Mslexia

Lorraine Douglas reviews the magazine for women who write

, 16 March 2002

After railing against the state of the UK press in January’s edition of The F-Word, I thought I should mention its one saving grace, Mslexia.

Refreshingly willing to wear its feminist heart on its sleeve, the Mslexia Manifesto defines mslexia as “a difficulty, more prevalent in women, with getting into print … the complex set of conditions and expectations which prevents women, who as girls so outshine boys in verbal skills, from becoming successful authors”.

Mslexia sets out to address these difficulties using a variety of different approaches, including a “nuts and bolts” section aimed at new writers, tips for beating writer’s block, feedback from publishers on how to avoid your writing ending up on the “slush pile”, reviews of new books by women writers, interviews by published female authors and, for the truly fearless, the “Word Surgeon” feature in which the inimitable Dr Ingrid K. dissects and analyses a piece of writing submitted by a reader.

The magazine also includes a lengthy selection of new prose and poetry submitted by readers, guidelines for submissions for the next issue, a thorough and invaluable directory of contacts, both local and national, a lively (and sometimes contentious) letters page and a column for discussing writing dilemmas. These features give Mslexia an interactive, community feel.

Crammed with information and inspiring features, Mslexia is the one magazine I always anticipate impatiently, and the one I read avidly from cover to cover, pausing only when an article causes me to think about writing or, better still, to write.

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