All in Among the Briars: an ebook anthology of the mythic and wondrous

C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Amal El-Mohtar, and I have organized a fundraiser for Jessica and Jeremy Wick. The anthology is all ready, and you should receive it within 24 hours of making a donation.

All in Among the Briars: an ebook anthology of the mythic and wondrous
Cover art by Ollie Hunter

If you have followed my work for a while, you may have encountered Jessica P. Wick's art in Worlds of Possibility, or her poetry in Mermaids Monthly. Jessica's work reaches well beyond those places, though. The number of artists and writers she has inspired is astounding. Now she and her brother Jeremy need our help to cover the financial burden of settling their mother Karen's estate. Jessica is a bookseller and an artist who lives on the opposite end of the continent to her family. Her brother Jeremy was the primary caretaker and health advocate for their mother. Now that Karen has passed, they have mountains of overwhelming tasks to complete, and each of them comes with a financial cost.

For this reason, C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Amal El-Mohtar, and I have organized a fundraiser for Jess and Jeremy. We've set the initial goal at $10,400, but in truth, this amount is a bare minimum to get through the most pressing bills. More would definitely be welcome as there are still more storage and moving costs to come.

Screenshot of the fundraiser for Jessica and Jeremy Wick showing 121 donations totaling $6,087. The banner image is a landscape photo or grasses and flowers along a shoreline.
Click on the image to donate

As Amal writes, "Jessica Wick is one of my dearest friends. She co-founded Goblin Fruit with me, & is very much family. She lost her mother last month, & it's been harrowing to witness all the ways in which vicious systems essentially paywall the right to grieve."

We wanted to celebrate Karen's life as well as asking for help, so We asked some of Jessica's creative friends to donate their work to a special anthology in honor of Karen Wick. We're offering this ebook anthology of art, stories, and poems to everyone who donates. The anthology is all ready, and you should receive it within 24 hours of making a donation.

I want to tell you a little more about what you will find inside. Here's my introduction as printed in the anthology:


This anthology collects works by friends of Jessica P. Wick in honor of her mother, Karen Wick, who was a lover of books, cats, and Premier League football.

If you are reading this book, it means that you donated to the fundraiser for Jessica and her brother Jeremy to help them pay for Karen’s memorial costs. This fundraiser was organized by C.S.E. Cooney, Amal El-Mohtar, Carlos Hernandez, and me. We invited Jessica’s community of creative friends to donate stories, poems, and art as a way of celebrating Karen’s life.

Jessica is an author, poet, artist, reviewer, and editor. Together with Amal El-Mohtar and Ollie Hunter she founded the poetry journal Goblin Fruit in 2006. Our beautiful cover illustration was originally created by Ollie for the Summer 2010 issue.

Goblin Fruit was a nexus of mythic wonder, bringing joy to many, including the contributors whose works appear in this anthology. I personally made my first ever writing sale there in 2008, and that sale ultimately led to several lifelong friendships with writers, editors, artists, and fans of all things wondrous.

In these pages you will find a few pieces that were first published in Goblin Fruit as well as many pieces originally published in other mythic venues. Jessica has even gifted us with a poem written by her mother (as K. Cain) to open this anthology. First published in 1972, “I wanted to be your friend, not your lover” fits our mythic vibe perfectly. What a treasure to have it here. Later on, you will also find “The Root King’s Winter” by Jessica. This was Karen’s favorite Jess poem, and I can certainly see why she loved this one!

We mythic creators truly are a community. Many of us edit some projects while also contributing to others. As in the salons of old Paris, we delight in sharing art with each other. Now we invite you to enter our salon, curl up in a cozy alcove, and escape into the mythic and wondrous with us.

Julia Rios
June 2024

You'll find pieces as short as a few lines, and as long as an entire 24,000 word novella. Many award winners and otherwise celebrated authors an artists are included, and the original creation dates span from as long ago as 1972 to as recent as last week.

All in Among the Briars featuring cover art by Ollie Hunter of berry brambles and with a fox and a maiden and bones tangled inside.
Cover art by Ollie Hunter

Table of Contents

  • I wanted to be your friend, not your lover: a poem by K. Cain.
  • Apple Jack Tangles the Maidy Lac with a Red, Red Ribbon: a poem by Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica P. Wick with an illustration by Paula Arwen Owen.
  • Conversations with the Sea Witch: a story by Theodora Goss.
  • She Asks for Dresses: a poem by Caitlyn Paxson.
  • A Minnow, Or Perhaps a Colossal Squid: a story by C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez.
  • Sonata: For Two Friends in Different Times of the Same Trouble: a poem by Ellen Kushner.
  • She Who Runs: a story by Mike Allen.
  • Mythic Illustrations by Bek Huston.
  • Feast of the Fifolet: a story by Cerece Rennie-Murphy
  • The Witch of Coywolf Woods: a story by Christa Carmen.
  • The Crone: a poem by Delia Sherman.
  • A Corpse from a Swan: a story by Erik Amundsen.
  • The Root King's Winter: a poem by Jessica P. Wick; her mother's favorite.
  • Spider Moves the World: a story by Dominik Parisien.
  • Her arsenal of charms: a previously unpublished poem by Tiffany Trent.
  • Nature Illustrations by Elissa Sweet with accompanying text and haiku pairing written specifically for this anthology by Julia Rios.
  • Trumpet Vine Love Song: a poem by Francesca Forrest.
  • At the Core: a story by Erzebet Barthold.
  • Twelve: a poem by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman (of the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic).
  • Notes Toward a Comparative Mythology: a story by Nicole Kornher-Stace with an illustration by Paula Arwen Owen.
  • The Princess and the Peas: a poem by Theodora Goss.
  • we fairytale girls are growing older: a poem written specifically for this anthology by C.S.E. Cooney.
  • Oracle Gretel: a story by Julia Rios with illustrations by Erik Amundsen.
  • In Lieu of the Stories My Santera Abuela Should Have Told Me Herself, This Poem: a poem by Carlos Hernandez.
  • The McKinnock Hill Fox: a story and illustrations by Francesca Forrest.
  • The Choices of Foxes: a story by Sonya Taaffe.
  • The Two Choice Foxtrot of Chapham County: a story by Tina Connolly.
  • The Changeling Always Wins: a poem by Nicole Kornher-Stace.
  • Penultimate: a story by Zig Zag Claybourne.
  • A Writer's Prayer: a poem by Terri Windling.
  • A conspiracy of Roses: a novella by Trip Galey with three illustrations created specifically for this anthology by Ollie Hunter.

Honestly, this anthology is amazing! It was such an honor to assemble it out of beautiful creations that were all donated in the spirit of love and friendship.

It's also just jam-packed with legends from the mythic fantasy world. In fact, Doctors Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman at the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic have named it as their July 2024 book club selection. If you want to have a discussion about this book with other fans of the mythic and wondrous, you can sign up in July for a month of Carterhaugh School Patreon access at the Willows level for $7. But of course, first, you'll need to donate to the fundraiser so we know to send you your gift copy.

We want to make this accessible to as many people as possible, so we are offering it to every donor, no matter the amount. While we absolutely welcome larger donations from those who can afford it, we also deeply appreciate the smaller ones.

Please help us celebrate Karen's lifelong love of books, and give Jessica and Jeremy the breathing room to grieve in peace.

P.S. For subscribers awaiting the next issue of Worlds of Possibility, it will be coming to you on the 15th!