Rife: Twenty Stories from Britain’s Youth

By Nikesh Shukla

A book of essays by writers under 24, edited

Monday, 3 April 2017

GUEST POST: Announcing Our Contributors!

We are so thrilled to announce that we have now decided on all of our writers for our book ‘RIFE: Stories from Britain’s Youth’. Below is the full list of our fantastic contributors and everything you need to know about them. 

Don’t forget, the crowdfunder is still going, and we are nearly 60% funded. We want to give these people a voice so please help us get funded as soon as you can. If you've already contributed, please tell a friend, a family member, a mysterious benefactor. If you're one of the contributors, hi, how are you. If you've not contributed yet, read below. Cos this book will be lit. Pledge now

1. Kaja Brown 

About: Kaja is a writer of fantasy novels, short stories and journalism. She works at Rife Magazine where she has created content on topics of interest such as LGBT+ representation, lifestyle, and social issues. In her own writing Kaja wants to bring more LGBT+ characters into the fantasy genre, exploring themes such as non-binary gender identities within this platform so it’s more accessible to a wide audience. 

Essay: Kaja questions the role of gender in modern society. She explores how online-subcultures can provide individuals with the opportunity to explore and experiment with gender boundaries and shares her own experience of online role-play as ‘Sebastian’. 

Age: 19

Location: Bristol 

Twitter: @kajabrown37

2. June Eric Udorie 

About: June is an 18-year-old writer and campaigner. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, New Statesman, Fusion, Rookie Magazine and ESPN amongst other places. Her campaign to keep feminism on the A-Level politics syllabus garnered nearly 50K signatures, and resulted in a government U-turn. Currently, she works in the children’s department as an editorial trainee at Penguin Random House, and has recently been signed up by publisher Virago to edit an anthology that will focus on intersectional feminism, identity and beliefs. 

Age: 18

Location: London 

Twitter: @juneericudorie 

3. Ailsa Fineron 

About: Ailsa is a writer, photographer/film-maker, barista and aspiring good human. Her work is greatly influenced by and explores her experiences of mental health issues, race, gender and sexuality.  She is a Rife mag alumni, gal-dem contributor and member of T.I.G.E.R. (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality and Respect) co-operative. In 2016, Ailsa was named one of Rife's 24 Most Influential Bristolian's under 24.

Essay: In a country with a considerable lack of resources for mental health patients, Ailsa stresses the significance of informal peer support networks. 

Age: 23 

Location: Bristol

Twitter: @an_ailsa 

4. Ellie Ford-Elliot

About: Ellie writes poetry and loves cats, Shakespeare and The Vampire Diaries - three things which prove that a person can be smart and silly at the same time.

Essay: Ellie explores the modern landscape of dating and establishing of romantic connections. She draws on comical anecdotes from her own dating history, and questions whether a move toward less-rigid labels of sexual preference has influenced the changes in romantic connections.

Age: 22

Location: Bristol 

Twitter: @elliefelliot

5. Tianna Graham 

About: Tianna Graham is 20 years old, currently studying English in the beautiful city of Bristol, her home. She is the editor of Epigram Wellbeing, the mental health section of Bristol University's student newspaper and a writer in her free time. 

Essay: Tianna addresses mental health at University. Following the suicides of four students of the university of Bristol in just as many months, this paper touches on the role of exams, friendships, body image and social media in mental health. 

Age: 20 

Location: Bristol 

Twitter: @matterofthemind

6. Tom Greenslade 

About: Bristol born and bred, Tom has recently moved back to his home city. Some say it’s because he loves the West Country and his parents, others have seen his bank account. With a history degree from Oxford under his belt, Tom will be starting at Bristol Medical School in September 2017. 

Essay: Tom sheds light on an inter-generational conversation which he feels has gone silent of recent years. As a carer for elderly patients, he provides a unique insight on an older generation, and discusses his disappointment regarding generational portrayals in the media which are creating an increasingly fragmented and isolated society. 


7. Rosalind Jana

About: Rosalind Jana is an author, poet, journalist and a model. She's written for publications including British Vogue, Broadly, Refinery29, Buzzfeed, SUITCASE magazine and BBC Radio 4. Her debut book 'Notes On Being Teenage' came out with Wayland in 2016, while her poetry collection 'Branch And Vein' is published by the New River Press.

Essay: Rosalind offers a frank conversation about sex in the 21st century. She speaks about her personal experiences in relation to virginity, expectations, timelines, and independence, and the various narratives on the topic that young adults are exposed to today. 

Age: 21

Location: Shropshire

Twitter: @RosalindJana 

8. Mariam Khan

About: Mariam is a freelance social media professional, writer and activist. She has written on feminism, Islam, punishing and identity. Mariam is also the host and creator of the #FeminismInYA twitter chat. 

Essay: Mariam explores the effect of the politicisation and the policing of Muslim women's bodies. She references the effects of the French burkini ban, and the full face niqab in public and the white western feminism imposed on non white women identifying women.

Age: 24

Location: London 

Twitter: @helloiammariam 

9. Amber Kirk-Ford 

About: Amber Kirk-Ford is an 18-year-old blogger and YouTuber from Norfolk. In 2014 she won Best Blogger in the Future8 Awards, and in 2015 won Champion Teen Blogger in the UKYA Blogger Awards. She was also named one of the Guardian's top ten bloggers, and has written for them and MTV.

Essay: Amber uses humour and passion to argue that the voting age should be lowered to 16. Through drawing on her own personal experience alongside an informative and current political discussion, she proves that young people do care about politics. 

Age: 18

Location: Norfolk

Twitter: @MileLongBookS

10. Liv Little

About: Liv Little  is the founder and editor-in-chief of gal-dem, an online and print magazine. After feeling frustrated with the lack of diversity at her university, she wanted to reach out to women of colour like herself; and gal-dem was born. 

Essay: Liv reformulates the notion of ‘rushing women’s syndrome’ to foreground young women of colour. She stresses the burden and expectation that women of colour constantly battle to prove their worth, and the aggravating roles that creative internships, and the instable state of creative access can in the broader context.  

Age: 22

Location: London 

Twitter: @livlittle 

11. Shona Louise

About: Shona is a 19-year-old disabled blogger and advocate for her rare condition, Marfan Syndrome, currently living in the UK City of Culture, Hull. You can find her either openly talking about disability issues or taking part in volunteer charity work to improve the lives of others with conditions similar to her own. She also loves speeding in her powerchair and writing about everything from chronic pain to her favourite books.

Essay: Shona discusses her rare genetic condition and the daily implications of living in a world which is fundamentally not designed or adapted for her. She tackles benefits, education, relationships, and accessibility. 

Age: 19 

Location: Hull 

Twitter: @shonalouiseblog

12. Ella Marshall 

About: Ella has served a term as both a member of the Bristol City Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament. In 2016, she founded Freedom of Mind C.I.C. to initiate positive change in the way people view and speak about their mental health. Between this, being an officer in Bristol Young Labour and studying for A-Levels, she writes articles and poetry, reads history books and sometimes finds herself on stage or on the radio. 

Essay: Ella shares her views on individualism and political desensitivity in modern society. She discusses her concern about youth disengagement and the need to advocate a sense of social responsibility, and political engagement in light of the events of the past year. 

Age: 18

Location: Bristol 

Twitter: @_EllaMarshall 

13. Chloë Maughan 

About: Chloë Maughan is a freelance writer and contributor for The Skinny and Rife Magazine. She is an outspoken survivor of sexual violence, and writes regularly on gender, survival and mental wellbeing. She is a serial university drop-out, and former commended Foyle Young Poet. 

Essay: Chloë speaks out about the silencing effect that occurs as a result of online harassment. She shares her own experience of being targeted by through the media and highlights the ways in which individuals can re-find their voice, and build positive communities of opposition. 

Age: 23 

Location: Bristol 

Twitter: @CleoCommotion  

14. Daisy Murray 

About: Daisy Murray is the Junior Digital Writer at ELLE. She grew up in Cambridge and moved to London when she was 18 to study English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London and then gained a distinction in her Master’s in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has also written for Orlando and Tru Don. 

Essay: Daisy talks openly about her experience of two abortions in just as many years. She speaks about dealing with intense feelings of guilt and selfishness after making such a huge decision and draws on the portrayal of abortions –or lack thereof - in television and film throughout her young adulthood. 

Age: 23

Location: London 

Twitter: @DaisyMurray93

15. Ilyas Nagdee 

About: Born and bred in Manchester, Ilyas obtained a degree in Middle Eastern Studies focusing on colonialism & orientalism. He’s supported young people from underrepresented groups enter higher education as well as been involved in a range of interfaith and activism work. He was elected as a officer at his students’ union and to the NUS Black Students’ Campaign supporting students of colour across the UK.

Essay: Ilyas tackles the BME attainment gap, intersectionality, and exchanging feelings of unfettered gratefulness just to be in this country by a realisation that he should feel no obligation to justify his presence.

Location: Manchester 


Twitter: @ilyas_nagdee 

16. Ella Zorra

About: Ella grew up in North East London and lives in Spain. She is 22 years old and has worked as a nanny, a prostitute, and a teacher. She has empowered herself, diminished herself, and survived herself. She wants, more than anything, to force her story into the world.

Essay: At age 19 Ella turned to work as an escort in order to escape the prospect of homelessness. In this essay, she speaks openly about the damage that this period of time has had on both her physical and mental health, and how she has dealt with the consequences after leaving this world.  

Age : 22

Location : Spain 

17. Nick Preston 

About: Nicholas is a Research Administrator at The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations who writes short blog pieces about mental health, dystopian politics and animals. Recently, it took John Berger's death to incite him into making reading habitual. The bulk of his time is taken up by studying Anthropology at Goldsmiths. 

Essay: Through a series of informal notes, anecdotes and musings, Nick recounts his relocation to London to open up more opportunities for him. Expect a mix of funny, crude, serious, and honest thoughts on mental health, relationships and financial (in)stability. 

Age: 20 

Location: London 

18. Simran Randhawa 

About: Simran Randhawa is the assistant politics editor at gal-dem. She is also a writer, model and digital influencer who has been featured in publications such as Dazed and Nylon.

Essay: Simran reveals her transition with social media, from personal user to viral influencer and the effects of this on her mental health and career. She discussions the damaging repercussions of constant exposure, comparison and competition. 

Age: 22

Location: Bristol 

Twitter: @simisear_ 

19. Aniqah Rawat 

About: Aniqah is a member of the National Youth Theatre and National Youth Film Academy and also an athlete who has been raised in an Islamic home, so she definitely loves a bit of drama. She’s often found drinking tea or napping, and she’s always covered in glitter from working in Lush. 

Essay: Aniqah explains the constant tug of war between the life she is led to live by her parents and the western lifestyle she craves. She draws on notions of allegiance, freedom, naivety and her own economic situation.

Age: 19 

Location: Preston 

Instagram: @aniqahrawat

20. Malakai Sargeant

About: Malakaï is a writer, producer and practitioner who works extensively with his theatre company The S+K Project to promote inclusivity within the performing arts sector. He is also a page and performance poet, and forms part of the 2016/17 Barbican Young Poet cohort. Malakaï and fellow poet Belinda Zhawi curate and host Veranda, a monthly poetry night at independent bookshop Libreria. 

Essay: Malakai addresses the gentrification of his home borough, Hackney, describing the irony of never again being able to own a home there, and more broadly the impact of the process of gentrification on the local community. 

Age : 18

Location : London 

Twitter : @malakaisargeant 

21. Anna Tehabsim

About: Anna Tehabsim is the deputy editor of Bristol-based music magazine, Crack Magazine, and a cultural commentator who has written for the likes of i-D. Anna has also produced a documentary on Amsterdam’s dance music scene.

Essay: Anna reveals her pessimism and increasing fear about the uncertain future and her resistance to procreate as a result of this. She explains how rather than bringing more children into the world, she is opting to redirect her energies on helping to salvage the damage that the planet has suffered. 

22. Brenda Wong 


About: Brenda Wong is a writer and social media manager. She currently works for graduate recruitment app Debut, and writes the fortnightly email newsletter Mythical Millennial. She is a proud Malaysian immigrant, and a recipient of a Tech Nation Visa. 

Essay: Brenda invites us in to the meeting room of Downing Street in which she and David Cameron spoke about young people’s votes. She brings the present political climate to the surface, drawing on freedom of speech, finding one’s voice and using it wisely.

Age : 23

Location : London 

Twitter : @brendaisarebel 

There you have it. There's the book. We want to make this happen. Because these writers are amazing. Please help us make it so.

by Kate Fogarty (editorial assistant for the Rife book)

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