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Local author Annie Westphal will lead a literary workshop at Covenstead Workspaces on Saturday, October 22 from 3:00-5:00 P.M. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with readers and literary professionals and learn about the origins of storytelling of the genre known today as the “Fairy Tale.”

Westphal states, “In 17th century France, long before the Brothers Grimm and Disney, there were French female storytellers known as conteuses. Through their storytelling, they cast a critical light upon the conventions of their world and their societal expectations. They could explore and imagine greater levels of personal autonomy through rich, imaginative stories. In this workshop, Westphal plans to create a storyteller’s gathering inspired by the conteuses that encourages attendees to teach and inspire each other in a supportive shared environment.

Attendees will hear more about these remarkable women, and why they and their stories were lost to history. Westphal continues, “To these women, stories were more than entertainment; they were the weapons of a small rebellion happening in literary salons of the educated aristocrats.” Westphal will explore the subversive and female history of the Fairy Tale, as well as the power in the reclaiming of a narrative genre that some simply consider bedtime stories for children. 

This gathering is open to the public and recommended for “all storytellers, readers, dreamers, writers, and schemers!”.  There may be mature thematic elements not suitable for individuals under the age of 16. This time of the workshop is 3:00-5:00 PM on Saturday, October 22 at Covenstead Workspaces LLC on 203 N. Aurora St., Ithaca. Signed copies of Annie’s first book will be available for purchase, and one copy will be given to a lucky raffle winner. The fee to attend is $10, but scholarships are available if cost provides a barrier to attend. Registration is encouraged at

About the Author

Annie Westphal was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She received her B.A. in Fairy Tale Studies from Hampshire College in 2014. Annabelle, Annie’s debut novel, was published in 2021. Annabelle is the first of a trilogy known as The Lost Princess Series. The second book, the titular book of the series The Lost Princess, is in the works with an anticipated publication in 2023. Her writing is inspired by her study of the adaptation and translation of Beauty and the Beast, as well as the short stories of Angela Carter. Annie is a fervent believer of the words by Carter: “Reading is just as creative an act as writing and most intellectual development depends upon new readings of old texts. I’m all for putting new wine in old bottles, especially if the pressure of the new wine makes the old bottles explode.”

About Covenstead Workspaces

Covenstead Workspaces LLC are centered around women doing their work in the world. Creating, collaborating, and co-working. Their mission is to provide support to people who are self-employed, remote working professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs by creating supportive and cohesive space to share and grow our collective energy.