Essay Non-fiction prose Tribe

A Tribe of Writers

Writing, creativity and sisterhood converge in Jonatha Kottler's rallying call out to her tribe.

by Jonatha Kottler

When you were young, and you spent all of your pocket money on little notebooks (maybe they had unicorns on them, I’m not judging) did you ever imagine yourself as a writer? I did. (I also had an Academy Award acceptance speech prepared, just, you know, in case.)

It wasn’t a detailed vision – I lacked sufficient life experience for that, or even for the teenage pastiche I would cobble together later on from things I saw on TV: one part Jessica Fletcher solving murders, one part Winona Ryder as Jo from Little Women, one part Carrie Bradshaw dishing up fashion and snark. When I was young – primary school young – a writer was a nice lady who would come to your school and read aloud to you from a book – that she wrote all the words of!

“My tribe is a cabal of brilliant women at all stages of their careers”

It’s taken me some time to become a writer (admit it, even if you’ve been filling those notebooks up from the unicorn days it takes a leap of undaunted courage to decide one day you are A Writer).  And here’s what did it for me: my tribe.

My tribe is a cabal of brilliant women at all stages of their careers:

It’s Claire – poet, novelist, and writing teacher extraordinaire who empowers and bestows the title of writer upon those who are brave enough to take it.

It’s Siobhan – who writes beautiful, hilarious, and brave words.

It’s Felicity – who dares to imagine whole new worlds.

It’s (English) Heather – who is generous and unafraid to expose darkness.

It’s Vicky – whose prose is so beautifully crafted that you know she will be famous.

It’s (Scottish) Heather – a ‘nasty’ woman who took the publishing world by storm.

It’s Suzanne – who weaves Scotland into her plots in a way that makes you marvel at it all over again.

It’s Natalie – who has a novel coming out!

It’s Alison – who was the first of us brave enough to read in public.

It’s Marie – whose ear for dialogue is pitch perfect.

It’s Nicole – who reads everything with a generous soul and a critical mind.

It’s red-haired Marie – whose words are music.

Stand up! Applaud! These are the women in my tribe of writers and we are making the world a better place one word at a time.


Jonatha Kottler | @jonatha_kottler

Jonatha Kottler is from Albuquerque, NM where she was a lecturer in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. She moved with her husband, son and three very well-travelled cats from the USA to Amsterdam before falling head over heels in love with Edinburgh. She is a happy member of Edinburgh’s Write Like A Grrrl community and runs a reading and writing group for the local charity ECAS. She read a piece at Story Shop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2016 and has an essay in 404 Ink’s collection Nasty Women. She is currently completing her first novel.

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