I made a video with the brilliant Stevie Finegan, where we embraced our inner Lotties and honked an air horn at sexism we found in the media. Enjoy!
“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic
equality of all genders, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class,
religion, ability and sexual orientation.”
I am a feminist because I am too scared to walk alone at night.
I am a feminist because I got lined up in a classroom in order
of who had the nicest arse, aged thirteen, by all the boys in the class.
I am a feminist because everyone asks me if I’m feeling OK on
the days I don’t wear makeup.
I am a feminist because a man I was managing was paid the same as me.
I am a feminist because every girl I know was sexually harassed
before the age of sixteen.
I am a feminist because women write insightful and beautiful
books about relationships and they’re labelled chick lit. I am a feminist
because men write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and get
longlisted for the Booker prize.
I am a feminist because 50% of the films nominated for Best
Picture Academy Awards did not pass the simple Bechdel test.
I am a feminist because whenever I watch a movie, music video,
or open a magazine, I feel instantly insecure about my body.
I am a feminist because my two-year-old niece pointed to a
picture of a blue hat in a book and said, “Boy’s hat”.
I am a feminist because I am regularly interrupted by men
whenever I dare to open my mouth.
I am a feminist because when I do mixed-sex school visits, the
girls never, ever put their hand up to ask a question. But, when it’s just
girls, we usually have to leave extra time for questions.
I am a feminist because I feel I need to hide my tampon up my
sleeve on the way to the toilet.
I am a feminist because teenage boys come up to me at events
and ask if they’re “allowed” to read my books.
I am a feminist for all the boys I supported, working at a
charity, who would rather harm themselves than cry.
I am a feminist because my wonderful, caring, brilliant
feminist father has still never cleaned a toilet in his life.
I am a feminist because this is only the tip of it. The tip of
it in my privileged, first-world, pale-skinned, straight, fully-abled
I am feminist for all the women for whom it is unimaginably
harder than it is for me.
I am a feminist because I am angry and exhausted and terrified
and frustrated and confused. And even though it’s so much harder to fight, so
much easier to roll over, I am a feminist because… how can you not be a
I am a feminist for all the things I’m damaged by that I don’t
want to share here today.
I am a feminist. And I’m not saying that to make you feel
guilty and defensive. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a bad person.
I’m not saying that because I hate half of the human population and want them
I am saying that because I believe every human being should
have an equal shot at a healthy and happy life, no matter what body they are
born into. And that’s not going to happen unless we fight, unless we speak up,
unless we occasionally make people feel uncomfortable, unless we – at the very
freaking least – TRY.
That’s why #IAmAFeminist. Now, how about you?
Since, Am I Normal Yet? was published, I’ve had so many of you asking if you can make your own Spinster Club. And my answer is always ‘YES OF COURSE!’ In fact, that was what I hoped my books would inspire. So I’m delighted to introduce the Spinster Club Hub – providing you with everything you need to set up your own club.
Because you really can change the world by sitting around with your friends, eating cheesy snacks, and talking about the all the weirdness that you have to put up with by being a girl. In fact there’s a posh word for Spinster Clubs. They’re called ‘consciousness raising groups’ and historically a LOT of world-changing stuff has come out of them. You’ve got to know about a problem before you can solve it. You’ve got to name it, got to talk about it, got to accept that it’s there. And where better to do this than surrounded by friends you love, and sharing your stories somewhere you feel safe?
Talking and sharing leads to campaigning and protesting. So, please go nuts! Get the cheese in. Download the AMAZING Spinster Club resources here and go forth spinsters and start spinstering! And please, please, do tweet me/Instagram me all your Spinsterly movements. I cannot wait to see all the amazing stuff you do.
It’s World Book Night week and we are EXCITED! Holly’s novel Am I
Normal Yet? is one of 15 amazing books on the list by authors and poets
such as Jonathan Coe, Carol Ann Duffy and Matt Haig. You can see the full list
on the WBN website – and what a list it is!
On Saturday, volunteers
across the UK and Ireland will be armed with 16 copies of their chosen book to give out in
their community to encourage reading for pleasure, and to reach those who don’t
regularly read or own books.
Reading for pleasure, particularly for young
adults, is something we are seriously passionate about, and Holly feels the
“Stories are there to be
enjoyed, not slogged through. That’s why I’m so passionate about reading for
pleasure and so delighted to be on the World Book Night list. I was always told
growing up that’s it’s not what you read that matters, but that it’s great to
be reading anything. So I devoured comedy books like Roald Dahl and Louise
Rennison, and now try to write books that are as engaging and hilarious as they
So we want
to hear from YOU! Do you have 16 copies of Am I Normal Yet? to give out on
Saturday 23rd April? How will you be gifting them? We’d LOVE to see
your photos from the night and hear all about the people you meet! Tweet or
Instagram your photos and stories using #AmINormalYet and #WorldBookNight – we’ll be online
sharing all your posts and we’ll also collect all the photos and do a round-up
right here on Holly’s tumblr.
evening Holly will be at the flagship event and celebration at the British
Library where she’ll be speaking alongside Matt Haig, Dreda Say Mitchell, S. J.
Parris, Sathnam Sanghera and chaired by Cathy Rentzenbrink. Tickets are still
available via the British Library Box Office.
The news is out: Lottie’s book has a title, and I can reveal the title of the third Spinster Club book is…. WHAT’S A GIRL GOTTA DO?
Out August 1st!! (and cover reveal coming soon)
Do you like it?
Hello fellow Spinsters, Amy from Usborne here. I’ve stolen Holly’s blog today to do a little round-up of some of the amaazing reviews coming in for How Hard Can Love Be?, out now. Here are a few of our favourites:
“This is the second book in the new Holly Bourne Normal trilogy and is
COMPLETELY FANTASTIC. Not that I expected anything less after the
amazing after the stunning Am I Normal Yet?” – Guardian children’s book site teen reviewer
“Holly Bourne is one of the most talented YA writers of the moment and I cannot wait to read the next instalment to find out what happens to the Spinster Club. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!” – Lucy from Queen of Contemporary
“Emotive and thought provoking this searingly honest book deals with the biggest life lesson of all: nobody’s perfect.” – South Wales Evening Post, Book of the Week
“Holly Bourne has become a true feminist legend of YA!” – Emma from Never Judge a Book by Its Cover
“The second installment in [Holly’s] Normal series…and tells Amber’s story of first love, friendship and addiction.” – The Sunday Express, S Magazine
Read the first chapter of How Hard Can Love Be? at www.usborne.com/readHolly.
One of the most amazing things about Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? is seeing fans – readers, bloggers and vloggers – forming their own Spinster Clubs.
One of the most recent comes from Emma of Never Judge a Book By its Cover (a fantastic book blog you should definitely check out). Emma has created a brilliant Tumblr @the-spinster-club for readers “who adored [Am I Normal Yet?], are feminist or a new feminist like myself, who wants to own who
they are and be an individual.” You can look forward to posts about the Normal series, quotes, discussions
agendas and there is talk of a Feminist Street Team too. We LOVE the sound of that. Check in with Emma over at The Spinster Club for more.
Speaking of all things Spinster, today Holly is up in Lytham St Anne’s headlining Spinster Sunday. Hosted by Storytellers Inc, it’s an afternoon of events to
celebrate friendship, feminism and frankly brilliant books. This empowering
afternoon is sure to pass the Bechdel test with a fantastic line-up of current
teen/YA authors including Non Pratt, Keris Stainton, Sara Barnard, Natasha Farrant and Jenny Maclachan. More on this next week!
celebrate HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? being chosen as Thameslink’s Book of the Month, they are giving away tote bags
full of Holly’s books plus exclusive SWAG!
Head over to the Thameslink Facebook page to enter www.facebook.com/ThameslinkRailUK
Holly Bourne: Top 3 Novels on Mental Health
Find the three books that Holly feels tackle mental health issues perfectly over on the WHSmith blog today http://bit.ly/23LhfWD
To celebrate the release of How Hard Can Love Be? Holly will be touring the UK and Ireland and she wants to meet YOU.
All public events are listed here, with more to be added soon, so stay tuned!
Sunday 7th February, from 1pm at St Annes Place, Lytham St Annes
An afternoon of events to
celebrate friendship, feminism and frankly brilliant books. Hosted by Storytellers Inc this empowering
afternoon is sure to pass the Bechdel test with a fantastic line-up of current
teen/YA authors including Non Pratt, Keris Stainton, Sara Barnard, Natasha Farrant and Jenny Maclachan.
Thursday 11th February, 6pm at Easons O’Connell Street, Dublin
Join Holly for an evening of book chat, a reading and Q&A plus lots of other fun activities.
There will be CHEESY WOTSITS!
Tuesday 23rd February, 7pm at Drink, Shop, Do, London
Join Holly, fellow Usborne author Kathryn Evans, Eve Ainsworth and Nicci Cloke for readings, cocktails, an utterly ridiculous short story challenge and book signings.
Tickets are free – book your place via Eventbrite.
Wednesday 2nd March, 6pm at Stratford East Picturehouse, London
Join Holly, Juno Dawson and Sara Barnard for an awesome night of books, writing and creativity at World
Book Day’s first ever live premiere for teens.
Hosted by performance poet, author and playwright LEMN SISSAY.
Tickets £3 (available via the Picturehouse website)
VERY SPECIAL EVENT IN MANCHESTER – to be announced soon
Sunday 6th March
Stay tuned for more on this soon!
Saturday 2nd April, 5pm
Three of the very best writers for YA, Sarah Crossan, Sita
Brahmachari and Holly Bourne join forces for a session guaranteed to
entertain, to inspire, and to provoke debate and laughter.
Tickets are available via the festival’s website.