What's in a Herd?

If you’re receiving this newsletter, it is because you value creativity in your life.

The Herd is an online seasonal newsletter created by Allie Rigby. It is linked to her website and aims to offer a fresh space for creative folk around the world. 



HERD (noun) - a large group of animals, especially hoofed mammals, that live, feed, or migrate together.

HERD (noun) - 35 humans who are part of this creative collective. 

Dear Members of The Herd,

Thank you for being on this newsletter and creative project with me. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly where it is going.

I know that I want to share my poetry more, and I know that I want to build connections with a bigger “creative family.” I want to offer a monthly message that other people might look forward too. I wanted to celebrate other artists.

I use the word “artist” loosely here. Farmers, teachers, writers, people who thank other people for menial tasks… they are all artists to me. They are the people who make me want to bring something sweet to the world.

So thanks for being here and for reading this. And here’s Issue II of The Herd!


P.S. You can unsubscribe at any time. Or, if you like The Herd so far, you can consider getting a tattoo saying “THE HERD” on your back.


Creativity Crush:

Adi Wickham-Gobert wants you to “take a deep breath in.

Adi Wickham-Gobert co-leads the Oakland-based funk band Speakeasē. She also co-writes all their songs. That could be a lot of pressure, but Adi just focuses on taking care of herself and letting the creativity follow.

If you’re wondering what Neo-soul swerve sounds like, start with their song Queen Beefeatured on their debut album DEERLION. It’s impossible not to sway. Adi’s voice is dynamic and smooth, and the melodies make your body want to move. 

What’s the best way to support bands you love? Adi says to “follow your bands on Instagram and Spotify, especially those smaller bands.” 


Writing Prompt:

Write what hasn’t been written yet: honoring Toni Morrison.

In celebration of Toni Morrisonwho passed in August, this month’s prompt asks us to pause and honor her many works. If you’ve never read Morrison, Roxane Gay has an incredible article herethat articulates her role for all contemporary literature. 

Morrison once said, “if there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Easier said than done, but Morrison did it.

For this week, take 20 minutes to draft the plot of a novel. Don’t overthink it. What character are you desperate to read about these days? What are they doing at 5pm on a Sunday? What’s weird about their morning routine? What is their big fear?

TipDon’t get wrapped up in the minutia here or logistics of the plot. Who do YOU want to read about?


Quick Lit Review:

Ocean Vuong’s novel is gorgeous.

When very famous people say that your first novel is a “masterpiece,” how do you stay grounded? Ocean Vuongsays it helps that he has a very supportive partner. This novel is a letter to a mother, from a protagonist trying to explain his life choices. 

“I wanted to arrive at queer joy—but discovered that I wanted to do so without forsaking the very real and perennial presence of danger that queer bodies face simply by existing.” -O.V.

For more, read this powerful review by Spencer Quong at The Paris Review. For his book interview, click here



I sent a submission 7 times in one sitting.

If you ever feel embarrassed about committing an artistic faux paus, I can relate. I make them every day. 

Recently, I emailed an art and literary magazine with my submission for poetry. My phone was being weird, so I kept clicking “send. send. send.” Finally, when I had better cell service, the email finally sent. Along with six others.

To make things worse, I now faced another dilemma. Do I email the magazine again, and apologize for the glitch, thus adding anotheremail to their inbox? Do I play it cool and pretend it didn’t happen?

I didn’t play it cool. Instead, I emailed them right away, frantically explaining what happened, and asked if, perchance, in any of the emails, they received the attached poems? They replied, to my relief.

“Yes Allie, we received your emails.”

I pondered this response for a good half day. Should I email them again, apologizing for all the previous emails? Make a funny joke about it all?

Some people are just better with keeping it chill, I guess. 

I dare you to submit something.

Why not? Did you read the above happening? Do you see how often I embarrass myself in submissions? I dare you to submit something this month.

How about Manzano Mountain Review? Their theme for Issue 4 is Wilderness, “however you define it.” They need poetry, art, images, and prose. 

The window for submissions hereis until October 1st. Make sure to read those submission guidelines. Let me know if you submit, so I can give you a shout-out in the next newsletter! 



That’s it for this Issue II. Thanks for reading The Herd! 

Feel free to email me your questions, musings, and writing exercises from our monthly prompt. I might be slow to reply, but I will respond. 

c. September 2019


Allie Rigby