Healing, At Length: Stillness, Dreams, and Mornings

The At Length series surfaces writing that is not only worth reading but worth returning to again and again. We ask Substack writers to be guest curators for this series, recommending a few pieces of writing that orbit a central theme. The goal is to introduce readers to independent writers who are hiding in plain sight.

This week we invited Fran Tirado, a writer, consultant, and creative producer for LGBTQ+ stories, to be a guest curator for At Length.

Fran writes two Substack publications – one called fran’s joy digest, about pop culture and queerness, and a second about their podcast Food 4 Thot. Below, Fran shares a selection of their favorite writing on healing and descriptions of what drew them to these posts.

Mimi Zhu

In Stillness, I See Everything ❈

You may recognize Mimi Zhu’s work from that one time Britney Spears posted a communist manifesto on Instagram. Yeah, remember that? Mimi’s writing is so generous, and so wise beyond their years. Their writing touches on trauma, colonialism, technology, and what it takes to transform yourself, but this post on stillness is a perfect entry point. Read more.

Annika Hansteen-Izora

Communal Dreaming

I first came to Annika Hansteen-Izora’s work when they started designing for Ethels, the world’s first PoC-only co-working space. Since then, things Annika has written about – specifically their ideals about communal dreaming – have fundamentally shifted how I look at the world. Read more.

Arabelle Sicardi

On God and Conscious Capitalism

You wouldn’t typically think of the beauty industry as one that might provide a vehicle for transformative justice, but Arabelle Sicardi is the king of complexifying what many write off as superficial subject matter. In one post, they talk about their personal trauma in relation to a recent controversy surrounding a beauty CEO and conversion therapy. Read more.

Aminatou Sow

What a time What a time

I don’t know if there’s anyone who has given me better advice in my life than Aminatou Sow. The fact that she has a newsletter dispensing said advice for the masses is mind-blowingly generous, and you would be lucky to read her work. Her letter is finally back from a hiatus, and I still return to this post about not being “OK.” Read more.

Fariha Róisín

On Mornings

How To Cure A Ghost, the title of Fariha Róisín’s book as well as her newsletter, illustrates a simple metaphor in recovering from trauma. The things we heal from – they are ghosts. Her newsletter is a series of vignettes illustrating something that’s top of mind. This one about mornings is 💯. Read more.


Subscribe to Fran’s newsletters, fran’s joy digest and Food 4 Thot, or visit them on Twitter or Instagram.

Have you read a post by a fellow Substack writer recently that you enjoyed? Let us know!