skirt! magazine was born in Charleston, SC. The website reads, “skirt! magazine began as a free monthly periodical, published by Nikki Hardin out of Charleston, South Carolina, who developed the magazine as a creative outlet and authentic voice for women. Since its inception in 1994 the magazine has grown to an estimated readership of 800,000 per issue and is expanding into ten new markets this year. For the first time in publishing history, The Globe Pequot Press has partnered with skirt! magazine to create skirt! books, our first imprint dedicated solely to publishing women’s nonfiction books.”
I’ve been a Skirt! reader for a long time…..I love the layout of the magazine; the heavy paper, the colorful ads, and most of all-the essays. I read the essays every month, I have favorite writers and follow their stories like a voyeur. There is Stacy Appel from California who wrote about a humpback whale, trapped in fishing lines, and how she and her friends felt like the whale, flailing in too-shallow water in her essay, “Life’s Calling.” And Kelly Love Johnson who wrote about the Alpha female and “Being Betty” (Friedan). These were women living the kind of life I wanted, these were women pursuing their dreams, these were writers. How I ached to see my name in this magazine. I wrote essay after essay and after 3 or 4 rejections……my story was accepted!
It was a Sunday morning. I was home with the boys, I think Dale was at work and I checked email after we got home from church and I saw an email from Nikki Hardin, subject, “Submission.” I wish I had the words to describe that feeling. I will never forget it. Working on my Dreaming About Water manuscript and writing about my past has submerged me in my life as an adolescent. While I would never want to go back to that time, I do miss those highs. As a 36 year old mother of 2 young boys, I miss the highs of adolescence, those feelings of joy, possibility, excitement and (even with diabetes) that I was invinceable. That’s how I felt when my essay was accepted at Skirt!…like a teenager. It felt good.
So, when I heard that skirt! was starting an imprint to publish women’s non-fiction books called, skirt! books, it sounded too good to be true. It scared me because it sounded so good.
After an email from Mary Norris at Skirt! books, I worked late into the night to revise my proposal from a traditional memoir to a collection of essays with practical advice and information about living with diabetes. I sent it off last week and have felt strangely unmorred, directionless, and exhausted as if I just ran a marathon. We leave to go to Maine on Friday (where there is no internet sevice) and I haven’t heard anything from Ms. Norris and all I can do is wait and hope. I’ve continued to have stories published by the magazine, (you can see some of them under my “Essays” page, and each time I get that teenage high. Keep your fingers crossed for me……