From craft advice to book recommendations to musings on fake boybands and real boybands (Emma Straub if you're curious), here are 8 newsletters by writers that get our full endorsement.
Jessica Stanley's READ.LOOK.THINK
Perhaps half of the substacks in this list have come from reading the Australian author's own offering. Stanely has a discerning eye for literature, culture and cosy home interiors.
Elif Bautman's The Elif Life
A notable addition to the platform in recent months, The Idiot author shares her life and thoughts in all of their brainy glory.
Pandora Sykes' Books + Bits
A Pandora's Box of culture recommendations and life-enhancers from former cohost of The High Low podcast.
Rebecca Makkai's SubMakk
The author of I Have Some Questions For You shares her thoughts on writing and books (particularly loved her piece on what not to say to an author who has just published a book), and also Zillow, true crime, etymology, food, and "general inanity".
Roxane Gay's The Audacity
Out of all the substacks listed here, this is the one we've been following the longest. In her own words, Gay aims to "tell one hell of a story about the world we’re living in, the culture we consume, the things that bring me joy, the things that infuriate me, the things I think we should talk about." It's excellent.
George Saunders' Story Club
If you've ever wanted to do an MFA of creative writing at one of those old American universities, this is the next best thing. The substack offers writing exercises and prompts, editing advice, and also, incredibly, the opportunity for subscribers to pose questions about craft and the writing life to the short story master himself.
Emma Straub's Newsletter
Beloved author and Books Are Magic owner brings her bookish expertise and good taste direct to your inbox, as well as her thoughts on television and food and cats and other things she finds good in the world.
The Life and Errors of Molly Young
If, like us, you read and love The New York Times' Read Like the Wind email, then you will likely enjoy the same author's substack offering. With posts on 'How to cut in line at the Metropolitan Museum' and 'People who clip their nails on the subway, and whether or not they should be expelled from society', this one promises as many laughs as it does lofty and light book recommendations (Young is very well-read).