Discover more from Midstory Magazine
Welcome to Midstory Magazine
A new publication from the HerStories Project
Dear HerStories Community,
You may have been wondering where we’ve been over the past few months. As we often do during the summer, we’ve been brainstorming and reflecting on what our next offerings should be—courses, workshops, summits—and most importantly, considering the needs of our community and how we can best meet them. At midlife, there are so many different things pulling for our attention, and we are very much immersed in that ourselves.
On a personal note, I (Stephanie) am four months into a very complicated and painful divorce. It has been messy and ugly despite my intentions and hopes to keep it amicable and smooth. I’ve found that it’s difficult to think, talk, or write about anything else, and sometimes that makes me feel guilty or uncomfortable. But what I’ve discovered is that I am far from alone. Not only does divorce seem to be a bit of an epidemic in our midlife writing circle right now, women have been approaching me in droves to talk about their relationships: marriages, divorces, new relationships, and friendships. I recently had a discussion with a woman about her friendship breakup from a year ago. She couldn’t get through the conversation without breaking down in tears.
What Jessica and I have realized is that right now—at midlife—this is what women want to talk about. This is what matters the most: relationships, grief, loss, friendships, coupling and uncoupling. And not only do we want to talk (and write!) about it, we want to skip the platitudes, advice, how-to’s, and inspirational ideas. We prefer the raw, gritty details, the honesty, even when it’s painful and there are no answers or quick fixes. Because we know that midlife women are not alone in our desire to share our truths and our stories about what love, loss, and friendship look like at this stage of our lives.
Our mission has always been to shine a light on women’s stories and to connect as a supportive, safe community.
Today, we are excited to share the latest incarnation of this mission: The Midstory Magazine on Substack. (If you don’t know what Substack is or you’re intimidated by the platform, don’t worry. We know it’s yet another new-ish thing, but reach out to us if you want more personal help for how to get around. Substack is a friendly place.)
Here we will feature personal essays from midlife women about their own relationships and losses—love, divorce, friendship, grief—without the advice, helpful takeaways, or sugarcoating. No silver linings and happy endings required (although they are welcome!).
In addition to sharing weekly personal essays in Midstory Magazine, our Substack will feature weekly conversation threads, unsent “letters,” interviews with midlife women, and bonuses for paid subscribers. Right now already up there are a few of our favorite personal essays from our previous anthologies, as well as a few writer workshops and interviews.
Our paid subscriptions include:
Monthly subscriber-only posts (like this first one called “Solo” from Stephanie)
Twice monthly roundups of our favorite essays/articles/podcasts from around the internet, favorite books, calls for submissions, and exclusive writing opportunities
Monthly writing workshops, interviews with writers, or Zoom meetups
Subscriber-only calls for submissions (our first one is up!)
As we are officially opening our call for submissions for personal essays about relationships at midlife—friendship, coupling and uncoupling, grief and loss—we will be paying our contributors with support from our paid subscriptions. We’ll begin by paying writers $50 for accepted essays, but hope to increase this amount in the near future with the help of a vibrant Substack community. Please submit so we can build this publication with all of your stories from your own midlives.
We are sending this email directly from our Substack newsletter, and we want to respect your inboxes by making sure you know how to unsubscribe below if you prefer not to receive these updates. We will continue to send information on writing classes, workshops, and calls for submission via our regular HerStories Project email newsletter.
We could not be more excited and hopeful about introducing this new publication showcasing women’s stories to the world. We appreciate any and all support.
Please go right ahead and introduce yourself to the community in our first community thread. We’ll welcome you there. Tell us what you think!
xo Jessica and Stephanie
P.S. Why the name “Midstory”? Here’s why.