Willa Blythe


Willa Blythe is the pen name of Anne Phifer, a northeast Texas native now living in the lower Hudson River Valley with her family. She is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SWFA) and has published short stories and a novelette.

A smiling white woman with oversized blue glasses, curling brown hair, and hazel eyes. She wears a knitted cowl with various shades of gold and speckled with autumnal colors.

© C.A. Phifer. All rights reserved.

Ray Bradbury quote from Zen in the Art of Writing that says, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."


I write queer, speculative fiction and creative nonfiction. My newsletter, talks excessively in class, is nonfiction focused, while my professional publications have been fiction.I love writing about the magic of human connection. Themes of recovery, environmentalism, changing identity, and radical love often come up in my work. I write queer stories because I am queer, but also because it's the best way for me to see exactly the things I want to read on my shelf.Behind the pen, I'm a geeky, dramatic, neurodiverse lesbian. I'm a single mother, a trauma survivor, and an avid treat-apologist. I play D&D most weekends, regularly attend a formal knitting circle, and have too many hobbies.


My work is available in a variety of places. If you'd like to read my writing for free, please check out my Substack, talks excessively in class.I've been fortunate enough to work with some great independent presses who have done amazing things for and with my work. If you're a creator and want to start publishing, small presses like Duck Prints Press and Zombies Need Brains give fresh faces a chance in the otherwise unforgiving world of fiction publication.And when you have the opportunity, please buy directly from those presses instead of Amazon. Shopping small supports us all. <3

anne phifer talks excessively in class: inspiration for the creative chaos goblins in the room
A night sky with a waxing moon in the center, glowing golden. Under it, a mountainous horizon seems to be glowing with spectral flame. In large text, the title, "Moongatherer, " and below that, "Willa Blythe"


The Summer Solstice is coming, and with it, the hottest days of the year for Clan Foxfire. When Honeycomb, resident Water Tender and moongatherer, is chosen to bring offerings to the Moon in exchange for cooler days and longer nights, no one is more surprised than she is. With the help of the Clan's most favored daughter, Pomegranate, Honeycomb must make the journey to Moon's Rest and face her fear of the sun. When disaster strikes, can Honeycomb overcome the trauma she carries with her? Or will history repeat itself?Moongatherer is an original lunarpunk novelette released by Duck Prints Press! This queer science fantasy is available only in eBook form on the DPP website.Coming in 2024: Moongatherer will be in print! Stay tuned for more details.

Short Stories


Lyric of the Lightest Step is determined to track down the Brightshadow Beast and end its reign of terror over the nights of the Asteracea Dominion--so determined that she is barely present for her days. But when her only true friend, Saffron, announces they must marry a prince to protect the Dominion from the Beast, Lyric realizes just how much the Brightshadow curse rules her life.Duck Prints Press' third anthology is actually part of a matched set. She Wears the Midnight Crown features stories about women who love women, or woman-aligned folks. He Bears the Cape of Stars features stories about men who love men & man-aligned folks. Both anthologies subvert the masquerade trope, telling stories about masks in society that are innovative and unexpected.

Book cover featuring a femme couple, both in ballgowns, arranged as if they've been dancing. One wears a mask, the other has a mask in her hand as if she's just taken it off. The title says, "She Wears the Midnight Crown"

Book cover featuring the back of a retreating astronaut. One half of the cover background is black, the other half is white, and both sides feature mirrored planetary bodies. The title, BRAVE NEW WORLDS, is similarly mirrored on both sides of the cover, me


Dr. Margot Allison is determined to make Victoria habitable and give the people of Earth a new home. But every native plant is lethal to humans, and even the seeds she brought with her are stunted and toxic after being exposed to Victoria's water, air, and soil. When experiment after experiment fails, and lives are on the line, Margot must turn somewhere unexpected for the answer to her fundamental question: what can we do when we have destroyed the home that was designed to sustain us?Brave New Worlds from Zombies Need Brains LLC is an anthology of stories about humanity's reach for the stars, and was funded by Kickstarter in 2021. It is available from the ZNB webstore as well as other major booksellers.

Something In the Water

Merrily Shire has seen her life stagnate to the slowest drip while working at her aunt's coffee shop, and even the little magic she gets to work for customers doesn't relieve the aching boredom of her days. But when beautiful and mysterious Thea comes to her for aid, Merrily isn't sure she can offer what Thea needs. A heartwarming short about recovery, healing, and trusting in your own magic.
Add Magic to Taste was Duck Prints Press' debut anthology, featuring fluffy magical coffee shop stories that truly capture that cottagecore softness.

Book cover featuring a green cartoon dragon using their tail to hold open a recipe book. They wear glasses, and one claw rests on a countertop where macarons, a potion, and bakery treats are on display. The title says, "Add Magic to Taste."

Tags and Warnings

I believe strongly in giving readers the tools they need to safely interact with my work. While some of my publications have published tags & warnings lists, others don't. I've created this page to act as a resource for all my works.


angst; emotional hurt/comfort; off-screen death of a sibling; dealing with grief; PTSD; lost identity; climate crisis; environmentalism; friends-to-lovers; lunarpunk; science fantasy; non-human character; spirituality; romance

Something in the Water (Add Magic to Taste)

mild angst; emotional hurt/comfort; off-screen death of a parent; dealing with grief; depression; lost identity; Black character; fat character; environmentalism; fluff; coffee shop; magic user; non-human character; humor; romance

Victoria (Brave New Worlds)

tense situations; environmentalism; references to off-screen character death; isolation; science fantasy; questions of humanity; climate change; happy ending

The Brightshadow Curse Breaker (She Wears the Midnight Crown)

mild angst; arranged marriage; royal character; best friends to lovers; emotional hurt/comfort; fantasy; first kiss; lesbian character; nonbinary character; magic user; memory loss; mistaken identity; non-human character;


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