September 2016 – Lessons

Dear Damsels,

We are all constantly learning, experiencing, and growing – that’s why the theme for September is LESSONS.

This month we want to hear from you about about the things you wish you knew, and the times you made it up as you went along. About what you know now, and the unknown that you are yet to discover.

Embracing failure; making messy mistakes; stubbornly pressing on and getting there in the end.

Admitting you can’t do this alone.

We hear that life is one long lesson, so tell us what you’ve learned, Damsels.

Thanks and eternal love,

DD x

Submissions are now longer being accepted for this theme. You can read the contributions below.


Maddy Barnes reflects on a year of constant change, and lessons both taught and learned in our final Friday Poem of the theme.

Lessons in Friendship

When this writer was attacked by one of her best friends, she had to learn more than one difficult lesson.


Driving lessons and sibling bickering – the scene for another short story by Angharad Sillitoe

On the Job: Lessons We Learned From Work

After attending a Collectively Unleashed event on working like the Swedish, Team DD were inspired to consider everything the world of work has taught them.


Museums and skin and unnatural preservation – the things that we take from others to learn, discussed in Lizzie’s textured poem

Femininity As We Taught It

Molly Alessandra Cooper on unlearning all the rules we taught each other as teenagers, from what to shave (everything) to the acceptable kind of tampon to use.


Have a chance encounter in a coffee shop in Angharad Sillitoe’s short story

Lessons in the Art of Living

Take some tips from Jenny Campbell’s poem – on letting go and moving forward.

Lessons in Cognitive Behaviour

When Bridie Wilkinson fell apart, she had to learn to ask for help. Help in the form of therapy. This essay is about that.

Wooden Rises

Submerge yourself deep in Kate Holford’s underwater poetry


Uncovering the real you, one un-learning at a time. Let Alizée Chesnoy’s short story explain

An Epiphany

Revelations and realisations are reached in Mariam Khan’s poem.

How I Lost My Mind and Other Tragedies

Success had always come easy to Noreen Goraya – until it didn’t. In this personal essay she tells us how she handled failure.


On my year 10 report
she added: Anna’s sense of humour always keeps
me on my toes. We were her first UK job.

The Summer Holidays Are Over

As a shout rings out across a quiet street, one girl’s summer will be brought to a sudden end in Marni Appleton’s short story.

Learning to Reject Tradition

Yen-Rong Wong kicks off LESSONS with an essay on rejecting what we’re taught and mental health