Madison Tufte’s debut novel The Anchor House lets women grow on their own terms

By Kelcie McKenney

Madison Tufte was looking to read new books that made her feel inspired, empowered, and vulnerable, with leading female characters who experienced growth—outside of relationships. But she couldn’t find them. So she decided to write her own.

Tufts’s debut novel, The Anchor House, under the pen name Margaret Spencer was born of that quest, and is the product of over two years of secret writing before Tufte self published earlier this year. It’s a tale about three women, Winnie, Fern, and Eleanor, each struggling to grow in their own way—each both strong and vulnerable. A remote island in Minnesota sets the stage for these women’s stories, inspired by the lakes from Tufte’s home town. It’s a heartwarming look at life’s difficulties, filled with inspirational women who live life on their own terms.

In June, The Anchor House won Next Generation Indie Book Awards’ for Inspirational Fiction. We spoke with Tufte about writing strong women, and being one, as she walks us through the journey to her first novel.

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It’s ok to be sad and scared about the passing of RBG, but don’t forget to fight for her legacy

By Emily Park
Illustrations by Katelyn Betz

A few days ago I was sitting in my boyfriend’s kitchen, happily chatting about our day and plans for the weekend as he made dinner, when my phone buzzed. 

I picked it up and froze as I read the words in the headline from my news app notification: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87.

I don’t remember exactly what I said next, but I remember exclaiming very loudly and distressed that we—as in the United States, women, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color—were absolutely, 100 percent screwed. 

Then I proceeded to have a spiraling meltdown—trust me, my boyfriend can confirm—for the rest of the evening as I downed half a bottle of premade-Bahama Mamas and my mind ran through every horrifying scenario that the death of this national treasure could cause. 

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Welcome to My Vagina

By Maddie Womack

My name is Maddie, and I have a vagina. I am the CEO/Founder of Barrier Babes,  and I also work at a sexual health clinic as my day job. This sexual health clinic has a microscope. So, naturally, I swabbed my vaginal walls and applied the swab onto a slide under said microscope.

Well, ok. First, I accidentally swabbed my urethra. (It’s right above the vaginal opening—don’t judge). That hurt. Like, really hurt. But the second time around I figured it out.

Before swabbing my vagina, I didn’t even know what a vaginal cell looked like. What even is a vagina cell? Are they just floating around in vaginas? What’s their purpose? Do they have friends? Thanks to my swabbed slide, I can explain all of this to you. Feel free to zoom in, my cells don’t bite 😉.

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I’m on a mission to love myself: So I stripped down and tried Boudoir.

By Kelcie McKenney, Photos by Tayanna Harris
This story was originally published in The Pitch.

It’s a Tuesday morning, and I’m naked in front of three strangers.

I’m changing into my first set of lingerie at Tayanna Harris’s Good Bodies photo studio for my first boudoir session. You know, that photo trend where you strip down to your knickers and pose seductively in an effort to feel good about yourself and your body.

“Oh, I love that,” Harris says as I’m draped over a chair, my legs kicked above me.

“Honestly, you look like this devious housewife who might kill her husband and get away with it,” says Katie Camlin, Harris’s photo assistant, who is showing off our shoot on social media today.

It was all I needed for a confidence boost: This faux-housewife was feeling herself.

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