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New Lit on the Block :: Wyngraf

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If you’re the kind of reader who enjoys snuggling up with fantastical stories, Wyngraf is just the ticket! Wanting something “warm and welcoming and a little fantastical,” the editors took the name from wyngrāf, the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “wondrous grove.” True to its name, Wyngraf: A Magazine of Cozy Fantasy provides “a growing genre that focuses on community, personal relationships, and worlds that readers can get lost in.” Publishing twice per year with special editions, Wyngraf is available via paid digital download in wide distribution (Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.), and in print on Amazon.

The motivation to start Wyngraf, Publisher and Editor Nathaniel Webb says, was simply because there wasn’t anything like it. “Back in 2021, cozy fantasy was hard to find. Readers were searching, but there was no gathering place, no magazine, not even an agreed-upon definition. At the start of 2022, we decided to change that by founding a magazine dedicated to cozy fantasy, in hopes of raising awareness and giving curious readers an easy way to find what they were looking for. Since then, the genre has exploded thanks to breakout hits like Legends & Lattes, but Wyngraf is no less dedicated to our mission of amplifying new voices and spreading the cozy message.”

Webb himself is an author and musician from Maine. He’s written six books, including the cozy mystery A Conventional Murder and the bestselling music biography Marillion in the 1980s, and sold stories to numerous markets including MYTHIC, Swords and Sorcery Magazine, and The Consultations of Sherlock Holmes. In addition to Wyngraf, he wears many hats for the fantasy fiction magazine New Edge Sword & Sorcery.

This experience guides Webb in providing readers with a satisfying experience. “In Wyngraf,” he assures, “readers will find the very best in cozy fantasy: stories of magic, family, community, love, dragons, and lots of food. Every issue strikes a balance between domestic stories and adventurous tales of the road (what we call ‘backpack fantasy’) but they’ll all leave you feeling warm.” Some recent contributors include Hugo winner Cora Buhlert, Hugo finalist Gideon Marcus, Shanna Germain, Phyllis Ann Karr, J. A. Collignon, Jennifer Hudak, Katherine Quevedo, L Chan, Nathaniel Webb, Jonathan Olfert, and Natasha Inwood. “Recently,” Webb adds, “we’ve expanded into new features like interviews and recipes! If you’ve ever dreamed of living in the Shire or receiving your own Hogwarts acceptance letter, Wyngraf is the magazine for you.”

For writers wanting to be a part of this warm and welcoming community, Webb explains, “Wyngraf is open for submissions roughly twice a year, for one week at a time. Authors may submit one story per window. Everything is read by a small team of volunteers, including the editor and other cozy fantasy authors; we discuss our favorites and get second opinions, but final decisions rest with the editor. We strive to respond to all submissions within about three weeks, though as our submission numbers increase this has become tougher. We’re happy to provide feedback to authors who request it, though this is a much slower process than the initial accept/reject response.”

Based on his experience, Webb offers some insight and advice to others looking to start a publication. “It’s… so much work. We were very fortunate to launch right as cozy fantasy took off, so we’ve managed to more or less break even from the start, but that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. Every new issue is a gamble, and you can never stop promoting—both engaging with your existing fans and seeking out new ones. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. When we ran our first Kickstarter this spring, we hoped to raise about $850 to print a paperback novel. We wound up funding in under two hours, blowing through stretch goals so fast we had to scramble to invent new ones, and closing at almost $6,000! It was one of those experiences that stays with you the rest of your life.”

With such a solid start, the future holds some incredible possibilities, as Webb shares, “Wyngraf #4 released October 1, and the novel Bard City Blues on October 15. In November we release The Saberlight Chronicles by Matthew Corry, lead singer of the band Fellowship, which tells the story of the album of the same name. Next year we have the novel The Great Elvish Bake Off, another Valentine’s Day romance special, and a huge secret project I can’t reveal yet…”

This sounds like a good reason to get connected with the publication to stay in the know! Subscribers to their monthly newsletter get a free exclusive cozy fantasy adventure as well as access to previous months’ stories and three Old Humblefoot cozy mysteries as well. Visit their website today for more information.

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