10 newsletters I recommend
A bonus issue featuring great reads you can get delivered straight to your inbox
Today is the last day of May, aka Mental Health Month. With my well-being in mind, I decided to take a mental health day and spend Sunday with a friend rather than writing my fortnightly newsletter.
Issue 15, if all goes to plan, will arrive in your inbox this coming Sunday instead. Then we can return to our usual fortnightly programme.
To tide you over until then, I’ve written this bonus issue with 10 newsletter recommendations. Every one of these picks is hosted here on Substack, and I adore them all.
Perhaps some of these will also appeal to you. And if you subscribe, your inbox will never be bereft of content again!
If you’ve been following me for a while now, Austin Kleon’s name will be no surprise to you. His weekly list of 10 things was the original format for my own newsletter and his approach to creativity has greatly influenced my own.
Kleon describes himself as a “writer who draws”, but if you’re a creative of any kind then I’m certain you’ll get a lot from Kleon’s writing. I’m also a paid subscriber, so I get access to his bonus Tuesday newsletters that centre around a tool he uses, a creative exercise, zines, diary walkthroughs or book recommendations.
A recent issue I’d recommend: Homework every night for the rest of your life
Most of the content for Mic Wright’s newsletter is free, but I proudly pay a subscription fee for this one too.
Conquest of the Useless is the antidote to the crap penned by the majority of Britain’s columnist class. I came to the newsletter with a pretty negative view of the British press, but Wright has really opened my eyes to how much of a cruel cesspit our commentariat really is.
A recent issue I’d recommend: (they have got away with it): As partygate reaches its encore, the Tory-backing press is playing the same old songs
From Monday to Thursday, Rusty Foster compresses everything he’s read on the Internet that day into a single issue, packed with links and interesting commentary. There are also plenty of jokes and running bits like “Today in Crabs” that make every issue a great read. Whilst structured, Today in Tabs is never so rigid as to feel formulaic.
It’s also a good way to keep up with some of the biggest conversations happening online without needing to spend an excessive amount of time on Twitter or TikTok to monitor what’s trending.
This, along with Garbage Day below, were big influences on rebranding my newsletter.
A recent issue I’d recommend: Bad News About Henry Kissinger
Sent out three times a week, Garbage Day is another great newsletter for keeping up with what’s happening across the web, from cryptocurrency nonsense to emerging trends.
The newsletter is best summarised in Ryan Broderick’s own words:
Everyone loves to blame every bad thing that happens these days on the internet. And to be honest, most of it is true. But the web is still good and this newsletter is your regular reminder that, actually, being online is still pretty fun!
Another major influence on my newsletter’s rebranding, Broderick always includes a link to something interesting or amusing on the web via the “P.S.” section — a great incentive for readers to read to the end.
A recent issue I’d recommend: A Superwholock for every news cycle
Ed Zitron’s newsletter helps to keep me sane via his scathing commentary on a few topics that infuriate me to no end. Whether it’s lazy journalism trying to push people back into the office or cryptocuntery, Zitron always has an honest and passionate takedown to deliver to your inbox.
A recent issue I’d recommend: Intellectual Property and the Apes of Wrath (read this to find out how much of an idiot Seth Green is)
Ijeoma Oluo’s newsletter always surprises with its subject matter and never fails to deliver a new perspective on something.
Content has included a wide array of topics, including how to turn an idea into an essay, a guide on what to do if you get dragged online, thoughts on parenting (“Your kid is going to find your vibrator”), and a reflection two years on from the murder of George Floyd and how nothing has changed.
A recent issue I’d recommend: Ok, But Who Are You Talking To?? (I found this really interesting as someone who now journals almost every day)
Can’t we all just go back to writing letters to each other? It’s a question I’ve asked for years, but I’ve said it aloud more frequently since subscribing to Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note newsletter.
When you subscribe, you’ll get a random letter from history delivered straight to your inbox several times per week.
The letters you will receive could not be more varied. You might get a collection of excerpts from multiple letter writers around a single theme, such as this list of unique signs offs. Or they could be excerpts from a single letter writer, e.g. Kurt Vonnegut. Sometimes the letter will contain advice, e.g. this letter from “Father of Advertsing” David Ogilvy. There will be letters from parents to their children, such as Laura Dern writing to her teenage daughter. Or a former slave who told his “Old Master” to get stuffed. Or Eudora Welty’s plea to work for The New Yorker magazine. Or the time Marge Simpson wrote to the First Lady.
A recent issue I’d recommend: Please don’t let anyone Americanise it! (a fax from Douglas Adams to US editor Byron Preiss regarding some unnecessary changes to a comic adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Anyone interested in learning more about the publishing industry, especially anyone who aspires to publish their writing one day, will learn a lot from Kate McKean.
I’m on the free subscription, so I get one issue in my inbox every Tuesday where McKean “attempts to answer the most common questions [she gets] about literary agents, publishing, and writing.”
She’s already covered a wide array of subjects, from how auctions work and professional jealousy to the most important skill a writer needs and what stuff writers don’t need to do.
A recent issue I’d recommend: What Does an Agent Do?
As is apparent from my own newsletter, I’m a big fan of curated newsletters that point the reader towards interesting stuff — especially if there’s a link I can click to take me there. Caitlin Dewey’s newsletter does exactly that — as promised by its lengthy but to-the-point title.
Dewey describes her own newsletter best:
“Links” is a weekly round-up of new stories about culture and technology, curated by an aging millennial with increasingly low tolerance for nonsense and fads. It launched 1,000 internet years ago — a.k.a., in 2014 — and has existed on and off in some form since then.
A recent issue I’d recommend: "The attack is an advertisement"
Whilst a lot of this newsletter’s content is behind a paywall, I’d still highly recommend signing up for the free version. For example, “The BuzzFeedification of Mental Health” is a free issue I pointed to in my last newsletter.
P.E. Moskowitz takes a different perspective on mental health than I’m used to reading, focusing more often on the connection between societal issues and mental health rather than a wholly individualised view of mental illness. Moskowitz seeks to break down myths around mental health and open up discussions on why we’re all feeling so down.
A recent issue I’d recommend: Internet Agency (this one is about social media addiction, which resonated with me strongly)