Now Accepting Stories for Fantastic Schools, Volume 3!

Volume One has been a delightful success. Volume Two will be going to press soon. It is now time for us to begin accepting stories for Fantastic Schools, Volume Three!


Authors Christopher G. Nuttall and L. Jagi Lamplighter are co-editing a volume of stories about life at magic school to be called Fantastic Schools.

We are looking for submissions of stories dealing with any aspect of life at a magical school. School life, extracurricular activities, teachers’ trials, life as a magical custodian—this is your chance to explore beyond what has appeared in your favorite magical school, be it Hogwarts, Roke, Whitehall, or more.

Word count: 3000 to 12,500 (for longer stories, inquire.)

Deadline: December 1st, 2020

 For more information see here.

Not sure if you like fantastic schools? Check out this list of dozens of stories with magical schools.


  1. Great news. Just finished responding to the copy editor’s comments and returned the file of Vol 2.

  2. Just a couple of thoughts, if they fit your premise maybe someone can use them in a story.

    1. Not a \’school\’ as such, but a hedge witch legitimately hired to tutor a local lad or lassie in French and another in Geometry and and yet another in Chemistry (maybe to prepare them for upcoming exams).

    Then wandering off into teaching hedge witch level magic (whatever \’hedge witch level\’ magic is). Maybe Charms & Spells to the French student, Shape Shifting to the Geometry student and Potions to the Chemistry student.

    Kind of open definition of \’hedge witch\’. Might be a solitary magician who did poorly in Hogwarts, couldn\’t parlay his/her \’Old Boy\’ connections into anything meaningful and ended up a hermit. Those who can (do magic) do, those who can\’t (do magic) teach (magic) and those can\’t land a teaching position at Hogwarts become hedge witches.

    The students might occasionally see one another coming or going when their different schedules get mixed up.

    Sparks ensue.

    2. An off-campus student residence for a normal/non-magical university, could be an old Victorian divided into apartments or turned into a rooming house. The landlady might be teaching one(some/all) of the student residents/roomers magic, or using it against them on the QT.

    Maybe previous graduates of the university make sure their children get into the same rooming house they did. This might go back for generations.

    And maybe it is the same landlady for each generation.

    Just a couple of thoughts for anyone to take and run with.

    • Just follow-up: other types of \’schools\’ or schooling.

      1. He wrapped his duffle coat tighter around himself, muttering \”This wind ain\’t nothing like Hester\” and continued shuffling along the dark sidewalk towards his favourite bar. Well really the only bar that hadn\’t thrown him out. Also the only bar where his other Vietnam vets were still welcome. Strike that. \”Tolerated\”. Trash blew by him leaving the sidewalk bare. Except for a paper matchbook.

      \”Probably glued there as some lame joke\” he muttered, then leaned down to pry it up.

      The cover sported the words \”Draw me\” and a cartoon of a turtle.

      \”There was a time I could, before Hester blew a building down on top of me\” he groused, and put the matchbook in his pocket.

      … more nattering away to get him into the bar and to paint him as thoughly disreputable and unlikeable person… and to describe him feeling a burning on his leg from the matchbook in his pocket… when he takes it out it isn\’t on fire and the cover now shows a picture of a dark wizard… and the picture moves until the wizard is looking directly at him, and in an \”Uncle Sam needs you\” pose.

      Further bizarre-ity ensues.

      2. Correspondence courses in magic subjects. Or online courses. I\’m thinking these would be \’normal\’ correspondence schools and \’normal\’ high schools/colleges/universities offering online courses, whether these normal institutions are aware they are offering such courses or some magician/magic school is piggybacking or hijacking the feed. It might work also as set in a totally magic world with schools offering distance learning to students who can\’t teleport to the classrooms.

      3. Either a magic school presented entirely on ZOOM, or maybe some students on Zoom courses are able to see (and interact with) an extra screen showing someone mixing potions. That might be a \’normal\’ Zoom classroom with one of the screens experiencing static and interference with a Magic School\’s Zoom lessons.

      I\’ll leave it as an exercise for the writer to sort out how this might happen and what happens next.

      4. Back when I was in school, and at least in the early years when my children were in school, the \’dummies\’ who did poorly in academic subjects in grade school were streamed into trade schools offering shop and industrial classes, rather than high school. (I don\’t think they were called trade schools. They were administered by the same school board as the academic high schools.)

      Anyway, whatever they were called how about a \”dummy\” at one of these schools taking an automotive shop class or machine shop class suddenly developing crazy mad lathe and milling skills. Or no matter what tool or object he is trying to make always turns out to be the same unrecognizable device. Or the entire class is being taught how to make magical tools and devices. And every time the classroom door opens to a visitor or another teacher all they see is a classroom full of students learning ordinary auto or machine shop skills. Or maybe the entire \”school for dummies\” is a front for a magic school.

      All I\’m thinking here is that the protagonist (or the entire student body) is an academic reject and is mocked and ridiculed by the rest of the world. But in the trade school his magic abilities are nurtured.

      5. Reform school (I think these are called borstals in England). Maybe all the stories of how miserably the inmates (err I mean students) are treated but select students are given instruction in magic.

      So basically a variety of types of schools or schooling in the normal world being hi-jacked into being portals to schools of magic.

      Further to the hedge witch scenario. Maybe this is in a world where magic is known to exist and the hedge witch is a known and respected member of the community and is often hired to tutor candidates for a scholarship or entrance exam to a respected school of magic.

      Go on now. Play. Have fun.

      • Another follow-up. Shortly after posting the previous note I turned on the news. A segment already playing was about residential schools. No, not boarding schools as have been described on this site, but Indian Residential Schools.

        Indian residential schools operated in all Canadian provinces and territories except Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. Indian residential schools operated in Canada between the 1870s and the 1990s. ( )

        There were also Indian Residential Schools in the U.S. Quite possibly in other countries. Perhaps Indigenous Residential Schools might be a more descriptive name where the native population was not -Indian-.

        So for this site, maybe stories of magic training being carried on in secret in these schools. Probably the magic being flavoured by native indian rituals (which I think, in reality, were more -religious- rituals rather than -magic- as we tend to think of it).

        Hopefully there are some potential authors visiting this page who have a clear understanding of both Indian Residential Schools and Indian rituals. A chance to write some interesting Young Adult fantasy fiction and educate at the same time.

        Or a bit of a twist, stories about muggles (can I say that or is it still very Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling specific?) seeking out budding witches and wizards and enrolling/confining them to such schools with the intention being to eliminate all magic skills & assimilate the graduates into muggle society. The stories could be about the muggles, their views ans actions, or it could be about the budding witches and wizards, and their families and advanced witches and wizards and their reactions to the system.

        Or consider a world with two or more magical cultures, where one has the upper hand and claims to want to help their -poor cousins- to assimilate.

        Here is one link to get you started on researching the subject of the schools, their effects and how the effects are still poisonous 30 years after the last school was closed.

        Off that topic and back to the -trade schools-. Consider a student in such a school, openly or secretly, working to develop hybrid mechanical-magical devices that anyone can use. Maybe an improved fuel injection module for cars. I mean how many of you fully understand how a fuel injection module works? Or any other part of a gas engine for that matter?

  3. 🙂

    • Hmm. I couldn\’t find the -reply- link for your October 1st
      -Why don’t YOU write this up as a story and submit it.-

      I\’d like to write something in any of these settings but I won\’t, mainly because I don\’t have any -magic- stories to write. I know nothing about magic. I rarely read anything labeled as fantasy. Probably just Chris\’ Emily stories on Baen\’s Bar.

      I could probably write moderately engaging opening scenes for most of the settings I\’ve suggested. Maybe some character studies for the major characters. But I don\’t know where to go with an actual story.

      Write what you know. Nothing very interesting has happened to me. Even what small adventures I have had I doubt I could recast as stories involving magic.

      The Indian Residential Schools settings I really feel need to be written by someone familiar with the system(s) and with the current lasting effects, including the effects on individuals who weren\’t themselves at these schools. I didn\’t even know the schools existed until several years ago. And I have no idea of which tribes the residents belonged to, or the native languages they spoke, or what rituals were practiced by their people. Having done some research into my own genealogy I can have a very weak appreciation of what would be like to live today in Canada and be unable to speak the language of my great grandparents or understand what they went through. I feel they should be written by an activist for Canada\’s indigenous people. Maybe completely allegorically about two completely ficticious magical cultures.

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