off the margins…into the wild terrain of women’s writing.

off the margins pushes the boundaries of language, conventional form, blended genre, and prose flash, featuring women writers who fearlessly tell the truth and risk vulnerability to give voice to their experience. Together we are writing our collective history, considering what we know, and asking how we can craft our yet unwritten lives. We encourage dialogue between our writers and readers.

What does it mean to be a woman writer?

To be a woman writer means knowing that throughout history our voices and texts have been discarded and burned and lost; our writing has been used against us to diminish us, and we have had to struggle to have our words enter the world. It means that by daring to write our experience we honor all of the women across the generations who have gone unheard, and we give our contemporaries the courage to write. It means we understand that our voices are powerful.

How do we step off the margins of convention and enter the wild terrain of our writing?

We step off the margins and enter the wild terrain by daring to speak with honesty and clarity and pure breath, filling silences with sound and light and bringing in air to rooms that have been shuttered too long.

We step off the margins and enter the wild terrain by claiming the voices that have been lost or denied, the voices that have fallen silent from exhaustion as we have tended to other voices louder than our own, and the voices that have shadowed us—ancestral voices that we hear in dreams or that utter to us in fragments from frayed photographs or inked handwritten notes within the pages of forgotten books.

We enter the wild terrain by exploring our lives deeply, by going into our work without map or compass or anything but trust in our voices, knowing that our lives and words are connected to the lives and words of women everywhere.

We step off the margins by daring to form what has not yet been formed in our lives.

How would you describe the kind of writing you’re looking for?

off the margins publishes women writers by invitation only at this time.



Maura MacNeil founded off the margins in 2013.  She is the author of  the chapbook titled A History of Water (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and a poetry collection titled Lost Houses (Aldrich Press, 2016).  She is a professor of creative writing and humanities at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Cover Image: “Fallen from Grace” by Autumn E. Monsees: “Photography has been a passion of mine since I received my first 110 Kodak camera. Over the years I have had the advantage of learning the different styles, methods, and techniques that photography has to offer. My work is solely based on my personal influences and experiences I have endured over the years. I find that much of my work is dark, capturing the raw essence of a certain subject. As a photographer I take into consideration what the objects are trying to portray. Recently my work has been based on abstracting the view of the object. I tend to look for an emotional response with my subjects to reach viewers in an individual way.”

Website Development: Linda Thomas is a writer, editor, and designer, who also enjoys working with writers and artists to create their websites. She can be reached at