HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, BITCHTOPIA!!!!!

To our wonderful, intelligent, beautiful readers,

In January of last year, I posted a Facebook status about making a one-time print zine. A week later, I had a group of 15 creative people in my apartment discussing the possibility of taking the zine online due to the overwhelming amount of positive responses. From the beginning, I knew I didn’t want to turn anyone away.

This entire year has been an intense one. Bitchtopia launched with 7 articles and a large party and we’ve been grinding out articles ever since. We’ve been featured on The Huffington Post twice, with pieces that breakdown and discuss some of the cultural standards we have come to accept. We’ve been published on Jezebel and Bustle, as well as mentioned on hundreds of noteworthy blogs. We’ve given you tickets to concerts and comedy shows. Some of you have even received postcards from me!  We’ve done all this in under 365 days and little to no funding, (Let’s not mention that Jordan and I were also working our butts off to graduate college!) and I’m always impressed with the kindness, talent, and strength that I get to work with from it.

From Bitchtopia’s Launch Party

I want us all to raise a glass to the next year. Here is to another year of submissions from around the world, that will open our eyes to a feminism broader than just the American scope. Here is to another year of our staff members celebrating their hard-earned page views and positive responses. Here is to another year of getting to give you free stuff!

I am so happy, grateful, and proud to have created this webzine. Bitchtopia will continue to be an open, honest, and easily accessible outlet for feminist commentary.  Like most great things, I could not have accomplished it alone. I’d like to thank you, the reader, for keeping us relevant and allowing us to have this discourse. You’ve kept us honest, open, and on our toes. You give us the representation we need to keep seeing the big picture. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You all inspire me more than anything else.

I’d also like to thank Jordan, our managing editor, for sticking with us since the beginning. She’s worked hard, played hard, and she’s living proof that you can work with your friends and still love them in the end. I could never have asked for a better staff member, and I’m lucky to have her to keep my grounded.

Thank you to Noelle and Candy, who are our most recent additions to our staff. With their help, we’ve been able to become more visible and more concrete. I cannot wait to have the next year to utilize their talent and ideas, and to let them shine they way they were meant to. While they show us new ways to get things done, I’m enjoying getting to know them and become a tight-knit group of hardworking gurls.

Thank you to Lee Anna, who makes our beautiful graphics. She never ceases to amaze me. Her love for Bitchtopia warms my heart. She just gets it. She gets what this site needs and she gets what the readers need to see. When I told her we were doing a slight redesign for our first birthday, I knew I could trust her to make the most gorgeous design. She creates the most important part, which is how the readers see us. I think she does a spectacular job at keeping the readers’ eyes happy, and mine too.

Thank you to my professors, who spent hours of their personal time listening to me babble on about hopes and dreams of creating this platform and giving me heaps of advice on how to perfect it. Tomás Urayoán Noel, who miraculously still answers my emails, deserves an especially huge thank you for being a great mentor and helping me find the confidence in my writing to experiment, fail, and try again.

Finally, thank you to all of our contributors. We have 32 talented staff members that crank out submissions at the drop of a hat. Our contributors are the bread and butter of this zine and without their dedication, we would not have survived past the first week. I am so thankful for their hard work and will continue to admire each and every one of their work on this adventure. I’ve definitely cried tears of joy when reading a submission from a high school writer who found us through tumblr or workshopping a piece with an artist I’ve always admired from a far. There were so many moments when a writer or artist I have always adored turned into someone I got to work with and share a platform with.

I am elated to be celebrating our 1st Birthday celebration. Stay tuned. There are so many more great things to come!

 Your Editor in Chief,

Ingrid R. Taller

From Bitchtopia’s ‘”Be Your Own Superhero” Event

I am almost a little dumbfounded that it has been a year for Bitchtopia. I can still remember the meeting where Ingrid and I, along with a few other girls, sat around cozily on secondhand couches in Ingrid’s apartment discussing the possibilities of banding together to get feminist rhetoric, ideas, and even inspired art pieces out into the open. We all had individual voices that wanted – and needed- to be heard. Our generation is the next wave of feminism, much more inclusive than the past. We wanted everyone to have a chance, to have a say, and to share their experiences to vast and varied audiences that may need the voice just as much as we needed to give it.

It has not been easy, and it can be stressful, but anything rewarding comes with hard work and dedication. Together, Ingrid and I have spoken with people from several countries who wanted to use Bitchtopia as their podium. I truly believe there is nothing quite as beautiful as speaking to a young girl you will probably never meet in person from across the world whose art touches your soul as much as her honest voice, and all she wants is to show you her appreciation for a small project you started with your friend – a small project that became much larger than you ever anticipated or hoped for.

So I want to give a big, “Thank you,” to everyone who made this happen: friends, family, our readers, and the countless talented and creative people who have introduced me to wonderful insights and artwork, of all mediums. You have made this possible for us. Without you, Bitchtopia would never have become what it is in such a short amount of time. Your constant support, your eagerness to read, view, and maybe even question for yourself what we publish has kept Bitchtopia’s heart pumping and blood flowing. This was a small dream that turned into something Ingrid definitely foresaw but something I never predicted. I hope, as Bitchtopia’s popularity increases, that this place can become a safe zone for you, but I mostly hope Bitchtopia becomes a place your talent is recognized. Without Bitchtopia, my own writing never would have been recognized at the scale it has been in just a few short months, nor would I have developed enough confidence to display it publicly like I did.

I love you all so much, and you fill with me so much joy and hope. You guys are going to make a difference, and I am merely a bolt in this machine. And I want to thank you too, Ingrid, specifically for putting so much of your heart and soul into this. You saw something and, like the Leo you are, took charge and made it happen. To Noelle and Candy, two of the cutest little cutie pies I ever did see, your work thus far is beyond impressive. You’re so important to us here, more important than I can eloquently express. And to Lee Anna, none of this would have been possible without you; your keen sense of flare is exactly the pizzazz Bitchtopia needed and will continue to need. You ladies are so important to this project! A million thank you’s!

I really think 2014 is going to be our year, and I hope you guys are around to see it! I love you (again!)

Managing Editor,

Jordan Doyle

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