Art Kavanagh

Criticism, fiction and other writing


Newsletters that I read (on Substack)

Substack has been regularly adding new features and making the platform more useful to newsletter writers. In March, it added “Homepage links”: the ability to include a column of links down the right-hand side of your newsletter’s archive page. The links can be to other newsletters or to anything else on the web, so an obvious potential use would be to create a blogroll. Last weekend, I tried that out with a short list of newsletters (all of them on Substack) that I read regularly.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. The list of links runs down the right of the main column, rather than the right of the page, making the page look a bit cramped, and forcing long post titles to wrap rather than run across the width of the screen. I find the wrapped titles don’t stand out as well as I’d like, so I’ve removed my blogroll and, for now, I’m including the links on this page instead.

I started off with only six entries, to avoid overwhelming the reader with information overload. Here they are.

The Bluestocking by Helen Lewis. Lewis is a staff writer for The Atlantic and author of the book Difficult Women.

BIG by Matt Stoller. A lot of detailed information about how monopolies govern so much of our lives, and what should be done about it.

sweater weather by Brandon Taylor. Varied and often analytical newsletter from the author of the novel Real Life and short stories (Filthy Animals).

The Common Reader by Henry Oliver. Substantial essays on books and film, not all of which are recent.

The Novellist by Elle Griffin. Griffin is preparing to serialize her gothic novel via her Substack newsletter.

My New Band Is by Elizabeth Spiers. A “topically inconsistent” newsletter from a founding editor of Gawker.

It’s likely that I’ll add a few more as I discover them.

My main reason for wanting to include a blogroll was to help readers to find other newsletters they might find interesting. Here’s another suggestion:

I’ve noticed a lot of Substack users asking how to find new writers or newsletters on the platform. I use Google, with site:substack.com added to my search term. For example

"crime fiction" site:substack.com

It’s not foolproof but it can certainly be useful.

Posted by Art on 21-05-2021.