In which I recommend a women’s history newsletter

I had planned to tell you another story from the Weimar Republic  in today’s post, but quite frankly the post is at the Hot Mess stage*, a regular part of my process for writing articles and books but one I usually manage to avoid in blog posts.  I’ve been working at it for the better part of a week.  And I’ll keep poking at it.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a women’s history newsletter that I’ve been enjoying for several months now,  Julia Carpenter’s  A Woman to Know.  It comes out more or less daily** and it’s one of the few newsletters that I read as soon as I see it in my inbox.  In each issue, Carpenter shares the story of a relatively unknown woman from history.  (At best I’m familiar with one in ten.) And she includes a list of references in case you want to know more.  (This is actually a problem as it contributes to my To-Be-Read list/pile/shelf, which is spiraling out of control. )

With any luck, my next post will be the story of the Spartacist Uprising in Berlin.  In the meantime, enjoy a few stories about kickass women you probably haven’t heard of.

* Several years ago I accepted that the Hot Mess Draft is an official part of my process. It is the stage after the initial research and just before the Shitty First Draft that Anne Lamott describes so vividly in Bird By Bird. (Essential reading for anyone who wants to write.) I pour everything I know about the subject–and everything I don’t know but need to find out–onto the page. (Or more accurately, the screen.) I highlight things in yellow and ask questions in ALL CAPS. I try to clump similar ideas into a rough structure that may or may not bear a resemblance to the final shape of the piece. I repeat myself. Worse, I contradict myself.

**How does she do it???



  1. Lissa Johnston on July 17, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for the tip – I’ll check it out. And I appreciate your candor regarding your hot mess. Very relatable!

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