Five newsletters I like

I’ll be launching my own email newsletter very soon, and so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share five newsletters I regularly read and enjoy.

Assuming you’re like me and you check your email inbox at least once per day, newsletters can be a great way to follow the work of your favourite content creators. There’s no interference from an algorithm that causes you to miss the latest update. Instead, you’ve invited your favourite creator into your inbox.

Email newsletters come in many forms. Some are similar to blogs, focusing on a particular theme or subject matter and writing content centred around it. Whilst mine will be a curated newsletter. What this means is that it will feature a collection of links and general info all in one place with the aim of sending you to other pages on the web.

The following five fall into one of these two categories:

1. Conquest of the Useless

A daily newsletter written by Mic Wright, perhaps better known as @brokenbottleboy on Twitter. Wright works in the media and that’s what he writes about. The most common subject matter is the cesspit of opinions penned by mainstream columnists. I was no stranger to the warped mind of the columnist when I subscribed earlier this year, but I’ve since learnt just how widespread the rot is.

Compulsively readable with its blunt humour, inventive puns and clever references, Conquest of the Useless is a great daily detox from journalist hot takes. Whilst it’s probably best to read a more recent edition of the newsletter for more current media critique, I’ve included a list of favourites from the archive.

Suggested reads:

Brain Pickings logo: white background of a black illustration where the scalp of a person's head has been lifted like a lid, and a hand is reaching in with chopsticks

2. Brain Pickings

A lengthy weekly newsletter (twice a week if you also subscribe to the shorter midweek pick-me-up) released every Sunday, written by Maria Popova. She describes the newsletter as a “one-woman labor of love exploring what it means to live a decent, substantive, rewarding life.” Each newsletter consists of three posts that cover a range of topics, including art, creativity, love, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, botany and more.

Truthfully, I rarely read the newsletters in full. Sadly, my attention span is limited. But my approach is to read what most interests me with each issue and take away what I want from it. For me, these are typically Popova’s musings on art, creativity, love and aliveness.

Each newsletter is also packed with links for when you want to delve deeper into a topic. Apologies in advance if you find yourself going down a rabbit hole.

Suggested reads:

Black and white photo of Austin Kleon

3. Austin Kleon

Sent out every Friday, Austin Kleon’s curated newsletter contains a list of 10 (links to) things he thought worth sharing from the week. It’s a structure so easily digestible I might steal it in future if I ever decide to make my newsletter a weekly thing.

“[A] writer who draws,” Kleon’s newsletter contains links to new and topically relevant old posts on his blog, which cover a range of topics on what he’s reading and on making art. They also include links to articles, poems and interviews from other artists and writers. If you draw or write (or both) then I cannot recommend Kleon enough.

Suggested reads:

4. AI Weirdness

If you’re familiar with Keaton Patti’s “I forced a bot to write…”, then you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect from AI Weirdness.

This weekly(ish) newsletter is written by Janelle Shane, author of You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place. Every issue shares the often hilarious results of the latest experiment Sharpe has run with a select few AIs.

I don’t have an invested interest in AI, but I do love weird shit. So if you love weird shit, you might like this too. If you also have an interest in AI, then all the better.

Suggested reads:

Agents and Books logo: an open books sits atop a stack of books with "A&B" scribbled on the right-hand page.

5. Agents and Books

On the free plan, you’ll get a weekly newsletter every Tuesday on a topic covering vital information about literary agents and publishing. It’s written by Kate McKean, a writer and literary agent who has worked on books by Alix E. Harrow, Madeleine Roux, Erin Hahn, among others.

The aim of the newsletter is to answer common questions by authors about the world of publishing, which makes this newsletter an invaluable resource.

Suggested reads:

I read plenty of other newsletters, too. Perhaps I’ll write another post about them one day. But I’ll leave it at five for now.

My inbox is already very busy with subscriptions, but you’ll bet I won’t hesitate to add more. So if there are any newsletter you’d recommend, don’t hesitate to let me know.