History of Maggie Journal

Maggie Journal started as a rebellion against the culture of writing for free. Our team was sick of giving away their time, their words, and their art, for nothing more than ‘the privilege of being published’. So we came together to create a new publication that celebrated writers and provided a nurturing environment for creatives taking their first steps in the industry.

We decided that we needed to make sure our writers got a return on their investment. So, under the leadership of our Founding EIC Annie Ferguson, we designed a pioneering Professional Development Program.

This program requires that writers stay with Maggie Journal for a minimum of six months. In return for the generous gift of their writing, we give all PDP writers editorial feedback, monthly workshops, and professional headshots, among many other benefits.

It is our belief that this program will provide our writers with opportunities for growth that are not available in many other ‘write-for-free’ internships.

Since launching our PDP in September 2014, ahead of the publication’s official launch in December of that year, we have had approximately 40 writers participate in our program. Applications for our PDP will reopen in February 2016. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to be the first to receive updates.

Who is Maggie?

Margaret (Maggie) Hughes is our namesake. Born in 1630, she is widely credited as the first professional female stage actress. Her breakout role as Desdemona in Shakespeare’s Othello put her in good stead for a successful career.

When she wasn’t on the stage Maggie was kept busy with several high profile affairs, including her rumoured relationship with Charles II himself. The one that stuck was her ongoing romance with Prince Rupert of Rhine, which bore one child: Ruperta Howe.

It wasn’t long before Prince Rupert publicly acknowledged Maggie’s daughter as his own. He established Maggie with a building worth £25,000 so she would have the means to look after their child. He also left his estate to be divided evenly between Maggie and Ruperta: another £12,000 in the pocket.

After the birth of Ruperta, Maggie continued to act, performing at the Dorset Garden Theatre with the prestigious Duke’s Company – the original working mum, amiright?

In her later years, Maggie continued to indulge in the finer things, adorning herself with fine jewellery and spending long evenings gambling away her small fortune into an even smaller fortune. She is said to have lived ‘uncomfortably’ without the ongoing support of Rupert, but she certainly didn’t let it get her down. She died in 1719 at the ripe old age of 89.