want our classes to reflect the joy we get out of the strange and delightful world of folklore, so expect apropos gifs, ridiculous illustrations, and/or terrible puns in our lectures. We’re also best friends, so we will occasionally make horrible faces at each other, make fun of each other, and laugh like drunken pixies… and we want you to join us!
In addition to academic writing, we are also creative writers who draw on folkloric material in our work. You can read some of our published material at journals like Uncanny Magazine, Faerie Magazine, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit, Stone Telling, Apex Magazine, Liminality Magazine, and many others. Collectively, we’ve been nominated six times for the Rhysling Award, including two of our 2017 collaborations, “Waking” at Liminality Magazine and “An Announcement” at Uncanny Magazine.
Sometimes, we also make folklore-inspired jewelry or crowns studded with birds or stews made from twelve different kinds of vegetables. Our natural habitats include second-hand bookstores, airplanes, and really divey karaoke bars where we sing like sirens or harpies, depending on the season.
This course will also feature a few very special guests you might know!
Each week of this course, we will discuss a new fairy tale. We’ll delve into the history of the tale and explore several versions belonging to different times and cultures. Then, we’ll get personal. We’ll talk about what these stories mean to us, how they’ve shaped our perceptions of ourselves, and how they influenced the things we create – and we’ll invite you to do the same! Each new fairy tale’s discussion will be anchored in an Aspect of the protagonist that speaks to us. For example, to Sara, Snow White is the Survivor – no matter what horrors life throws at her, she bounces back. There are endless other ways to respond to Snow White, and we hope you’ll tell us what she means to you and your own story.
The FIND YOUR FAIRY TALE course content will be conducted through video lectures that will be accessible on the dates listed below, but all the materials will be yours to download and interact with whenever you choose. You do not need to be present when a lesson is posted – you can watch it at your convenience! Full payment must be complete by the time registration closes on October 30th at midnight. In addition to 6 video lectures, there will be several surprises throughout the course, including more content, live recordings, and more!
What You Will Get:
1. Video content for each lesson from Sara and Brittany (at least 45 minutes of material!) These will be pre-recorded and released each Wednesday of the course.
2. A ‘Further Reading’ PDF.
3. A PDF “grimoire page” summary of each lesson evoking pages torn from an old spell book (click here for more information about these!)
4. All supplementary reading for each lesson (in PDF or link form.)
5. Access to our private Facebook group for the course, where you can interact with fellow students, ask questions, share fun things, and generally get to know Sara, Brittany, and each other. You guys are our people and we want to get to know you! We will post discussion questions and other fun stuff here as well!
6. A Creative Quest to go with each lesson, which you can post in the group to get personal feedback on from both your teachers and your fellow fairy-tale loving classmates (if desired.)
7. Personal feedback on one completed final project (if desired.)
8. A special course completion certificate upon submission of your final project
9. A welcome letter and various course e-mails
10. A few surprises, including guest lectures, live videos, and more!
Plus ALL of the downloadable material will be yours to keep for personal use!
The course will culminate in a final project that will grow out of your weekly challenges. We, and your classmates, will be here to talk you through your storytelling process, and we can’t wait to see what you create!
How much does it cost?:
This course has completed and is no longer available for purchase. Please check out our other offerings!
Curious, but not quite ready to enroll? Get a taste of our magic! Click here to join our Facebook discussion group and meet some of your potential classmates and/or here to join our newsletter and receive a free guide to our favorite fairy-tale resources on the Internet!
^ Your owl has arrived ;).
Is this graded? How much work will this be?:
We recommend setting aside 2-3 hours each week to view the lectures, do the readings, and participate in the Facebook discussion group. For this course, we recommend at least an additional hour to complete the creative assignments as well. This of course can vary wildly from person to person – we’ve had some students read our entire recommended reading list and comment extensively in discussion, while others opted out of the Facebook discussion altogether and skimmed the reading. Both extremes enjoyed the course!
While the final project will not be required, we encourage you to complete it! Carterhaugh is at its best when you take the knowledge you’ve gained over the course and transmute it into something that is your own.
Again, personal feedback on completed final assignments is available upon request – and even if you don’t want feedback, we would love to see what how you transformed the material and hear about what inspires you!
Please see our tentative course schedule below!
Lesson 1 – Introduction + “Snow White”: The Survivor
Posted October 31st
Lesson 2 – “Cinderella”: The Kin-Keeper
Posted November 7th
Lesson 3 – “All Kinds of Fur”: The Mask-Wearer
Posted November 14th
Lesson 4 – “Beauty and the Beast”: The Companion
Posted November 21st
Lesson 5 – “Sleeping Beauty”: The Dreamer
Posted November 28th
Lesson 6 – “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”: The Rebel
Posted December 5th
Please note that these are simply the dates that materials will be e-mailed and posted in the private Facebook group! You will be able to download everything and watch whenever is most convenient to you. The download links will remain active for a year, and we will let you know before removing anything from our database!
This course has completed and is no longer available for purchase. Please check out our other offerings!
Love the idea of Carterhaugh but can’t commit to this course? That’s okay, we’d love to have you some other time! Click here to sign up for our newsletter so that you can get all the news about new courses and other Carterhaugh opportunities! You can also join our Facebook discussion group here!