2021 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award

The 2021 winner of the Australian Fairy Tale Society Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture” is Louisa John-Krol.

The announcement on the Society’s Facebook page says:

Louisa’s contributions to the field of fairy tales in Australia are extensive so I am only going to summarise some of the points from the extensive nomination she received this year:

Singer, producing 8 CDs and performing internationally

Writer of short stories and memoirs

Storyteller, particularly at the Wonderwings fairy shop

Co Editor of the Ezine

Administrator and leader: Ring Leader of the Victorian Fairy Tale Ring, and AFTS President for many years.

“While Louisa has achieved many extraordinary things I believe it is her extraordinarily kind heart and passionate support of those around her that needs to be recognised and celebrated with this award. Out of anyone I’ve ever met, Louisa is the truest of fairy godmothers.”

The Society takes great pleasure in recognising some of the achievements and qualities of Louisa John Krol who has contributed so much to our community

You can read much more about her service, achievements, and creativity in her 2021 nominee citation.

2021 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award Nominees

The 2021 nominees for the Australian Fairy Tale Society Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture” are Jo HenwoodLouisa John-KrolSerene Conneeley, and Spike Deane.. Voting is open to AFTS members only.

Here are some of the things mentioned by their nominators:

  • Jo Henwood (www.johenwoodstoryteller.com.au) is the unsung hero/heroine of the AFTS. Jo is the fairy godmother, the wizard, the guardian of the magic that is the AFTS. Although I wasn’t there at the very beginning I know Jo was. In the ups and the downs of its evolution from the germ of an idea Jo has been there encouraging, supporting, organising and ensuring the most mundane of tasks (such as policy writing) have been done. No matter how busy Jo is she is never too busy to ensure the AFTS runs smoothly. I could list her roles in the society, in fairy rings and on the committee or remind you of the storytellings or other activities she has involved us in; it is a lengthy list. Jo is an AFTS stalwarts and a behind-the-scenes mover and shaker. Those of you who are new members, and those of us who have been there since the first conferences owe a continuing debt to Jo.

Her knowledge of Australian fairy tales and ability to weave and tell a tale, modify a tale to add an Australian essence and encourage all to participate in fairy-rings is totally amazing!

  • Louisa John-Krol (https://louisajohnkrol.com/) is a musician, artist and storyteller who has released 8 solo CDs and as many collaborations, mostly on indie labels, primarily a fairy-world label in France, exploring Faery realms. Her lyrics draw upon mythology, poetry, folklore (especially fairy tales) and notions of parallel worlds. She has performed her music around the world, bringing her Australian fairy tale magic to France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, America and beyond. 

Louisa served on the AFTS committee of management for many years, including her time as President, and founded the Victorian Fairy Tale Ring. She not only organised and/or performed in several AFTS conferences and seminars but also pushed for funding in areas that continue to bear fruit for the fairytale community, and introduced a lot of members to each other, stimulated intercultural dialogue (e.g. hiring a storyteller from Singapore as Keynote), and fostering interstate collaborations across disciplines (writing, music, visual art) that nourished the anthology as well as other productions.

During the 1990s, Wonderwings Fairy Shop employed her as a storyteller. The first fairy shop-venue in the world, it led Louisa to further gigs at its spinoff Wonderwings Fairground and other fairy shops, plus the Royal Melbourne Show with Education Victoria & Information Victoria, also Moomba, Lit Fest (Arts Victoria/Vic Arts Centre), Childrens Book Week (Royal Botanical Gardens), International Feminist Book Fair (Royal Exhibition Buildings), National Trust heritage sites Rippon Lea & Como House, and other venues. 

The Monash Fairy Tale Salon was another of Louisa’s Australian involvements, prior to and overlapping with the formation of Australian Fairy Tale Society. She encouraged MFTS members to also join AFTS and provided a lot of assistance, performing in ‘An Afternoon in Fairyland’ at the Sir Louis Matheson Library, Monash University (Rare Books Collection) 2013, The Glen Eira Storytelling Festival 2014, and again in 2015 for the 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

As well as the big gestures of support, there are many small acts of kindness that enrich the lives of our community. Louisa  takes many fairies under her wing, purchasing train tickets for travel, meeting and introducing them to others, and helping people with their English in the academic realm and fairy tale activities.

Out of anyone I’ve ever met, Louisa is the truest of fairy godmothers

  • Serene Conneeley (blessedbeebooks.com) has created a rich corpus of books on fairy tales, fantasy, and folklore, in fiction and non fiction. Her non fiction, particularly Faery Magic, Mermaid Magic, and Witchy Magic, are broad collections of source material providing a depth of interpretations which illuminate fairy tale research. Her fantasy novels incorporate fairy tale tropes with a subtlety and confidence resulting from all her research, culminating in her latest novel The Swan Maiden, which is a contemporary Australian re telling of the the swan maiden and selkie stories.

Serene is also a remarkable Committee member. She is responsible for the launch of the AFTS merchandise, investing enormous quantities of time in research to decide on Redbubble as the best platform, and basing her decision on AFTS values of sustainability, local investment, and responsible use of our funds.

~ Because of her books, many more people understand the layers of fairy tales.

  • Spike Deane’s (https://www.spikedeane.com/) glasswork sculptures, jewellery, and other ornaments continue to delight and inspire all who witness them. Her glass key decorates many Society events and Award winners are immortalised by the engravings on her permanent Award. The posters, programmes, forms, and graphics on our online communication present information clearly, professionally, and elegantly, and any of these that have a print form become a permanent souvenir, giving ongoing pleasure.

Her glass art has interpreted fairy tale motifs through an unusual medium to be known and enjoyed by many.

2020 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award

Lorena Carrington is the winner of the Australian Fairy Tale Society’s Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture.

We are so glad to be able to acknowledge Lorena’s many gifts though this Award: her unique artwork, her wonderful and enchanting collaboration with Kate Forsyth, her willingness to share her art in AFTS events, and her insights and expertise to the general community, as well as all the wonderful and life-enhancing connections she have made within our Society.

The award winner receives a one-year AFTS membership, an award certificate and artwork by an AFTS member, and gets their name added to the perpetual Award sculpture.

2020 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award Nominees

The 2020 nominees for the Australian Fairy Tale Society Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture” are Lorena Carrington, Serene Conneeley and Juliette Marillier. Voting is open to AFTS members only.

Here are some of the things mentioned by her nominators:

“Lorena illustrates books by Australia’s leading fairytale authors such as Kate Forsyth and Sophie Masson, along with her own book of illustrated fairytale quotations, Wiser than Evening.

Lorena is a photographic artist and illustrator. Her book ‘Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women’ with fairy tales retold by Kate Forsyth, was published by Serenity Press in 2017. The follow-up, ‘The Buried Moon and Other Tales of Bright Young Women’ arrived 2019. A third, ‘Snow White, Rose Red and Other Tales of Kind Young Women’, is arriving now and she has more books coming out with Serenity Press (for this series and other fairytale projects) over the next two years.

“She has proven that [fairy tales] are not simply a European phenomenon, locked away in tradition, but rather are a living entity, with tributaries springing from many cultural sources, near and far, ancient and modern, bearing significant relevance to Australia as a leader in vibrant intercultural harmony.”

“Lorena is a respected presenter, often called upon to speak about visual storytelling, creating art in the Australian landscape, and feminism in myth and fairy tales.”

Here are some of the things mentioned by her nominators:

“She has published a range of fairy tale books and retellings and shared these generously with AFTS members, and has attended most of the Sydney fairy tale rings always contributing very interesting perspectives and content.”

“Serene is a quiet achiever.”

Here are some of the things mentioned by her nominators:

“Juliette Marillier is a fabulously successful historical fantasy writer, working out of Western Australia. She wrote the Sevenwaters double trilogy, and 16 other full length novels, steeped in fairy tale lore. She has won 14 major writing awards and I am always amazed that so few Australians know she is Australian.”

”Juliette’s stories are based on Celtic tradition, she is retelling fairy tales that are important to Australians raised in that tradition. Her heroes and heroines suffer but continue to strive to help each other even in the darkest times. Her love stories are epic..”

“Marillier has helped bring a new generation of readers back to folklore and fairy tale retellings.”

2019 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award

Dr. Robyn Floyd is the winner of the Australian Fairy Tale Society’s Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture.

The prize acknowledges contributions to the fairy-tale field in Australia. Robyn is an expert on Australian fairy tales, exploring the history and impact of their publication, with her PhD thesis and blog, Early Australian Fairy Tales“Early Australian fairy tales” 

She’s served on the organization’s Committee, frequently contributed to its Ezine, and presented seminars. 

Below is the Award’s frog sculpture created by Spike Deane, a fairy tale artist at Canberra Glassworks.

2018 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award

The Australian Fairy Tale Society presented Kate Forsyth with its Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture on June 10 at the group’s annual conference in Sydney.

The award winner receives a one-year AFTS membership, an award certificate and artwork by an AFTS member, and gets their name added to the perpetual Award sculpture.

Forsyth was of three 2018 nominees.

Here are some of the things mentioned by her nominators:

“Although some might understandably point to her best selling and/or award winning novels, I believe the true greatness of Kate Forsyth resides in a tapestry of talents: her ability to research, construct, interpret, polish and publish a work, together with her delivery of that story – or surrounding tales – orally as a performer, and her aplomb as a presenter, in person and online, along with relatable interpersonal skills, have provided Australian fairy tale enthusiasts with a fabulous living mentor.”

“She has proven that [fairy tales] are not simply a European phenomenon, locked away in tradition, but rather are a living entity, with tributaries springing from many cultural sources, near and far, ancient and modern, bearing significant relevance to Australia as a leader in vibrant intercultural harmony.”

Some of the things that were mentioned in her nomination:

“Dr Robyn Floyd is the foremost expert in Australian fairy tales by a long way. Her original research has uncovered the history of the publication of Australian fairy tales, their influences and impact, which has not been done before.”

“By revealing and publishing what Australian fairy tales have been written, Robyn has given the Australian fairy tale community a body of work that we can explore. She has revealed our heritage to us.”

Here are some of the things mentioned by his nominators:

“Journalist Elaine Fry said Kumakana ‘resonates strongly with a sense of place, yet is not limited by location’. Kevin Price writes on his blog, Right from its inception, Kumakana is intended to be culture building, challenging the traditional western ways in which we look at the Australian bush as something wild, something to be tamed. Kumakana intends a broader sense of the real.”

“The myth and legend of Kumakana engages the bush itself as a character tied to a whole cast of multidimensional planes. It attempts to challenge many of the conventional tropes that define the Australian Legend so long dominating our gaze of the Australian bush.”

2017 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award

Dr. Belinda Calderone

Academic Dr. Belinda Calderone, outgoing president of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, is the recipient of the inaugural Australian Fairy Tale Society Award, given for an outstanding contribution to the field of Australian Fairy Tales.

The perpetual award trophy was designed by Spike Deane.

Calderone was also presented with an original painting by Erin-Claire Barrow to take home.