Are you looking to delve into an exciting new fictional sub-genre? Maybe you want to explore short stories from Authors who grabbed your attention when reading their Novels? Do you want to find a new Author to get excited about who is similar to your current favourite? An edited collection of stories is what you need to read!
Reading a collection of short stories is like the teleport superpower of literature! It is an amazing way to be transported into a diverse range of different locations, time-periods and fantasies all within one incredible book. With it feeling a little bit spooky right now, I have compiled a list of anthologies and collections of short stories that you *need* to put on your Halloween To-Read list!
Before we get started, let’s get technical… An anthology is defined as a “collection of literary works chosen by the compiler”, in contrast, a collection of short stories tends to be works by a variety of different Authors with plots that all have a similar theme. This list is an edit of a mixture of the two, all with a Sapphic, magical and mystical affairs.An edited list of 10 magical and QUEER short stories for WLW that you need to read this Halloween! Quote This
1. Magic and Romance: A collection of Lesbian Short Stories by Niamh Murphy
Niamh is an author of adventure fiction with lesbian main characters. Telling romantic and exciting stories of gripping adventure and epic fantasy, Niamh loves to explore historical settings, science fiction landscapes, and fantasy worlds. Other books include Outlaw and Escape To Pirate Island among many more!
Magic and Romance, published in 2017, is a collection of multi-genre stories with various characters and worlds. Within these short stories, you will get familiar with vampires, werewolves and knights in shining armour all featuring lesbian main characters. These characters include Stella, the fearless huntress, Claire, an adorkable college student and Edris, a brave knight. If you are looking to read about true love with a touch of magic, this is for you.
You can start reading the collection now, with Niamh’s take on a spooky Victorian Gothic Horror short, The Black Hound.
2. Lady Grim: A Haloween Anthology by various authors
“When the full moon rises and the shadows gather, Lady Grim comes calling…”
Lady Grim is an anthology of stories from 13 bestselling authors of WLW romance. Published on the 1st October 2020 this is brand NEW and has been a highly anticipated release. Authors contributing to this compilation include LL Shelton, Serena J. Bishop, Lila Bruce, CD Cain, Lise Gold, Anne Hagan, Elle Hyden, KJ, Erica Lee, KC Luck, Annette Mori, Ocean and Erin Wade.
This selection of twisted tales includes ghostly encounters to dances with the devil, from creepy-crawlies to creatures that howl at the moon! These are stories to keep you at the edge of your seat this Halloween!
3. When The Clock Strikes Thirteen by various authors
This is a paranormal romance read featuring seven supernatural short stories by seven different authors of Lesbian fiction. Louis Cloarec Hart (the author of novels, Coming Home, Broken Faith, Kicker’s Journey, Walking the Labyrinth, and a collection of short stories, Assorted Flavours), Diane Marina (you might be familiar with her contemporary romance How Still My Love), Emma Weimann, R.G. Emanuelle, Erzabet Bishop and L.T. Smith.
With haunting tales, Halloween ghost tours, vampires and werewolf’s, this is filled with otherworldly and supernatural plots!
4. Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue
(UK title Kissing the Witch)
This is Emma’s first story collection and third book of fiction. Originally published as Adult Fiction but when released in the US it was published as YA Literature. A collection of stunning fairytales inspired by their traditional European sources and characters however some stories have surprising twists including queer content replacing their traditional plot.
Emma Donoghue takes stories you are already familiar with and rewrites them, with each short story linking together and told by their female protagonist with a feminist perspective. In 2018 Emma was interviewed by Hillary Dziminski of The Corps Ensemble for Civic Theatre, where you can learn more about her work.
5. The Dragon’s Halloween Collection by JM Dragon
JM Dragon, author of contemporary Romance The Fix-it Girl, is a British writer living and working in New Zealand.
The Dragon’s Halloween Collection features two short stories, Halloween Tryst, and In The Wee Small Hours, which is a magical October 31st tale.
The Dragon’s Halloween Collection can be found for free on the Affinity Press website.
6. Unburied Fables by various authors
Unburied Fables is a collection of reinvented Fairy Tales by authors from around the world: Rachel Sharp, Rose Sinclair, Saffyre Falkenberg, Dominique Cyprès, Emmy Clarke, Will J. Fawley, George lester and Tiffany Rose. This collection of stories has a unique position of retelling fables with a LGBTQ+ twist and a focus on asexuality.
If you are looking for a magical read that leaves you in a good mood, you will enjoy this collection as *spoiler alert* all stories finish with a happy ending.
7. The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories edited by Margaret Reynolds
This anthology edited by Margaret Reynolds contains “almost a century or lesbian writings” and provides a variety of works from different historical contexts.
This may have a more historical lesbian theme then magic, however there are vampire tales (“Vampire” by Pat Califia), lots of romance and even some captivating ‘cartoon’ style pages so it is definitely worth a mention in this edit.
8. No Man of Woman Born (Rewovan tales) by Ana Mardoll
Ana Mardoll, progressive feminist Blogger and Author released No Man of Woman Born in 2018. This is a collection of seven fantasy stories in which “transgender and nonbinary characters subvert and fulfill gendered prophecies”.
A fantasy book featuring representation, princesses and dragons (what’s not to love!)
9. Project Unicorn volume 1 by Jennifer Diemer and Sarah Diemer
Project Unicorn Volume 1 is a collection of 30 short YA stories featuring Lesbian Heroines. You will find ghosts, aliens, vampires, monsters, demons and witches so this will be a magical book to pick up this October.
Project Unicorn is a project that “seeks to address the near nonexistence of lesbian main characters in young adult fiction by giving them their own stories” by authors Jennifer Diemer and Sarah Diemer. You will find a variety of different genres within this collection but all have an underlying related theme.
More information on this book (including representation, trigger warnings etc) among many others has been listed on the ‘Queer Books For Teens: A Comprehensive Database of all LGBTQIAP+ YA Literature 2000 – 2017 list.
10. Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology edited by Celine Frohn
Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology, is a collection of 8 contemporary fictional tales that are supernatural in nature, edited by Celine Frohn.
Stories include ghosts, sea creatures, haunted tales and refreshing takes on classic fairytales, all with a sapphic twist.
Do you have a favourite Anthology or collection of short stories? Let me know in the comments below!Are you looking to delve into a quick Halloween read? Here is a list of 10 short story compilations that feature Lesbian main characters and magical plots. Click To Tweet
If you enjoyed this list, you might like Lesfic Book Profile | Magic and Romance: A Collection of Lesbian Short Stories
Lucy is Marketing Assistant to Niamh Murphy. You can contact Lucy via the ‘Contact’ page if you have any questions about Niamh’s books, website and newsletters.