Germ magazine

Today I want to talk about an online magazine that I absolutely love called Germ magazine.

As explained on their website: “Germ [noun] — the origin of something; a thing that may serve as the basis of further growth or development (as in “a germ of happiness”).”

Germ was inspired by the book All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, in which (among other things) the main character starts her own online magazine of the same name – Germ. (It’s a beautiful book, just by the way. You should read it.) One of the things I really like about the magazine is how, clicking into the website for the first time after reading the book, you can spot all the links: references to wandering, quotes, and of course the menu option for “Bright Places”.

The site itself is gorgeous. It has a bit of everything, really: poetry and stories, movie reviews, beautiful photographs, interviews, articles. (Articles, may I add, about almost anything under the sun, from funny to serious to inspiring.) I particularly like when activism-related, let’s-achieve-things pieces come along.

Germ was also the very first magazine ever to publish one of my stories. They’re open to submissions and that means they’re filled to the brim with the writing of people finding their voices, from all over the world. It’s a really wonderful resource and community to have, and the general atmosphere of let’s-make-the-world-better-while-also-making-it-prettier always leaves me feeling motivated.

So, why not go have a look around? You might like it too…

Something worth watching

“I’m gonna answer the questions that people always ask me, but with an honest twist.”

Just about every TED talk is worth watching if you have time, but “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model” by Cameron Russell is one that has stuck out for me.

Question: “How’d you become a model?”


Truthful answer: “I won the genetic lottery, and I am the recipient of a legacy.”

After proving the power of image in the first minute of her talk, Russell dissects the legacy and industry from which she has benefitted, tactfully and with honesty: image is superficial, and yet, has a huge impact on our lives. Russell mentions racial discrimination (something that I really appreciated and thought brave, as a white woman discussing her own white privilege). She also very effectively explains that the cool happy image in the photo is not real, despite girls across the world thinking these pictures are what they should aspire to.

I would definitely recommend watching this talk, which you can find here. It’s entertaining, it’s well structured, it makes you think, and it’s less than 10 minutes long. What’s not to like?