We launched Graceless in August of 2015 with a message that resonated soundly and a fervent fan base that has stayed with us. We’ve featured some unbelievably stellar writing in that time, and when you’re looking for something to read, I recommend taking a stroll through our archives. There’s some great stuff in there.
2015 now seems about 25 years ago. Perhaps 50. Changes in the world have been so seismic that I can’t even find the right words to paint a picture. A friend said recently, “I don’t want to be dramatic, but doesn’t it seem like the Civil War is about to start again?” It really does.
So… what do you do as a fledgling media site in that environment? Broadly speaking, we’re ready to move from passion to action, and we believe our audience is too.
The key focus in our initial concept was elevating the voices of self-identifying women, past the canned pap we’d been fed since the dawn of “women’s media.” Giving them the opportunity to talk about more than diet tips and work-life balance—though if they wanted to talk about those things, they were welcome to in an unvarnished, unique way.
The good news is that we weren’t the only ones thinking about this. Some of the best political writing in the past two years has been in Vogue, Elle, Bustle, and Marie Claire, just to name a few. #AskHerMore, #MeToo, #TimesUp—to say the conversations about and with women have shifted dramatically since 2015 would be an understatement. People tired of the Supposed To and Should Have – as one of our taglines advocated – are everywhere now. Hell, it’s probably not much of a stretch to say that phrase now applies to all 300 million Americans; some with their own fascist spin on it, yes, but still.
Allyson and I have been sitting on these truths for a while now, trying to cram the square peg of Graceless 2015 into the round hole of 2018. We whittled and sanded as much as we could (I’ll stop that analogy now) until one day we looked up and said, Hey, maybe it’s time to evolve? So evolve we’re gonna.
In January of 2019, Graceless is reviving and redefining the magazine. Vibrant, multi-media online content in six issues each year will be augmented by offline events and interactions to create engaged communities. Each digital issue centers on one theme and is filled with features, essays, artwork, poems, and images from a diverse pool of creatives. That theme then manifests in launch events for each issue, live chats with writers and experts, volunteer opportunities with nonprofits, group activism, and much more.
We’ll be sharing more details in the coming weeks, as we gear up for the launch of our first issue in mid-January. Later this week, we’ll unveil the theme of the first issue. Next week, we’ll talk more in-depth about our membership program. And there are a couple of crowdsourced pieces we’ll need your help with soon.
It’s all toward a goal of evolving a site you really like into a community that provides meaning and support. Media ain’t just media anymore. And Graceless is ready to step up the game. See you in 2019.