A veritable mish-mash

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is soon to be upon us readers. In the previous two years, IWD has been a big thing for Any Other Woman. In 2011, we collaborated with some amazing US bloggers and  ran a series called In Her Own Words . For IWD 2012, we re-launched as Any Other Woman, with our shiny new blog, AND invited some brilliant women to write about Choices. The writing, and the community coming together in both years was truly awing for Anna, Aisling and I, and made us all feel inordinately proud to belong to such an a amazing group of women.

This year we’d like IWD to be just as big for the AOW community. You lot have been unbelievably supportive of us, and this little corner of the internet, and we love the community feeling we’ve built here. YOU are what makes this place such a special place to be. That’s why, this year,  we’re throwing the doors open. We’ll be posting all day, with submissions from YOU.

On What Being a Woman Means to You.

That’s something that every one can do, no? We’re asking each and every one of you who’d like to be involved to submit something. We’ve relaxed the rules a lot too….rather than a written piece, perhaps you photographers would like to submit a picture that defines what being a woman means to you? Or those of you who work in graphic design, or who are a dab hand in photoshop, would like to submit a graphic of some sort?  Of course, we still want plenty of written posts too, we just wanted to let you know that there are other ways of contributing, if you’re not ready or able to write a full post.

This is all about celebrating and bringing together our wonderful little community, on a day when women around the world are coming together and being celebrated.  What that means is, if you’ve been sitting back, enjoying reading, but waiting for the moment to get involved in AOW, now is your time. This is the time when you can submit something, and be part of something really special.

So all of you, serial submitters, lurkers, occasional commenters, one-time posters – leave a comment below to let us know you’ll be participating, and we’ll email you with all of the info like deadlines etc. Anna will no doubt already have a spreasheet set-up, ready for the onslaught.

Submissions in general

As I mentioned above, you lot are wonderful. Bloody wonderful. And also entirely predictable. We do a shout out for submissions, and we get a whole load of emails from you all saying things like ‘I’ve been thinking abut submitting this for ages, but wasn’t sure if it would be right for AOW’, or ‘This has been sitting on my computer for months and I’ve just finished it to send now, I’m not sure if you’ll be interested in it…’, and Anna, Aisling and I get ridiculously excited because they are all so flipping great. And for a few marvellous weeks, the submissions roll in.

And then it’s like you all start doubting yourselves again. You start thinking that we wouldn’t like what you’ve written, or wouldn’t be interested. That your Any Other Photo isn’t exciting enough. You start telling yourselves what you’ve got to say isn’t interesting enough, or what you’ve written isn’t good enough. Which is all a load of rubbish, because we (absolutely honestly) have yet to see a submission that we wouldn’t want to post on AOW.

All of you have something important to say.

So stop dithering, stop doubting yourselves, and send us those submissions. Even if you’re reticent to have your name put to the submission for personal reasons, you can submit them as an anonymous ‘Behind Closed Doors‘ piece. With Aisling about to head off on maternity leave, you are at high risk of getting an excess of tree-house pictures from Anna and notes on toddler tantrums from me. This is not something that you want to happen. Believe me.

So send us your posts, yes?

The Great AOW Book Swap of 2013

Anna dutifully created a Spreadsheet of Glory, where emails were added and requests noted.

Hundreds of questionnaires were sent out, and were returned to us over the course of a week.

We oohed and ahhed over all of the responses, and desperately wanted to change our own answers after reading each new response (ok, that was just me – but you all came up with Such Good Books).

Many hours were spent matching up senders with receivers (during which I nearly lost my mind. Fortunately Anna and Aisling were there, via whatsapp, to talk me down off the precipice).

Each beautifully filled out questionnaire was individually sent out to the chosen recipient.

All that remains now is for you to send out the book that you think your recipient will adore, enjoy, love, be enthralled by, or even be challenged by. (Yes, we know that some of you have already done this. We are envious of your efficiency.)

So there you have it – if you took part in AOW Book Swap 2013, you should now have received your email telling you who you need to send to, and your questionnaire will have been forwarded on to some other lovely reader, and a book will be winging its way to you soon. The deadline for getting your books to the recipient is 28th Feb, so if you’ve not received your book by then, let us know.

AOW Hen Do Extraordinaire

Just a final reminder that Every Single One of you is invited to the extravaganza that is going to be the AOW Hen Do. You don’t have to be a bride, or of any other relationship status to come along, you just need to be a reader. I’m not going to be there (sob), but I happen to know that everyone who is going is as ridiculously welcoming as they profess to be. We truly want all of you to feel welcome and involved, so if you’ve not already, head over to this post and leave a comment.

Right, I think that’s it. In summary; we love you, get involved in IWD on AOW (by leaving a comment below – DON’T FORGET TO DO THIS BECAUSE IT’S HOW WE’LL KNOW WHO’S INVOLVED, OK?), submit your brilliant posts to us, send your book swap books out, and come to the AOW Hen do because we love you.

Yep, I think that’s it.

Categories: Behind the Scenes at AOW, Books, International Women's Day, Written By Clare
45 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Currently deciding on an appropriate quote/poem to send for IWD.

  2. Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I’m pondering. I love IWD on here but I’m not good at writing when I have to, I usually just wake up with something annoying me or a flash of inspiration and sit down and go rah rah rah at the laptop, but the likelihood of that happening between now and then is pretty high so if this comment hasn’t bored you to tears put me down.

  3. Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I’m signing up me, and Catherine for IWD. We have been plotting our posts via text. I love how IWD gives me a free day pass to righteous indignation.

    Also, Mahj and I are setting up a support group to deal with BOOKSWAP ANXIETY (a medical term). Symptoms include having no idea what to send the person you were assigned as they have listed Every Genre or have Impeccable Taste, or both. Admittedly, this makes the shopping part much more fun. Holding the hand of someone going through the same thing.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Or how about if they have Opposite Taste from you and you can’t think of anything you’ve read and know is good, so you’re going to have to take a random blind shot in the dark? Uhmmm, you know, just in case anyone is in that position…

      • Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Katy, that’s a club I could join :-) My book is going to be a painstakingly chosen shot in the dark. I may have to send cake to make up for this…

        • Amanda M
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          Oooh, cake? I do hope you’ve got me!

          I read the questionnaire questions for my bookee – and then just bought something I had thought was really good, gulped and crossed my fingers. Dead scientific.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      An amazing glimpse into what it would be like if you were my personal secretary!

      Every time I get the bookswap anxiety I just remember how excited and pleased I am that I will be receiving any book (provided its not 50 shades) and trust that my swapee feels the same.

      • Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        I’m 100% with you on that Catherine!
        And I’m posting my book to my swapee today! Eeek!

      • Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        I’m Margaret to your Leo. And yes, I love the thought that a book will be flying through the air, chosen for me, based on a few answers I gave!

        • Yanthé
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          I think I may finally have just chosen my recipient’s book but am sharing ALL THE ANXIETY! I think I may add a homemade brownie to soften the blow in case said recipient has already read it/didn’t like it/doesn’t like it/thinks I’m bonkers for choosing it.

          Oh dear.

          • Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            Beware, Aisling Clare and I may fix the results so you end up having to send us ALL homemade brownie…

            • Yanthé
              Posted February 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

              I’m not one to boast, but my boss literally raves about my homemade brownies. Don’t know if they’d survive the post but I may bring along a batch to AOWHD (sorry Clare)

              • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

                Oooh I hope you’ve got me! I just sent my swapee a rubbish song/poem.

              • Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

                We can have a brownie-off!

                • Amanda M
                  Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

                  I’m pretty good at brownies too. Let’s do a bake off! (flagrant attempt to scoff loads of brownies)

        • Anon
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          I wish I had you. I could buy you the West Wing Quiz book. With my answers scribbled in the side.

  4. Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Oh so exciting. Totally sign me up for International Woman Day. I will write a post on being a woman….
    I am so happy about the book swap, so so excited. I have ordered the book, after carefully selecting it based on the questionnaire. It should be here this week, and then, off it goes to its recipient :)
    I so wish I could make it to the Hen do…. but living in a different country doesn’t help. Also I am submitting a post that I’ve had in a file for a few weeks now.
    PS is there anyone near Crowborough / East Sussex? I will be there the second weekend of March…

  5. Vivienne
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Major bookswap research going on here, often at 3am whilst feeding Toby. I definitely have some book swap anxiety though!

    IWD post is tentatively started – one handed typing takes a while but I’m very excited about it!

  6. Sarah
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Eek, I’ve got bookswap anxiety too. What if the person has already read it for example? Also – bookswap etiquette – anonymous or not?! x

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I think I’m going to send a little note with mine saying who I am and why I’ve picked the book…but it’s up to you – you can stay anonymous if you like….

      • Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Ooh, that’s good to know, I was going to do the same. I don’t want to force them to like the book but I do want to explain why I picked it and why I think they might like it. Plus my person lives somewhere close to my heart so I’ll have to babble on for a few lines at least!

  7. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s what you were looking for for IWD, but I currently have a post about my mother brewing in my head. It’s been inspired by Anna’s post yesterday, and the worry a lot of mothers seem to have about whether they’re getting it right. I draw a complete blank when I think about what being a woman means to me. If it’s not what you were wanting, I’m happy to submit it for something else.

    Initially I had bookswap anxiety, stressing that I wouldn’t ever be able to think of something good enough. I had a cup of tea, gave myself a bit of a talking to, came up with the book and am now worried I didn’t do enough research and went on instinct instead…

    Even when you have a book, you still have the anxiety…

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Crysta – that sounds like PERFECTION

  8. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I am writing a post for IWD. Or you can post it some other time. You already know vaguely what it’s about :-) Exciting! xxx

  9. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I have something for IWD, I think. Not sure how right it is. But it exists, anyway. So I guess count me in (although I’m having submission anxiety now)

    Also totally do have two unfinished submissions on my laptop. And my Mum wants to write a submission for you (first my baby sister, next my Mum, it’s like a family takeover), although she’s worried you all will think she’s silly (you won’t of course, because she isn’t). Also been bugging my best friend to write you an AOP.

    Still beyond gutted I can’t make the AOW Hen Do. Although you should all be grateful you don’t have to see me in a tutu, I do not have the figure of a ballerina.

    FINALLY, I have chosen my book swap book. And I also agree with Catherine above, personally I will be excited by ANY book I receive, because it will have been chosen for me, I know, with thought and care, and that’s what matters. Also it’ll be a BOOK. Getting a book is never ever not exciting and awesome. Ever.

    K x

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      KL, your comment has thrown me into spasms of submissions excitement. More KL and KL family writing? Send. It. Through.

      And I wasn’t built to wear lycra either but am embracing it! if I can get away with something skimpy anywhere, it’s with the AOW folk.

      • Posted February 5, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        On. It.

        To be honest if I was not busy that weekend, I would definitely not be letting my likely resemblance to a Hippo ballerina from Fantasia stop me playing dress-up.

        K x

        • Carly
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Erm, Katie. I’ve seen the pictures – not in any way do you resemble a hippo!! X

        • Amanda M
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha – these are my exact words from an earlier post. Shame you’re not going – we could Hippo together!

  10. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Hahaha. God, yes. We are Anxious Other Women until we come onto this blog and then we get the support we need!

  11. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Right, here comes a big fat “yes, I will write something for IWD!” I know what I want to write about, I’m just going through the regular self-doubt that happens before I put pen to paper :)

  12. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I have something I’d like to submit for IWD. It is a picture though (avec mind numbing commentary I’m sure) if that’s alright?

    Will be posting my book on Thursday/Friday! Very excited to see what my recipient thinks :)


    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Pictures very welcome – with commentary or not! Cannot WAIT to see what you’ve chosen…

  13. Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    IWD – I think I have half a post brewing but I will probably change my mind mid-topic and write about something else entirely.

    AOWHD – am on holiday then (gutted isn’t the word even though I desperately need a holiday!) but looking forward to many photos of people who look much better than me in lycra and tutus!

    Bookswap – much anxiety going on but I’m very excited about having someone send me a book so hopefully my swappee will feel the same. *crosses fingers*

  14. Becca
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I instantly knew what I was going to get my #anyotherbookswop but have changed my mind a MILLION times. I feel like writing her/him an annonymous letter to ask for more information because the questionnaire is just NOT enough.

    I do rush home EVERY SINGLE NIGHT to check the post though. Tonight may be THE night


  15. Mahj
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    IWD – hmm, will get my thinking cap on. Am sure I have something a-brewing!

    Bookswap – holy good God, the Fear, the cold sweats. My book is ordered and has been dispatched to me today. Whether it gets posted due to the Fear and have cold sweats is another matter! May require an emergency session of the support group K!

    AOHD – waaaaaaaaaaaa! Beyond gutted that I can’t make this and will be crying tears of abolute envy on the day. Please please everyone live tweet the days high jinx. Plllleeeeeeeaaassseeeeee!


  16. Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Pretty sure I can come up with something – have a million ideas flipping around my mind already after reading this! Also with you all on the bookswap anxiety! SO excited for AOW hen do!!!

  17. Kate G
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    LOL Glad Im not the only one having anxious bookswop moments. then I turn it and think Im going to be delighted to receive a book! in! the! POST! and no matter what it is it will be wonderful to receive and to have been in the experience. Im sure thats how everyones books will be received – we all worry too much about getting it perfect.:)

    As for IWD submission – mind and heart want to, lets see if brain plays along….

  18. Posted February 6, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    IWD: I think I have a post brewing which could be relevant…..

    SUBMISSIONS: I have this very instant submitted a post #smug #yeah #Iknowthisisn’tTwitter

    BOOK SWAP: I definitely have a severe case of “Bookswap Anxiety”. The cure for this is cake right? And sending two books, yeah?

    AOW HEN: In latest news, I may be able to join you all for a drink. Or Sunday brunch. Or both.


  19. Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Didn’t have chance to comment yesterday but
    a) Becci how have I not found GoodReads before? I can see myself losing a lot of time on it… Good call (although I appear to just be finding books for myself and not my swapee)
    b) I too have bookswap anxiety as I think I have almost opposite book taste to my swapee – gnnn. But! Books through the post – who doesn’t love that – so I need to get on and choose something!
    c) Please put me down for an IWD post, I haven’t got a clue what to write but having a goal like this will give me a kick to actually write something
    d) *small voice* I am not going to wear lycra to the AnyOtherHendo – I hope I am still allowed to come…!

    K x

    • Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Katy, you could wear a binbag and be welcome! And YAY, you’re writing for IWD!

      • Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I had best get my thinking cap on then! And also find some peach bin bags…

        K x

  20. CarolineH
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Catching up on a week’s worth of AOW and doing lots of comments at once…

    IWD – I think this is really important, so even though I’m not sure I’ll have anything amazing (prob a photo more than a post!) put me down!

    Bookswap – OMG so relieved to know others are a bit anxious. I think I’ll go with my first instinct….

    AOHP – would love to come, need to swap some diary thigns around, fingers crossed!!

  21. Sara
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to give it a go… :) x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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