The October Letter

Dear Damsels,

October’s theme is TENSION.

Stretched tight. Pulled taut and beyond your limit. Living at your most strained.

It’s being between places. Between people. Between states – on the verge before you jump. Waiting.

It’s conflict, sure – but it doesn’t have to be.

Sometimes the best things can come from the most confused places, and a snap decision can occasionally be the right choice all along. You just needed the pressure, that’s all.

So clear your head, take a deep breath, and tell us what makes you tense.

DD x

Submissions for this theme are no longer being accepted – you can view the contributions below.

gal-dem at the V&A + other events in the DD calendar

High on life following a Friday night spent in the company of gal-dem, once again DD shares with you what’s coming up in our diary

girl from lambeth

A journey begins on the night bus from Lambeth in Carrie Walsh’s poem – but it doesn’t end there

Crying Out Loud

It’s alright to cry. Maria Ilona Moore releases the shame around shedding a few tears.

An Exercise in Tension Release

Hannah Collins is an advocate of doing whatever it is that helps you release some of that tension – here she shares her favourite self-care activities.

Olympus Trembles

A political commentary through Greek Mythology. Lauren Harwyn’s beautiful piece illuminates the tensions surrounding the US presidential election, with a little help from Hera. 

A List of Things I Do Not Do After You

A poem by Anna Kahn on all the things that have changed.

Fragile Masculinity: Masculinity and Misogyny In the Digital Age

DD went to the reception for Ditch The Label and Brandwatch’s report on “Masculinity and Misogyny In the Digital Age”, and found out about the tensions of gender and sexuality online


Fadila Henry explores the weight of life’s worries in this short vignette, and that ever-present desire to flee.

Sight Lines

Kate Todd’s story follows a woman with the ability to see connections between people as corporeal lines – until, suddenly, she suddenly can’t.

how to move on for electric bodies

Diana Khong’s poem brings you the steps for moving on: denial, displacement, catharsis, and…


Follow Millie Sansoye’s prose as she takes you through a relationship pulling itself apart

Not Knowing

How do we know which choice will be the right one? How do we decide what’s most important to us? Jaclyn Quigley contemplates those all-important life decisions through poetry.

I’ll Love You Until the End of Time

Letting go of memories is never easy. Lose yourself in Jessica Patient’s short story about forgetting.


Tension rises with the steam of spilt coffee in Jen Burrows’ poem.

DD Reading List: Tension

Your DD Reading List for TENSION is here: books that perfectly echo the taut, charged writing electrifying the site this month.

Virtual Shackles

A commuter train becomes the perfect vehicle for a discussion on modernity, in Sarah ElSayed’s creative prose.

7.34 am

She’s awoken to find herself in his bed, not for the first time. A short story by Sinéad Gordon fuggy with sleep and sex.