by Shana Thornton
People are becoming increasingly aware of community unification and the ways in which agendas divide us. We search for outlets that bring our voices together in celebration of diversity, creativity and empowerment. With businesses and governments across the world dominated by men, women see how critical it is to speak up and support one another in these achievements. I became involved with Her Circle, an online magazine of women’s arts and activism, with these concerns in mind.
Since 2008, Her Circle has existed in its present form, which includes journalistic articles and interviews with socially engaged authors, artists and activists. We also offer our readers four blogs, as well as book, film and exhibition reviews. Our One World Café podcast series provides authors with an opportunity to read from their work and to have meaningful discussions about socially engaged topics in an audio format.
Currently, Her Circle is an unincorporated collaborative project with a mission of emphasizing women’s literature, arts, activism and the intersection of the creative arts. The magazine is written, edited and published by volunteers from the US, UK and Europe, as well as voluntary contributors from across the world. We strive to bring awareness to organizations with a mission of bettering the lives of women and girls, as well as women working in the environmental arts.
Within the past four years, our volunteers have increased our readership and expanded our outreach. Our two literary blogs provide valuable information to writers and those interested in current political issues and literature affecting women. The Writer’s Life blog has grown from weekly guest posts into a home for professional writers. Traci Brimhall, Lauren Nicole Nixon, Naomi Benaron, Jyl Lynn Felman, Terri Giuliano Long and Amy Wright contribute advice on all the aspects of writing— from book touring, the inspiration of performances, and writing prompts, to the disappointment of rejection, the new landscape of indie publishing, the personal journey of the writer and more. The Writer’s Life is a resource for every writer at any stage of her career.
Shared by Kate Robinson and Marina DelVecchio, two writers who focus on the politics of feminist literature, our second literary blog, InContext, offers a feminist discourse on current political and social trends. Kate and Marina also welcome guest bloggers to contribute articles about literature and current events.
We also host two arts-based blogs, Femmage and Eco Arts Notebook. The creative arts blog Femmage features discussions centering on styles in feminist modern and contemporary art. We’re currently seeking a weekly writer for Femmage. Interested writers should visit Her Circle’s website for more information. Finally, the blog Eco Art Notebook, created by Cathy Fitzgerald, showcases environmental artwork and the politics of global sustainability.
Created by Misty K. Ericson, Her Circle began in 2005, as an online literary journal, which has since become Magnolia: A Journal of Women’s Literature, an annual print journal published by our parent collaborative project, The Institute of Arts and Social Engagement. Magnolia is a creative writing journal, and the submissions are judged by a guest author and selected for publication in the anthology. This year’s judge is Karen Connelly. Our second edition of Magnolia will be available for purchase in June.
Our future goals and challenges include seeking incorporation and filing for non-profit status. We are truly a grassroots project, with a publisher who designs the Her Circle website, as well as Magnolia. Since we are all volunteers, our time often slips away with other jobs and responsibilities, but we are diligent in continuing our work which inspires more women to use their voices and work with us in bringing awareness to individuals and organizations seeking to better the world and their environments.