"... (call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael, or by any name you please—it is not a matter of any importance)..."
– A Room of One's Own
Rory: "Mary? Oh no, not the Virgin Mary thing again."
Louise: "Not Virgin. Typhoid."
– Gilmore Girls
What is Mary?
Mary is a women's general interest magazine.
What do you mean, "a women's general interest magazine"?
General interest magazines are like the New Yorker and the Atlantic. Women's magazines are like Elle and Cosmopolitan. Men's magazines are like GQ and Esquire. Lots of women read men's magazines, but not so many men read women's magazines.
Don't get me wrong, I love women's magazines, and there are a lot of great ones out there. I love general interest magazines, too, and men's magazines and tech magazines and car magazines and gardening magazines. Mary isn't against any of those things. Mary is just for something different. Mary will be a women's magazine that appeals to everyone.
Why is that important?
There's an organization called Vida, and every year they publish what they call "The Count." It's a tally of bylines from major thought-leading magazines in the U.S. broken down along gender lines. In 2014, only 30 percent of articles appearing in The New Yorker were written by women; in The New Republic, 27 percent; in The New York Review of Books, 20 percent. These magazines are general interest, and yet they're being written largely by men.
What will be in Mary?
Reported features, essays, profiles, criticism, fiction, poetry, art, photography, all written, created, and put together by women. While the lives and concerns of women will certainly be covered in Mary, they won't be the magazine's sole focus. Mary will be about engaging narratives, deep reporting, and great writing—by women, for everyone.
Who's writing for it?
A group of incredibly talented and accomplished young women, including:
Jenna Krajeski, who has has spent the last six months working on a story for Mary about Helly Luv, the most patriotic pop star in Kurdistan
Mary Pilon, who is headed out to trucker school to write about recruitment and retention in the trucking industry
Maggie Shipstead, who wrote the acclaimed novels Astonish Me and Seating Arrangements and will contribute a short story
Megan Amram, author of Science...For Her! and writer for Parks and Recreation, who will be contributing a poem
- Alexandra Petri, essayist and Washington Post columnist, who will be contributing an excerpt from one of her plays
- Carrie Battan
- Kelly Chan
- Molly Fischer
- Ruxandra Guidi
- Kathleen Hale
- Linda Kinstler
- Molly Langmuir
- Michelle Legro
- Noreen Malone
- Jia Tolentino
- Jen Vafidis
- Kat Ward
I'm excited to be working with all of them, and I'm still looking for more. Mary should be about all kinds of perspectives, including many that aren't yet represented here.
And who are you?
My name is Jillian Goodman. I've been an editor at Fast Company for almost three years now, and before that I worked at New York Magazine. In addition to Fast Company and New York, I've written for Slate and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and one time on assignment for Glamour I got 15 people to tell me how they refer to their significant others' private parts. Rory Gilmore and I were in high school at the same time, and A Room of One's Own is my favorite piece of writing.
Will Mary be online?
Yes. Stories will begin to appear on maryreview.com sometime this summer, and will continue to appear there periodically over the coming months. The printed version of Mary will come out around this time next year and contain those stories, plus a few extra that haven't yet appeared on the website.
Why crowdfund it?
Mary is, in part, about community. Mary is also, in part, about passion. These are two things the crowdfunding community understands well. Kickstarter is the perfect place for Mary, and I am thrilled to bring it here.
What will my money pay for?
In a word, everything. Your money will be used for the production and design of the magazine, web hosting fees and technical help for it to live online, publishing and shipping costs for the finished product, and a great party to celebrate when all is said and done. Most importantly, your money will be used to pay writers. Surviving in the media industry gets more and more challenging all the time, and nobody should have to work for free.
You can do all of that with $20,000?
Yes—once. Twenty-thousand dollars is enough to show the world what Mary can be.
I have more questions.
Please get in touch! You can reach me at hello at maryreview dot com.
I am a writer/photographer/designer and also a woman and I would like to pitch you.
Amazing! Send it to jillian at maryreview dot com.
Risks and challenges
Good journalism takes time—sometimes more than planned. At the moment I'm confident that we'll be able to deliver a finished magazine by this time next year, but just about anything might happen between now and then. We'll be putting content online in the interim, however, to make sure that our backers get their money's worth.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)