Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day: Women Whose Blogs/Posts/Tweets I Love Reading

I wanted to celebrate International Women's Day, and felt the best way a man could do this is probably to keep quiet and signal boost some amazing women. So here are a dozen or so of my favourite women to read on blogs, websites, and on Twitter. (NOT an exhaustive list, and I've intentionally steered clear of people who are primarily book bloggers because that would have made the list about three times as long - there are so many amazing women blogging about YA!)

Caitlin Lomas - Slightly biased here as Caitlin's a close friend, but Chronically Caitlin is one of my favourite new blogs of 2016. Caitlin posts about her Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, about books, and about a range of other topics (including some fantastic Netflix recommendations!), always with warmth and humour.

Camryn Garrett - Both at her own blog and Huffington Post, Camryn is a brilliant writer who talks about what it's like to be a black teenager today and is also fantastic at interviewing some amazing people - I really loved her recent one with Jacqueline Woodson.

Ella Risbridger - In addition to her fantastic cookery blog at Eating With My Fingers, Ella writes for the Pool, one of my favourite websites. Her posts about anxiety, and about dealing with her boyfriend John Underwood (another superb blogger)'s cancer diagnosis are always incredibly honest and powerful. I'm really excited to read both of her books in 2017 - one from Bloomsbury, and one (with John) from Picador.

Emma Gannon - A freelance writer and former Glamour social media editor, Emma writes superbly on her blog on lots of topics, including feminism, fashion and culture. As well, her weekly newsletter picks out a massive amount of great content from all over the web. Her upcoming Ebury book, Ctrl-Alt-Delete: How I Grew Up Online is one of my most-anticipated reads of the year!

Grace Latter - Grace was tipped earlier today by the wonderful Sam Missingham in a list of 'bright young things who will conquer the book world' and it's easy to see why! Writing for her own blog, Almost Amazing Grace, Oh No Not Another Blogger, Maximum Pop Books and The Olive Fox (possibly amongst others I've forgotten!) she writes gorgeous posts on a huge variety of subjects, ranging from her fighting against a brain tumour (and raising over £2000 for the Little Princess Trust by getting her hair chopped off!) to her relationship with her cat Harvey.

Juno Dawson - Juno's columns for Glamour magazine about transitioning are fantastic and it's awesome to see the support she's had from the YA community. Also, I've read her two most recent non-fiction books, Mind Your Head and This Book Is Gay, and both are superb - two of the best works of YA non-fiction published recently. 

Justina Ireland - I have been following Justina for a few years on Twitter and have learnt so much more from her in that time about diversity, racism, and related topics than I did overall in the first 30 years of my life. One of the most eloquent and powerful writers around. She's also hugely supportive of others and signal-boosts so much brilliant stuff into my timeline. Check out her blog.

Kaye - Founding member of The Muslim Squad and creator of the #YesAllWomen hashtag, Kaye has achieved so much over the last few years - and I'm so thrilled to see that she has a book deal for her MG fantasy!! The #YesAllWomen hashtag, in particular, has been incredibly powerful in opening the eyes of sometimes thoughtless men (like me) to what women face in the world today. She's also incredibly good at talking about her religion.

Kayla Whaley - Senior editor of the superb Disability In Kid Lit blog, and freelancing for sites like the Toast as well as blogging on her own site, Kayla posts and tweets great things about disability, ableism, and publishing.

Louise Jones - Writing for her own blog but also for fabulous charity The Mix (formerly called The Site), Louise gives great advice on lots of topics - I find her openness about mental health particularly invaluable.

Louise O'Neill - Author of stunning feminist YA novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It, Louise also writes brilliantly insightful pieces for several publications. She's fantastic at dismantling rape culture and the patriarchy and I'm amazed that she keeps going despite the numerous trolls she attracts.

Nita Tyndall - I think Nita's post Labels are for Soup Cans (and also for me) is one of the best, most eye-opening, and most important to me personally posts that I've ever read. I had, up to that point, barely read anything about asexuality or demisexuality and reading it really struck a chord with me. In addition to her Gay YA posts, Nita also writes great posts on her own blog, and is always fantastic on Twitter.

Wei Ming Kam - Another friend, reading Ming's tweets and blog posts and talking to her in person have opened my eyes to lots of issues about diversity - I loved doing a workshop with her on how bloggers can promote diversity in publishing at last year's YA Shot, and am fairly sure I learnt as much, if not more, as any of the participants did! I am hugely excited for her essay in the forthcoming Unbound anthology edited by Nikesh Shukla, The Good Immigrant.

BONUS: Safe Space team - Sneaking one group of AMAZING bloggers in here, Jess from Jess Hearts Books set up this site fairly recently and it's quickly joined Chronically Caitlin as one of my favourite new blogs of the year. Talking about feminism, mental health, sexuality, and lots of other topics, the team of Debbie, Emma, Faye, Jess, Jo, Joy, Laura, and Rachel are superb and it's great to see brilliant guest posts - like this one from Sophie - as well.

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