Since the release of the Limited Edition hardcover edition of Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women in December, this gorgeous book has spread her wings. The limited edition is now sold out and we are awaiting a new shipment of the softcover edition.

The reviews have also been flying in – you can check out reviews here.

(You can still order your copy, but you’ll just have to wait a little for it to be delivered).

In the meantime, we are thrilled that the US/CANADA rights for Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women have been sold – the North American edition will be on shelves in 2019. Congratulations to Kate Forsyth and Lorena Carrington and a MASSIVE thank you to Natasha at The Rights Hive for making this sale for us.

Vasilisa the Wise was one of the stars at the recent Perth Festival Writers Week. In fact, it was the second top selling book over the weekend and we sold out within two hours!

To see a book born of serendipity be embraced like this fills our hearts with joy. Read more of how the Perth Writers Week went here.

While at the festival, Kate was interviewed by Richard Fidler for ABC In-Conversations. Listen to that podcast here – it’s terrific!

Kate and Lorena are now about to start a Schools Tour in New South Wales. And finally, here’s a snippet from a review in ENTHRALLED MAGAZINE that seems a good point to end on:

“We have the magical union of storyteller Kate Forsyth, artist Lorena Carrington and Serenity Press, to thank for this special publication. It brings the feminist origins of long-forgotten fairy tales, from all over the world, to life.”


Vasilisa the Wise

This post originally appeared on Lorena’s blog, The Bone Lantern, and is reblogged with her permission.

I’m so thrilled to announce that a book I’ve been working on with the marvellous author Kate Forsyth has been picked up by Serenity Press and will be published in 2018!


Vasilisa the Wise & Other Tales of Brave Young Women will be a collection of seven fairy tale re-tellings written by Kate and accompanied by my illustrations. They are stories of independent girls and women; tales of adventure, bravery, kindness and strength.

It’s a fantastic process we’re following, much different to the usual writer/illustrator relationship, and a way of working that is, to an illustrator at least, both rare and wonderful. We’ve both chosen stories we love. Some Kate has written first, and sent me to work with. I have created several artworks for others, and sent them to Kate before she starts writing. We’re inspiring each other, and it really is magical. And such a privilege.

Kate has written a blog post about how we found each other which, speaking of magical, was incredibly fortuitous and an example of the importance of having a social media presence as an author and/or illustrator. Allison Tait, brilliant author of The Mapmaker Chronicles, co-host of the essential So You Want To Be a Writer podcast, and strident advocate for having a good author platform (in fact she even teaches a course on it!) introduced us on Twitter thinking that Kate might like my work. Thankfully she was right! Kate bought one of my prints to celebrate finishing her PhD, and we kept corresponding, hoping that we might be able to work together one day. We came up with a plan, did some work… and two years later, we can finally tell you all about it!

It really has been a project of lucky, magical and fortuitous connections. Around a month ago, Kate posted the following on her Facebook page:

One day I’d like to write #fairytale retellings of little-known tales with brave, clever heroines for teenage girls to read. Would anyone like to publish stories like that?

And Monique from Serenity Press said yes! Now we are three women, from three corners of the country (Sydney, Perth & regional Victoria) working on this book together. With all that each of us have to contribute, it really is going to be a wondrous thing.

Cheers to that!


Vasilisa: A serendipitous book journey

This post originally appeared here and is reblogged with the author’s permission.

What’s your favourite word? Mine is serendipity.

serendipity/sɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪti/ noun
  1. the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
    “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”

There have been many instances of serendipity in my life, but one of the most recent happened last year, when I caught sight of a post on Facebook. But like all good stories, the beginning starts before that Facebook post …

Once upon a time, I saw Kate Forsyth at the Perth Writers Festival. As soon as I saw the Fairy Tales session in the programme, I knew I couldn’t miss that. Fairy tales have always captured my heart and the opportunity to hear Kate, a writer I admired so greatly, discuss her attraction to them was too good to pass by. That day, Kate’s words locked me in my seat, as spellbound by her personal story as by her books Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl had when I reviewed them. I wanted to meet her, to tell her how much she’d inspired me, as a reader but also as someone who was still coming to terms with being a storyteller in her heart. but the lines were too long and I was booked in to another session. The best I could do was lock in an interview her during promo for The Beast’s Garden, released later in 2015.

Let’s turn the pages past the paths of indecision (am I a writer?) and self-doubt (am I really a writer) to that moment where Kate’s path collided with mine in an unexpected – or serendipitous – way. Kate tells her version here and one thing we both agree on is that word: serendipity. Call it fate, destiny or good timing – when I saw Kate’s post asking, ‘One day I’d like to write #fairytale retellings of little-known tales with brave, clever heroines for teenage girls to read. Would anyone like to publish stories like that?’, I felt a buzz. A You-Can’t-Ignore-This buzz. Like a spell had been cast over a fairy-dusted me.

And so, I didn’t even hesitate, just drew my sword (aka my typing fingers) and jumped in there with courage, hope and a belief that this was meant to be. There was no need for a fairy godmother or handsome prince to help me out … it was most definitely a ‘You Got This’ moment.

Kate clearly took stock of this quivering but brave fangirl and decided to give her a go. And then, she said ‘Yes’! She agreed to work with Serenity Press, which I own with the wonderful Karen Mc Dermott, and Kate magicked up the most amazing illustrator in Lorena Carrington. ZING! I couldn’t imagine a better person to illustrate Kate’s retellings of Vasilisa the Brave and six other heroines. I have two of Lorena’s prints in my office and I look at them every day.

Behind all the buzz-ing and zing-ing and exercising our creative swords, we’ve all been working hard, slaying edit dragons and conquering naysayers. Later this year, Vasilisa the Brave and Other Tales of Brave Young Women will be available to buy. Isn’t the cover stunning?

Now, here’s the weird thing – I’m editing the book for Kate (yes, that has caused me moments of holy s**t mixed with wow, What-were-you-thinking and Can-I-do-this), and Karen and I will be designing the book. It’ll be available in hardcover, with glossy art paper pages and will be a work of art from the cover to the end pages.

Vasilisa has been a joy to work on from start to finish and working with creatives like Kate and Lorena, well, it blows my mind. The whole experience has been open, encouraging and exciting. I certainly did not expect to be doing something like this back in 2015 (I just wanted to go on one of Kate’s retreats, or maybe interview her at Stories on Stage). Now that the production process is well under way, I can say this:
And when you stumble upon one, embrace it with all you’ve got. This story, at least, will be a fairy tale with a very happy ending. Watch this space for more information about pre-ordering this beautiful book.