fury of her own


Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger, the founders and editors of The HerStories Project — a writing community for Gen-X women and publisher of four previous popular anthologies for women — are seeking submissions for a new essay collection. 

A Fury of Her Own: Midlife Women on Embracing Anger and Changing the World will examine the reasons for women’s anger at this current moment and celebrate the ways (big and small) they are using their rage to create lasting change.

Many of us grew up believing that in our lifetimes we could realize the feminist potential imagined by earlier generations.

However, as midlife adults, for some time we’ve been looking at our world and realizing that there is so much work left to be done. Over the past two years many of us have begun to feel a more urgent fury. We are underpaid and worried about our financial futures. We perform countless hours of “emotional labor.” Our government is doing everything it can to strip us of our reproductive rights. Our leaders embrace misogyny and racism in their language, behavior, and policies. We are fearful that our daughters and nieces and neighbors are not safe from sexual violence.

We look at the world around us, in 2018, and know we have every right to be angry.

We also know that anger alone is not enough.

This anthology will tell the stories of women at midlife who know their anger is real and justified and who are using it — in small and big ways — as tools of resistance, drivers of change, and forces of solidarity. They are running for office, protesting injustice, speaking up at family gatherings, standing up to bosses and co-workers, refusing to stay silent about the impact of sexual violence, organizing voter registrations and canvassing neighborhoods, confronting stereotypes, building bridges across divides, forming new friendships and ending toxic ones, and much more.

We want you to tell us your story. We want to know the source(s) of your anger (whether it is recent or decades-old) and what you are doing to express it and transform your part of the world. You might be a candidate for elected office, or you might be a woman who stood up in your community to an everyday example of injustice. You might have used your media platform to reach thousands, or you might have initiated a painful and long overdue conversation across your family’s kitchen table.


  • Essays should be between 1500 – 3000 words and should not be previously published.
  • Deadline for submissions: November 25, 2018.
  • Send the completed essay (no pitches) as a Word attachment to submissions@herstoriesproject.com. Please write “A Fury of Her Own submission” as the subject line of your email.
  • Include a cover letter in the body of your email, with a short bio and links to 2-3 clips to previously published pieces (if you have been published before).
  • All contributors will paid. After publisher expenses are met, contributors will be eligible for additional payment based on sales.
  • The publication date is scheduled for January 15, 2019.
  • If we decide to publish your work, we ask for first-time publishing rights. Rights will revert back to you 60 days after publication. We do ask that you mention that The HerStories Project was the first publisher.

We are not looking for op-eds, although of course they have an important place in the media right now. We are looking for first-person essays that tell a story (your story), with specific details and a strong voice. We want you to explore what you’ve learned, how you’ve changed or grown, from the past two years. We want the beginning of your essay to hook us — and the end (your conclusion) to make us think and reflect in ways we haven’t before. (For more on the qualities of personal essay writing that we look for, please see this article.)

We also want to make sure that we include a diversity of voices in our anthology. We encourage women from all backgrounds to submit their writing. We also understand that the way that society receives and accepts female rage is dependent on many factors, particularly race and class.Throughout history right through to our present moment, the anger of women of color has been delegitimized, stereotyped, stigmatized, and/or silenced. We do not want our anthology to be complicit in that silencing.

Are you a writer looking for community, instruction, and support?

Join HerStories Writers, our writing community for midlife writers! Learn more here.

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