Gingerbread and Magic: Announcing After the Forest by Kell Woods

Tor Books is thrilled to announce the acquisition of After the Forest by Kell Woods, a dark, compelling, and enchanting fairytale that explores the repercussions of a childhood filled with magic and how happily ever after isn’t always so happy.

Set in the Black Forest of Wurttemberg during the mid-17th Century, it’s a stunning meld of love-story, fairy-tale, magic and history which is sure to appeal to fans of Naomi Novik, Rena Rossner and Kate Forsyth.

This is part of a two-book deal for World English Rights with Julie Crisp of the Julie Crisp Literary Agency.

Of the acquisition, Woods says, ­­­“I am delighted to be working with Tor—something I only ever thought would happen in my wildest dreams. I would like to thank Rachel Bass for embracing After the Forest with such warmth and enthusiasm, and my agent Julie Crisp for making all of this possible.”

Agent Julie Crisp, Julie Crisp Literary Agency, says “I adored Kell’s remix of classic Grimm fairytales from the first line—and am thrilled that she’s in such fabulous hands with Tor.”

Ginger. Honey. Cinnamon. Flour.

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their father and stepmother are long dead, Hans has his debts, and a bloody war has ravaged the land. But as long as Greta has her gingerbread recipe (found in a book from the witch long ago), she can keep their small family afloat.

But dark magic is returning to the woods. Wolves howl in the night, there have been bodies, gruesomely murdered, found in the woods, and Greta has even caught sight of an enormous black bear wandering the forest.

In a village full of superstition, Greta, with her red hair, her past with the witch, and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, is a source of gossip and suspicion. But something dark looms on the horizon, and Greta’s secret magic—a magic she is still discovering herself—may be the only thing that can stop it.

After the Woods is slated for publication in 2023.


Kell Woods (she/her) has a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Literature and Creative Writing from Macquarie University in Sydney, and is now a librarian at a busy regional public library. She regularly attends writing workshops with the Australian Writers Centre and Writing NSW. In 2014 she attended the History, Mystery & Magic writing retreat in the Cotswolds with Kate Forsyth, then won a mentorship with her through the Australian Society of Authors Emerging Writers & Illustrators Mentorship Program. She lives in NSW, Australia and this is her first novel.


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