When I was a young teen, I wanted to be Jo Elvin. It was more than the desire to be the editor of a women’s magazine, it was about her fun tone in her editor’s letter ever month and that sharp short haircut that I could never pull off thanks to having seriously chubby cheeks.
As my career progressed, I found myself working in digital which isn’t especially surprising considering the dial-up tone still brings me out in a hot flush. I still have a desire to see my work in print and have all my old cuttings, but nothing beats the thrill of instant feedback online.
Another advantage to digital journalism and social media is the ability to discover new writers and being able to spend hours reading their entire back catalogue. Below I’ve listed seven of my favourite female journalists, most of whom I discovered via social media and went on to practically stalk their work.
The women I’m featuring are all funny feminists and have written work which still makes an impact on my day-to-day life, whether in book form or a silly feature which still makes me laugh despite it being published several months ago (a lifetime in Internet world)
Robyn Wilder: I reckon I discovered Robyn back in 2011 when she wrote for the incredible Domestic Sluttery (RIP). Since then, Robyn has gone on to write for every publication I’ve ever admired including Buzzfeed and Elle. Most recently, Robyn was announced as the parenting columnist for The Pool and I’ve already laughed until I cried despite not having nor wanting children.
Daisy Buchanan: Oh this one! What is there to say? I discovered this energetic, charming, slightly manic woman when we were both working on a project for Beamly. By the time we first met for cake and tea before a photoshoot, I’d become so enamoured with her prose that I felt bloody nervous. Several parties and many cocktails have ensued since and I still do a very loud woop when I see her scribblings on modern day feminism, mental health and relationships. Naturally, Daisy is the agony aunt for Grazia so be sure to check it out.
Sali Hughes: I’d always take in Sali’s beauty expertise with respect- she’s always felt like someone advising and not preaching, someone who values the healing properties of a make-up bag but who wouldn’t scold you (too much) for using face wipes. Then I read her story, her struggles and her triumphs and it read like the most exciting, exhilarating, terrifying plot for a film. Sali simply gets beauty– not just the aesthetic but the soul reviving nourishment it gives.
Polly Vernon: An old friend and I used to obsess over our love of Polly together, pouring over her Grazia columns and practically reciting parts of Hot Feminist. As much as the friendship itself has changed, my love for Polly Vernon remains the same. If you’re the type of woman who loves the idea of being lusted over but also believes women should be equal in every sense (basically, feminism without any sort of judgement) then Polly is the woman for you.
Stevie Martin: I remember reading Stevie’s pieces on Go Think Big and thinking how cool it must be to have a name like Stevie. After laughing my way through her articles on internships and crap jobs, I was chuffed when Stevie made the move over to The Debrief; it was there that Stevie’s laugh-out-loud take on beauty (complete with fails and all) really won her a place in my heart. Now freelance, expect to see this talent young lady’s work everywhere!
Rosie Green: I’ll be writing an ode to Red magazine very soon but one of the main reasons I love the mag is Rosie’s column. Do we have anything in common? Not quite- she’s a married mum with a better wardrobe and figure than I’ll ever have but something about her monthly anecdotes with AM never fails to make me smile and nod in agreement… Which is surely the sign of a great writer?
Bryony Gordon: AKA The Life Changer. Sure, I’d always really looked forward to reading another piece of Bryony’s work but it wasn’t until I read her book, The Wrong Knickers, that I realised that we were rather similar. Like Bryony, I’ve struggled with mental health in various forms and was incredibly reckless and unstable in my younger years. I managed to maintain a relationship and work/university but my life was always blighted by episodes of mania. After I read The Wrong Knickers I knew I had to make a decision to really help myself, to acknowledge the shopping addiction and the binge eating and the manipulative behaviour. With hard work, I’m now stable in every single sense of the word and I thank Bryony’s book and articles for changing the way I view myself and my mental health.
Who are your favourite writers? Leave your recommendations below.