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A few examples of my writing, like I said.

There are lots of words here and no pictures.

You might want to get a hot drink and settle in 🍵

Each section below is a piece I've written. To jump to a specific example, choose from these options:

➡️ Oh Reader! The story of The NoMo Book Club

➡️ How Netflix got a load of copywriter wannabes to jazz up their website copy

➡️ A random month from The NoMo Book Club Newsletter - let's say it's July

That's it.

Nothing fancy.

Just the words.

Cover of the magazine 'Oh Reader' showing a cartoon female peeking over the top of an open book
Oh Reader


The NoMo Book Club

By Lisa Kissane


This is a story about how books and community helped me claw my way out of grief.


Around christmastime of 2014, I was diagnosed with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, also known as Premature Menopause. I was twenty-nine. 


My husband and I had been trying to have a baby of our own and for the next few years we continued to try in earnest to conceive. We exhausted every avenue and explored every option until early 2019 when we finally accepted that we couldn’t carry on. My self-worth was being slowly eroded with every negative pregnancy test. I was emotionally exhausted and felt broken; I had no clue of my place in the world if I wasn’t going to be a mother. It began to feel as though the infertility community was no longer serving me in the way I needed. Each time I logged on to Facebook there was a new TTC (trying to conceive) thread, or an image of a test strip showing a single stark stripe along with the question, "Can anyone else see a second line?" Instead, I began to look for role models; other childless women like me who could show me how to embrace the grief of involuntary childlessness and find wholeness. 


Finding My Tribe


In the months that followed, I felt myself changing irrevocably. They say that having children changes you, but the opposite can also be true. Knowing I would never have my own baby changed me more profoundly than anything else I've ever experienced. I desperately needed people around me who understood, and soon I found a thriving childless community online; and this in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic which effectively trapped everyone at home for over a year in England. Unexpectedly, I found myself at home with nothing to do but think and talk to the new friends I was making in this thriving online world of Women Like Me. A lifelong bookworm, I also found comfort in books as I always had done, but something else had changed. I'd developed an acute awareness of motherhood and fertility tropes in the pages of much-loved novels and felt unrepresented and invisible. It felt as though my trusty companion had turned on me and kept throwing my shattered dreams back in my face, often adding little value to the story and even sometimes on the very last page. Here, a successful round of IVF; there, another 45 year old woman becoming accidentally pregnant to round off a ‘finding peace’ plot. With every miracle baby ending, my confidence and courage faded along with my ability to imagine a life for myself that would be fulfilling and joyful without a child. I was so grateful that I now had this incredible community of women in my laptop who were just like me in the most fundamental of ways. Ever curious, I spoke at length with other women (and some men) about their own relationships with literature and how the awareness of their own childless future had affected the way they engaged with books and storytelling. It was bittersweet to learn that I wasn't alone in my observations, and with 18% of women in the UK reaching the end of their childbearing years without children (ONS, 2019), it became clear that the lack of fair representation of women like us in fiction was a problem. 


Representation is important


It is a universal truth that human beings need to be seen. For some, that might mean being the centre of attention; for others, being available to those in need; for others still, simply knowing that someone else on this planet sees them, warts and all. It’s also a sad truth that within many genres, literature has a shocking lack of childless representation, particularly in novels where heroines are over 40. Maybe there’s a rule that if a character undertakes fertility treatment, they must subsequently become parents. The startling truth is that less than a third of IVF cycles result in a live birth (NHS, 2018) - and that’s in the youngest age groups; as women get older these figures drop drastically. Think of the fact that in movies, if we are shown a gun, it must be fired later on. This can promote toxic positivity in the real world, which has the potential to be devastating for the recipient. Well-meaning friends and family often find it difficult to know what to say to a person who has been unable to have children and there are many others who never even got the chance to try. Platitudes such as, “You can always adopt”, and “It will happen when the time is right” reinforce the idea that if a woman has ‘failed’ to have a child, she is somehow lesser.


Happy ever after


There are hundreds of thousands of women across the globe who do not have children and the reasons for this are as varied as they are. It was for this reason that, feeling bolstered and supported by my tribe, I founded The NoMo Book Club. NoMo means 'not mothers'; a term coined by Jody Day, the founder of the Gateway Women website and community (Gateway Women, 2021). The NoMo Book Club is a virtual place (in the form of a website and social media presence) where I celebrate the books I read that recognise childless women and portray them as strong, resilient, valued. Not every happy ending has to include a baby; my friends in the childless community are testament to that. Through talking about books with my peers, I found I began to heal, slowly at first, and after many years of darkness I was able to see the light again. My life had meaning and purpose; I was invested in something that was beneficial to others and was helping women who had fallen out of love with books to safely dip their toe again, comforted by the knowledge that the things they feared would not ambush them. Society is changing rapidly in this age of information and to be heard by the masses someone must write our stories and allow us to control our narrative. Not every childless woman is a grumpy old dragon. Childlessness does not have to equal bitterness. In a hundred years when my generation of childless friends are all long gone, I hope that the conversations I’ve had through The NoMo Book Club will leave the legacy of knowledge. We existed. And we thrived.


Author Bio:


Hi, I’m Lisa Kissane and I’m the founder of The NoMo Book Club. I love to read, spend time in my garden and write. My favourite book ever is Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and if I’d had a daughter she would have been as fierce and brave as Lyra Silvertongue.

Published in edition #6 2020 of Oh Reader magazine



On The Creative Copywriter Academy course, where I turned my passion for writing into an actual career, there's a task to pitch Netflix. I hope I don't get in trouble for writing about it...

New Netflix Landing Page [Speculative work only - this was *not* commissioned by Netflix]


“Did you see the new Netflix documentary?!”


When Carol asks you this at the photocopier tomorrow, you want to be able to confidently say, ‘Hell, Yeah!’ Or at the very least, know what she’s talking about.


Documentaries aren’t for everyone. But that’s not all Netflix mobile streaming has to offer. Prefer Comedy? Check. Need something for a romantic night in? We’ve got you, boo. Struggling to slide into slumber town? Bob Ross is waiting to lull you to sleep with his dulcet tones. 


Whatever you’re in the mood for, Netflix has just the thing. And with a free Netflix trial, you’ve really got nothing to lose! 


We’ve got plans to suit every family and every budget. From a basic plan with ads (screw you, cost of living crisis) to the all-singing, all-dancing 4K subscription that can be used on up to four screens at any one time, Netflix has you covered. And the more you watch, the better it gets. We’ll build lists for you based on your viewing history, finding you more of the shows you love and filtering out the ones you don’t.


So when Carol collars you in the morning, you’ll be ready with an, “Oh, I’m more into nature shows actually.” Safe in the knowledge that you did see the new documentary, but you can’t be bothered with Carol’s sh*t. Not today, Carol. Not today.


Enjoy free for one week with a Netflix trial.

NoMo Newsletter


Dearest Readers,

I hope you're enjoying the summer at long last (or for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, the winter!)

The future of The NoMo Book Club has been on my mind a lot these past few months, and I recently made the difficult decision to step down as the host on Gateway Women. For those of you who participate in the chats on Gateway Women, I am leaving you in the very capable hands of my fabulous co-hosts Eleanor and Claudia. It is thanks to their help and support that I feel able to pass on the torch and I wish them all the very best in hosting the Gateway Women online book club.

As for me...a month ago I was ready to throw the towel in and turn my back on my website and social media. Why? Because I'm just not the kind of person who can be 'the face of' something like this. I forget to post on social media; I am deeply uncomfortable in front of a camera; and most importantly of all, the time it takes to run the book club takes away precious reading time and motivation.

You may remember from last month that I've been in a reading slump. In 2020, I had read over 50 books by July. In 2021, I've read less than 5. 

What does this mean for The NoMo Book Club? In truth, I'm not sure yet. I know that recommendations for books without a 'miracle baby' are very important for my fellow childless bookworms, particularly in the early days of the healing process. I also know that in order for these types of books to prevail, we readers must support authors to write and publish them. 

For now, The NoMo Book Club will remain a library-style resource for those looking for 'safe' reads - I intend to update this as I find suitable books, but I can no longer *only* read those books. I need to take some time to find my reading mojo again. 

If there's anyone who would be interesting in taking on the social media side of the book club, please get in touch - I'm more than willing to hand over the promotion of the book club while I quietly read and write in the background. 

This book club resource is FOR our community, and if it begins to take on a life of its own without me at the helm, then I've done something good.

This newsletter will be the last for a while - but please stay subscribed as I'm confident that once I have my ducks in a row, The NoMo Book Club will be back - it might look a bit different, but I hope that will mean it's found it's next steps.

Over on Gateway Women this month, we'll be reading Hungry by Grace Dent - a childless-by-choice British journalist who has a real knack for nostalgia and humour. I hope you'll enjoy reading along.

Hungry by Grace Dent

From an early age, Grace Dent was hungry. As a little girl growing up in Currock, Carlisle, she yearned to be something bigger, to go somewhere better.

Hungry traces Grace’s story from growing up eating beige food to becoming one of the much-loved voices on the British food scene. It’s also everyone’s story – from treats with your nan, to cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, to the exquisite joy of cheaply-made apple crumble with custard. It’s the high-point of a chip butty covered in vinegar and too much salt in the school canteen, on an otherwise grey day of double-Maths and cross country running. It’s the real story of how we have all lived, laughed, and eaten over the past 40 years.

Please know that I am well and focussing on lots of positive things in my life - this is not goodbye. We all need to take time to find our path and with the incredible support of this community, I have made huge steps in this. My garden in particular is a source of enormous joy and sitting in the late evening sun surrounded by plants, with a book in hand, is one of my greatest pleasures. 

Love and bookmarks,
Lisa x

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