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University of Missouri

Writing by Women

Journalism grads launch The Riveter magazine.

 Joanna Demkiewicz and Kaylen Ralph

J‐School graduates Joanna Demkiewicz, left, and Kaylen Ralph launched The Riveter, a magazine written by women for everyone. Photo by Corey Ransberg.

Joanna Demkiewicz and Kaylen Ralph are self‐proclaimed “long‐form journalism junkies.” While students at the Missouri School of Journalism, they devoured investigative reports, personal essays and scientific narratives that clocked in at upwards of 5,000 words.

So they were both frustrated and motivated by the realization that in 2012, not one woman was nominated in a major writing category for an American Society of Magazine Editors award, and most long‐form writers getting published are men. (In 2013, the New Yorker had 436 bylines by men and only 176 by women, and The Atlantic had 113 bylines by men and 61 by women).

Channeling their disappointment, Demkiewicz, BJ ’13, and Ralph, BA, BJ ’13, founded The Riveter, a multiplatform magazine that features long‐form pieces written by women.

We’re attempting to disrupt the tired tradition of underrepresenting women’s voices,” Demkiewicz says. “We’re creating a space that proves women’s voices are universal.”

Since launching in July 2013, the duo has produced one issue, available at independent bookstores in Minneapolis where the magazine is based and in digital form, and is steadily publishing content online, including an essay about motherhood and mental health, and a feature on freelance journalist and fellow Tiger Ann Friedman, BA, BJ ’04.

The biggest struggle hasn’t been finding people who want to be involved — they’ve just hired eight staff members — it’s finding funding. They raised $2,000 via crowd funding to pay the writers for the first issue, but they’re looking for investors so they can make The Riveter a quarterly and eventually bimonthly publication with a dynamic Web presence. In the meantime, while both maintain day jobs, they’re working on the second issue and revamping the website.

You’ll be seeing a lot of riveting long‐form written by awesome women,” Demkiewicz promises.