Mad Woman is a newsletter about literature, pop culture, feelings, and madwomen. Essays explore labor, care, craft, feminism, psychology, parenthood, and power through timely criticism of books, politics, and culture. You can also expect juicy conversations.

Most essays are free, but personal pieces, weekly roundups, and other community features are for paid subscribers. Writing takes time, is work, is my income, and many hours go into the pieces you read here. If you read this newsletter and value the writing you find here—and if you believe in paying writers for their work—please consider a paid subscription. It’s the best way to support everything you read here.

I send little treats to paid subscribers because I’m so grateful for them/you. Having a paywalled side of this newsletter also keeps out bad actors.

More about what you get as a paid subscriber:

  • Paid subscribers get Friday roundups of links, criticism, books, TV and/or film

  • Essays that are more personal are usually behind a paywall, only accessible to paid subscribers, which protects me

  • Commenting and community privileges are also behind a paywall, only accessible to paid subscribers, which protects you—this allows us to have discussions within this community, rather than with randos who drop by to explain things to us

  • There are occasionally live virtual events, again protected by the paywall

  • You’ll get a discount on my new podcast (!)— details soon

Paid subscribers also get full access to the archive.

If you’d like a regular paid subscription but aren’t able to pay, email me. I will comp you one, no questions asked.

Writing Group

In January 2024, we launched a writing group! I’ve been teaching writing for almost 15 years, and I developed this program to bring some of that work here.

This Writing Group is separate from a regular paid subscription, so if it’s not your thing, you can just hang out for the essays on books and culture, the weekly recs, the interviews, and the community.

Regular paid subscribers support and access the writing I do here. As a founding tier subscriber in the Writing Group, you get additional access to writing prompts, reading lists, craft talks, retreats, and an intimate, supportive community of writers.

More about what you get as a Writing Group subscriber:

  • Discounts on writing classes

  • Monthly craft essays with a syllabus of relevant readings and a writing prompt, and space to discuss (10 months of the year)

  • Threads each week where you can share what you’re working on, connect with other writers and artists, and exchange resources (“gentle accountability” as one subscriber called it)

  • Two virtual residencies per year for all genres and mediums, one in the spring, and one in the fall—these will include optional co-working sessions, creative prompts, and community threads

If you’d like to donate a subscription to support someone unable to pay, you can do that too:

Donate Subscriptions

About Me

Hi again. So glad you’re here. I’m an author, critic, and educator. Writing from or related to my recent book, TOUCHED OUT: MOTHERHOOD, MISOGYNY, CONSENT, AND CONTROL, can be found at The New York Times, The Guardian, Elle, and TIME. You can get to know me through interviews and other coverage at The Cut, LA Review of Books, Guernica, Write or Die, The Boston Globe, and a bunch of Substack newsletters, including Culture Study.

Want a copy?

You can read other writing by me at Slate, Vox, Huffington Post, Believer Mag, Rumpus, Mutha, HTMLGIANT, Ms., and other places. And you can read more at my website.

I teach writing through many creative writing organizations and at Stanford. I have taught and presented work at Columbia University, New York University, University of California, Berkeley, St. Mary’s, University of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, University of Virginia, State University of New York at Buffalo, Diablo Valley College, and others.

I have a PhD in literature and an MFA in writing. I study and write about memoir, narrative, and representations of labor, domesticity, feminism, sex, trauma, consent, and motherhood in literature, film, TV, art, political discourse, psychology, everyday culture, all over.

Oh, and I live in California, where I was born and raised. You can find me online on Instagram @amontei and not on Twitter.

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Essays, conversations, and criticism on books, culture, and feminism. Also a new writing group for founding subscribers.


Author of TOUCHED OUT, words at New York Times, Guardian, Elle, Time, The Cut, Slate, Believer, etc. PhD in literature, MFA in writing. Usually more madwoman than mad woman.