Salonnières and Poetry Journals: Our Patreon is Leveling Up!

Have you ever had a perfect day? The kind where, while it was happening, you kept surreptitiously looking around for cameras and a film crew, because you felt like you must have stepped into a movie? 

Because real life isn’t like this, right? Where is the trap?

(Maybe that last part is just us.)

Back in 2016, we had one of those perfect days. There’s this conference called The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (or ICFA), and we’ve been going for a decade. (It doesn’t hurt that in normal, non-pandemic years, it’s always in Orlando, Florida in March. Or that the conference hotel has a pool. And a pool bar. And is an easy Lyft ride away from Disney… we digress. But the 100% online version is coming up in just a few days and we’re going to be on a panel all about fairy tales and ecology, so do check it out!) 

Despite all those most intriguing qualities, the reason we never skip this conference is because of the people. It’s where fairy-tale scholars get to know each other and hear each other’s research and have midnight huddles with fairy-tale themed wine around the pool. It’s where we’ve met people who have changed our research and our lives. It’s where speculative fiction authors read their WIPs and talk shop.

It’s also the place where Neil Gaiman once told us, to our faces, that he loves folklorists.

Shockingly, our perfect day was not that day. (No offense, Neil – we love you, too!) 

On our perfect day, we wore antique keys as charms around our necks, ate knickerbocker glories at the bar, sold a poem, and gathered in the gazebo out over the lake with a bunch of other speculative fiction writers. We got to hear our dear friend Shveta Thakrar talk about the early stages of the novel that would become her debut Star Daughter (which is officially a NEBULA FINALIST as of yesterday!), heard Amal El-Mohtar recite her poetry from memory, and befriended a bunch of passionate writers and editors who were definitely our fellow word witches.

We even read our poem “Waking,” a Snow White/ Sleeping Beauty mashup, out loud to the group. While bats flew overhead.

It was about the time that the bats showed up that we remember looking at each other and signaling with our biggest eyes “what is happening?!?”

We’ve thought of that day a lot over the last year. We have not messed around with COVID, and so we haven’t traveled, and we’ve barely seen anyone in person.

We haven’t seen each other in person for over a year.

And the more our everyday normal has been stripped away, the more we’ve come to appreciate the community, the magic, and those moments of perfect that happen at Carterhaugh.

Even if the bats are mostly metaphorical.  

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to enhance that. 

You see, when we started Carterhaugh, we truly had no idea what it would become. We were approaching it like college professors. People would come to class, they’d listen to us talk, maybe they’d talk a little if they were super outgoing or brave, and then they’d go home. The end.

That’s not what happened.

Instead, you shared your stories with us. You sent us pictures from inside your towers and gardens. You shared your poems and your art. You shared your magic.

We became a community. And it changed everything. 

We’ve been thinking about more ways to make space for you and your stories. We might not have a bat infested gazebo on a lake (yet!), but we do have the Internet. And we can do a lot with the Internet.

You might already know that we have a Patreon. We started it because we wanted to found a Carterhaugh book club… which has now been running quite successfully for over a year. It’s become one of our favorite parts of Carterhaugh, largely because we get to hear from you every month – hear your thoughts on the books we read together and even sometimes see you on camera!

And so – with that in mind – we’re going to attempt to establish another way to make our community even stronger. You might remember the fairy-tale salons that we tried out for the first time in our Gothic Fairy Tales course. Modeled after the fairy-tale salons of the French aristocrats, our salons were spaces to consider deeply personal questions about fairy tales and our lives, places to complete and share quests to harness a little everyday enchantment, and – most simply but perhaps most importantly – virtual gatherings where we could encourage, connect with, and SEE each other.

So, after a bit of tweaking from the initial model, we’re so happy to announce that the Carterhaugh Fairy-Tale Salon is going to be a monthly thing via a special tier on our Patreon!!

Much like the book club, once a month anyone at the salon tier or above will be invited to join a special Zoom session, our official digital fairy-tale salon. Each month we’ll offer a prompt, a quest to get your wheels turning, and then we’ll gather to talk about our theme as a group. Bring your beverage of choice for toasting, your amazing minds, and we’ll do the rest! 

Click here to check out our new tier, the Salonnières ($25/month) – our aim is to make this tier as inclusive as possible, while still being a bit more of an investment. Think of it as your membership in a very exclusive fairy-tale club – we know it won’t be for everyone, but those who join will be serious about getting their money’s worth and working with us to make it the absolute best it can be for everyone involved! 

(AMAZING new tier art by Lindsey, of course!)

​Basically, this is the tier you want if you’re looking for monthly deep dives into fairy tales with people as passionate about them as you are!

(Plus, remember, you get everything from the previous tiers too, so that includes your name and link on our webpage if you choose, behind the scenes updates, the grimoire pages, access to the monthly Carterhaugh book club (which is SO FUN!), periodic snail mail from us, AND the ability to participate in the twice-yearly Carterhaugh Chimera Project!)

Our Fairy-Tale Salon is beginning next month, but we’ve also set our sights on something for the future. Something big.

From almost the beginning of Carterhaugh, people have asked us to start a folklore and fairy-tale poetry journal. And honestly? Before Carterhaugh became a school, it was going to be a journal – we have the domain receipt as proof!

Check out this early website concept screenshot!

(Yes, that says 2013!)

But running a journal is difficult (which is why so many of our favorites have closed.) It’s extremely time consuming and can be wildly expensive if you pay your writers (which we want to do!)

So here’s our second bit of news: we’ve set a stretch goal on our Patreon for $2000 a month. It’s quite a bit, we know, but if we get there, we’ll have the time and money to release an inaugural issue of a folklore-inspired poetry journal. In a shrinking sea of markets, especially exclusively speculative/folkloric poetry markets, we know this would be amazing. We know how much it’s needed and wanted. We want to be able to bring this to you. 

(Also, let’s be honest here, we’ve actively furious that we don’t currently have a way to publish the extraordinary poetry that our community writes! WE WANT TO HOARD IT ALL.)

So consider this another small incentive to joining us at the new Salonnières level – everyone who joins brings us one enormous step closer to making our journal a reality. We know we can do this – together. 

Thank you so much for reading and for being a part of Carterhaugh. You make this community what it is. You bring the lake bats. We’re so excited about these new projects (and a few others we’re not quite ready to announce yet!), and we can’t wait to get going!!

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