About This Work

100% of anthology profits will go to the Fareshare foodbank charity.

This anthology gathers the work of wyrd writers and strong souls in the folklore community who tread old paths to build new, better futures.




Mutate: change, evolve, transform, metamorphose

There is little folklore without mutation. To capture the stories we tell and press them in resin for preservation is to kill them dead. Because if folklore does not mutate to suit its time and place, it ceases to breathe.

We don’t need to teach our folklore to change. It’s an old dog, but it learns new tricks effortlessly. It can’t help but learn them. Like a phrase whispered from ear to ear or a piece of paper scrawled with heads and bodies and legs from different beings, every time a piece of lore hops from soul to soul it mutates, a tiny fragment of cultural DNA that can never replicate itself perfectly.

Stories of old things become new, stories of new things shedding their skin to reveal ancient, wizened things. Stories that start straight and twist as soon as they meet an obstacle in the soil, stories that sneak around behind you and make you jump with a whispered boo. Old stories of us, the folk, mutated to fit us for the times we find ourselves living in.



Folklore: traditional community beliefs, customs, and stories, passed down through generations

The universe is very large, and we are very small. We are so ridiculously slight that if we did not leave ourselves a trail of breadcrumbs, we would lose ourselves completely.

Crumbs have a distressing habit of being eaten by birds, melted away by the rain, moulded through neglect. We must lay those breadcrumbs down again and again. Or we will lose ourselves.

Tales. Customs. Songs. Riddles. Charms.

If folklore is a crossroads where four strangers are sworn to meet at midnight, who do you imagine those strangers to be? They might introduce themselves wordlessly to each other as Folk, Time, Place, and Imagination. On its own, each of these fine conceptual folks is arguably nothing more than a liar in a fancy hat. It needs the others.

We are bound by place and time. Imagination takes us from bare survival to something richer. Something that helps us feel found, even when we are quite possibly lost. Because the concepts of lost and found are fluid, and the cusp between them is a meniscus. Like the hole in a fairy-stone, the meniscus between lost and found is a barrier so delicate that you could put a finger through it.

Because we are so small and the universe is so impossibly large, we must imagine and savour and nourish our sense of past, present and future to even ensure there will be a “will be”.

And every corn dolly, every annual wicker sacrifice and every annual swirl about the village of the Mari Lwyd is another breadcrumb placed on the ground so that others will not forget that we are, that we exist, that we can shape ourselves, that we are forged by time and dreams and place.

Who are we, even? It’s too easy to forget. Our world is in a hurry. When you are in a hurry, you miss things. It might be the little details. It might be the most important thing you were meant to remember. The only thing you were tasked with remembering, and the one thing you forgot.

We must know that we exist. That we have existed in the past, and are likely to do so in the future. We must not forget our souls, our ghosts, our important things, our pasts, our fears and dreams, the many layers of the land on which we are fortunate to live our lifetimes.

Folklore is custom and action, a doing. Folklore is word – of mouth, or ideas shared in other, less tangible forms. Folklore is a way of sharing the unknown and making the visible seen.

Folklore is a trail of crumbs laid by one generation to the next. Folklore is staring at your face in the reflection of a bathroom mirror or water from a well and seeing one who has gone before you staring back.

Folklore is always in danger of being warped and mishandled by fascists, bigots and phobes. It is many things, and how it writhes and shapes and mutates depends on our dreams and nightmares.

It warns us. Charms us. Protects us. Teaches us. Gathers us.

In a vast universe, we will always be small. It is our lot. With folklore, surrounded by ancestors and much-needed creatures of our imagination, we know, at least, that we have been. And here we still are. And, for all our darkest 3AM thoughts, we are not entirely alone.