Dear Damsels is Changing
Today, we’re announcing a transition for DD. We’ve been running this platform for nearly a decade (if you can believe it!) and in that time, we’ve shared the voices of hundreds (literally hundreds!) of women writers. Initially this was through our monthly online themes, then in print through our Annuals before we started publishing our books – and not forgetting podcast episodes and events.
We – Abby and Bridie – set up DD because we had been looking for places offering free, accessible publication opportunities and a welcoming community – somewhere to read the words of other women and share our own. When we couldn’t find it we decided to provide that space ourselves.
Our aim has always been to do this in a way that helps women find the confidence to develop their writing, and share their words and stories. We’re so proud to have achieved that, and to be among a number of platforms offering similar spaces, placing the voices of marginalised communities front and centre.
But over the years, we’ve found that what we’re seeking as writers has shifted: now, what we’re looking for is more time to write, and space and support for a regular writing practice. We can feel that desire amongst the women around us too.
So, we want to reshape DD to serve that – and from January 2024, Dear Damsels is going to change. Our upcoming publication, All The Women She Knows by Tutku Barbaros, will be our last book for the foreseeable, and our online submission opportunities will come to a close. Instead, we’re going to focus our energy on what sits at the heart of DD – you, our community – and look to create more chances for us to get together and support one another to write.
This will look like:
- A free fortnightly online writing hour, which will be a friendly, open slot to write together on Zoom. We’re calling it the So Long As You Write Club (SLAY club, if you will, after our most recent collection) and we plan to have guest hosts and writing prompts to kick things off each session. Will you join us? We’re looking forward to having lots of you there!
- We’re also going to host regional in person workshops and events, plus online workshops – news to follow!
- We’ll continue to put together monthly writerly recommendations, writing prompts and encouragement – previously we shared this via our Patreon and now it will be through our existing newsletter, the DD Roundup, starting from the New Year.
The best way to keep up to date with all of this is via our mailing list.
We’re really looking forward to our first online writing hour, which will take place on Sunday 21 January 2024, at 10am UK time. Put it in your diaries! And we’ll be sending our more details about how to join via our mailing list (make sure you’re signed up here!) soon.
We’ve compiled a FAQ of questions you might have about our transition – but if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch email@example.com.
Thank you for all of your continuous support over the years – we really hope you’ll join us for this new chapter! We have always believed that every woman has a story worth being told, and that one of the most meaningful ways for those stories to be shared is through writing. We hope with this change to our platform and how we operate that we can continue to help more women find their voices and share their words with a brilliant community.
Abby and Bridie
Team DD x
A word about supporting us
A few years ago we set up a Patreon membership, through which we’ve received incredible support that has been pretty vital in keeping our work going. Anyone who supports us here (or would like to sign up!) will continue to receive early access to DD events and projects, as well as discount codes and other benefits – but the Patreon membership will now primarily become a way to show your support for the work we’re doing (rather than a place to sign up for access to ‘extras’).You’ll be able to support us through two membership tiers: our £3 Dearest Damsels tier, which will give you early access to DD events and projects, as well as discounts on books and tickets. We will also be keeping the £1 Every little helps tier, for anyone who wants to support our ongoing work for a bit less.
I have writing published on your website. What will happen to it?
We will be keeping the Writing section of the website open as an archive – so you’ll still be able to access your published pieces! We will let you know if this changes. We also plan to still use our website for announcements, information and to sell tickets and books.
How will Dear Damsels operate?
Dear Damsels remains a Community Interest Company, and all profits are reinvested into the work we carry out. Our aim is always to strike the balance between ensuring our work is financially feasible, whilst still providing opportunities for women to connect and write. With this in mind, any profits we make through book or event sales will go towards covering the running costs of our website and our free event offerings.
What will happen to your books?
I’m a Patreon – what do I do need to do?
Please login and read the most recent DD Patreon post – it explains all the next steps there!