About Us

The Golden Key is a bi-annual journal of speculative and literary writing, inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “The Golden Key.”

Once in the wintertime when the snow was very deep, a poor boy had to go out and fetch wood on a sled. After he had gathered it together and loaded it, he did not want to go straight home, because he was so frozen, but instead to make a fire and warm himself a little first. So he scraped the snow away, and while he was thus clearing the ground he found a small golden key. Now he believed that where there was a key, there must also be a lock, so he dug in the ground and found a little iron chest. “If only the key fits!” he thought. “Certainly there are valuable things in the chest.” He looked, but there was no keyhole. Finally he found one, but so small that it could scarcely be seen. He tried the key, and fortunately it fitted. Then he turned it once, and now we must wait until he has finished unlocking it and has opened the lid. Then we shall find out what kind of wonderful things there were in the little chest.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm chose “The Golden Key” to end their collection of fairy tales as a reminder that there is always more to come, an endless reserve of stories still yet untold. In the same spirit, The Golden Key seeks to publish poetry and fiction that is open to the strange and marvelous possibilities of the world around us. Each issue explores one of the wonderful things – either literal or figurative – one might find upon opening the little iron chest. Each celebrates the curiosity and enchantment of the Grimms’ tale with work that is odd, surprising, and unafraid to venture down the unknown path.

If you enjoy The Golden Key issues and would like to support the journal, you can make a secure donation online through PayPal. It is our hope and goal that The Golden Key will continue to grow and allow us to pay our writers more and more.


Alternatively, digital formats of our issues are available through Gumroad, where you can download issues for free, or choose to pay what you want in the form of a donation. This is part of our ongoing efforts to reach the point where we can pay The Golden Key writers for their work.

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