The Upwrite Origin Story: A Tale of Two Kanye-Quoting Moms on Opposite Coasts
On a frigid winter’s night in New York, Kate Watson composed an email that would alter the course of her creative life forever. The subject line said “Prayer/Spirit?/~vibes~” and you won’t believe what happened next. JK, here’s what it said:
Kate Watson here (@katewatsonwrites on insta). I'm writing because I was reading some of your latest online offerings and saw that you're moving to Redding, CA for your DREAM JOB! We're practically internet strangers, but I felt *so* proud of you. I relate to so much of what you say. I see you putting things out into the world that are marvelous and true. I see you dealing with quarrelsome folks with grace and genuine kindness. You've got that rare thing about you where you can connect with people on an intimate level and inspire them with hope instead of envy. If you're out in California, and you're feelin' kinda lonely out there, and Joan Didion essays aren't helping... you should keep writing. Anyway, you're killing it, my kindred spirit is proud of you, the HOLY Spirit felt like it was moving in me to write you.
Since that night, Ashley and Kate have spoken every day, plotting cross-country trips to introduce their toddler sons or attend writing conferences. 50 zillion texts, a couple dozen ironic memoir title ideas, a litany of Kanye lyrics, a treasury of screenshots, two group texts, at least three alternate realities with online editors as protagonists, and a baker’s dozen attempts at collaborating on a hope-stirring, writer-empowering project later, the pair started Upwrite Magazine, their sly/sincere response to the clickbait epidemic. (They are both guilty of “contributing” to the “conversation.”)