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.

We’ve been doing DD for half a year now (doesn’t time fly?) and we are well aware of the dedication, hard work and love that it takes to keep a passion project, especially one that is reactive, creative and online, alive. To throw yourself straight into the inner workings of a website (Our early HTML attempts were not pretty) takes quite a lot of nerve.

So we’d like to take a second to celebrate our fellow female-led websites online communities. Most of them are still fresh and new (like us) so get stuck in and get involved. You can thank us later.

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gal-dem was set up by Liv Little, a Bristol student who was frustrated at the lack of diversity at her university, and was looking for an outlet to connect with fellow WoC. The team behind this online magazine is almost 50 strong now, with vibrant writing across a range of styles and genres that is always truthful, provocative and real.  We are massive fans and think you will be too.

First Read: gal-dem’s coverage of Brexit was fire. Read How Brexit Feels For an Immigrant by Rawan Alrawi and feel the heat.

Standard Issue

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 19.53.36Presenting themselves as ‘good, honest, funny writing’, Standard Issue is fast becoming a regular in our retweets. It’s an alternative online magazine, free of shame, fads, and nonsense. Every piece has a humorous undercurrent that ties its writing together and although it’s pitched at a slightly older audience than DD, you hardly notice. The  female experience is easy to share, especially when you’re laughing along.

First Read: We were taken aback by the honesty in Under the Influence by Sara Taskar about life as a ‘social media influencer’.


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We kind of think the Werkloos ‘about’ page is pretty much perfect for describing this online literary magazine – ‘it’s a new online magazine run by two girls on separate continents, and it’s looking for you.’ The ‘equivalent of a late night phone conversation with your best friend’, the writing on the site never ceases to amaze us. Delicate and poetic, each piece is always unlike any you’ve read before.

First Read: The first piece we read – XIII, An Excerpt From 27 Notes to The Self, Short Poems to Read On a Bad Day by Sarya Wu. Short but brilliant.

Strong Young Thing

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A group of young journalists came together to create SYT – with a vision of making it as inclusive as possible. It’s bold, sassy and fresh, targeting women of all shapes, sizes and lifestyles. Whether you want an alternative take on a news story or a heartfelt personal essay, SYT have you covered on all bases, in their unique style and voice.

First Read: For International Women’s Day, SYT interviewed 16 remarkable young women on female appreciation and celebration. Use it as motivation. We always do.

Bare Hands Poetry

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Inventive and unexpected, this international poetry journal includes beautiful imagery and its contributors work in a way unlike any other online journal we have seen, making a cohesive theme out of very different and individualised writing. On Issue 22 now, the journal continues to champion work that is unique and beautiful. We highly recommend for some inspiration.

First Read: Sara Meets Electricity by Kathy D’Arcy. Thank goodness this remarkable thing found a home at Bare Hands.

She Did What She Wanted

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A fellow online collective, SDWSW is a place where writers can share experiences, play out their thoughts and express emotions via a whole range of different types of writing. The site’s wide breadth of content means that you will always find a piece that will be a perfect fit for what you are looking for – the dedicated team will make sure of it.

First Read: Any of the SDWSW Woman Crush Month series, which was a month-long theme of posts celebrating notable women and their impact.

Do you run or contribute to an online platform or community? Get in touch!

@deardamsels | @galdemzine | @StandardIssueUK | @werkloosmag | @SYT_MAG | @shewantedtoblog | @BareHandsPoetry