July 2016 – Nerve

Dear Damsels,

Our theme for July is NERVE.

It’s something you can hold – and something you can lose. The difference between acting courageously, boldly, or not acting at all.

We wish we had more of it, wish we were able to summon it in daunting situations. The deep breath before entering a room.

On first times, first dates, hundreds of firsts, it becomes the nervousness we can’t shake, the butterflies that don’t settle, the blush that rushes to our cheeks.

It’s raw – guarded, sensitive. That part of you that is kept hidden, scared of exposure.

So hold it, feel it – just don’t lose your nerve. Pick up your pen and tell us your story. We can’t wait to hear it.

For more information on the kind of thing we like to see, please see our submission guidelines. Our deadline for any pieces
is Monday 27th June.

Thanks and love,

DD x

Submissions are no longer being accepted for this theme.You can read the contributions below. 


Apple Skins and the Face of the Future

Stephanie Tom looks the future in the face and tells it she ain’t scared in this piece of contemplative creative fiction.

Fighting For Myself

Being in your own corner is hard, especially at work. In a heartfelt essay, Jaclyn Quigley shares the time she had to fight for herself.

Girls with Nerve: Online Communities

Setting up your own online community takes nerve. We know. To celebrate DD’s half birthday, we decided to celebrate our favourite female-led websites.

I Am On Edge

As we stand on the precipice of a new month on DD, Camilla Gordon’s poem about a girl on the edge kicks off NERVE.

Is It Easy?

Accepting responsibility for our own happiness isn’t always easy; Molly Cooper considers the choice we have when we let other feelings take over instead.

It Was No Accident

Two partners dare each other in Georgina Norie’s poem on taking risks and late-night thrills.

Not Taking It Quietly

Following June’s political chaos, Bridie Wilkinson has some words for her politicians.

Redefining Bravery

Bravery, even in the smallest sense, is magical. Let Holly Robinson explain her little victories, with a little bit of help from a certain Miss Granger…

Rights and (Self) Responsibility

In Kate Todd’s story the magnitude of the importance of voting bears down on a young woman as she visits the polling station for the first time, her head full of conflicting opinions.

The Last Librarian of Alexandria

Through the character of Alexandria, Stephanie Tom’s rousing poem grapples with bravery and creativity.

The Shadow

Showing Nerve means loving yourself wholeheartedly, including the shadows, as Amy Beth Acker’s poem shows

The Three Bears

Going back is never easy. Going back to a pub full of old acquaintances and relationships is even harder. But Sara Sherwood plucks up the nerve in this short story.

This is How You Start Over

Anna Myers shares her experience of feeling the butterflies and defying them anyway. A story of first steps and sparkling boys.

To Bloom

Delve into this dream of a short story by Kati Dlugosz, full of flowers and beautiful prose.

Why You Should Let Ambition Define You

Ambition can be a dirty word. Let Grace Olivia Parry tell you why it’s not.