She is Fierce invites you to come and experience Wonderland in Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall, celebrating the creativity of young women with the magazine’s contributors. Talking Heads reporter Kirstyn Smith spoke to founder Hannah Taylor about how She is Fierce supports young women and what to look forward to on the night.

She is Fierce is more than a magazine – it’s a way of life. In its own words, it’s a collective for girls with messy hair and curious hearts, as well as a publication for them to share stories and experiences, and develop a creative portfolio. Encouraging, positive and relentlessly supportive of young women in a world which isn’t always kind to them, She is Fierce is filling a void that desperately needed to be filled.

At the centre of these curious hearts is Hannah Taylor, founder of the magazine and mum to a fierce young girl who inspired her to shake up the teen magazine market.

‘I think She is Fierce offers an opportunity for young people to explore different avenues about what makes them happy,’ she says. ‘Hopefully, in turn, that will help them. We are the opposite of mainstream media which just concentrates on celebrity culture and makeup and all the rest of it. She is Fierce is something a bit more inspiring.’

She’s not wrong. Founded only a year ago, issue Minus One was a roaring success and the big one, Issue One proper – the Wonderland Issue – drops at the end of October. To celebrate, they’re throwing a big old party, at Edinburgh Castle no less.

‘It’s an awesome opportunity for us,’ Hannah says. ‘I would never have expected to be able to party at the castle!’

For She is Fierce, Edinburgh Castle is opening its doors for supporters and curious types to learn more about the magazine. The event will also showcase some of the people who have contributed to the first issue and Hannah is psyched to show off the wealth of young talent that is out there.

‘It’s a bit of an eclectic mix! We’ve got a young aspiring poet called Aischa Daughtery who’s coming along to recite the poem she wrote for us. We’ve also got the two young ladies who run Pyrus, a florist with a twist. They both studied fine art, then somehow fell into floristry and now they combine their love of fine art with floristry to create these amazing installations. We also have local fashion designer (and all round general badass) Emily Millichip MC’ing the event for us, plus Rebecca Monks performing spoken word.’

As well as this, there will be young musicians and dancers, including Simon Says Dance, Mini Jackers and Edinburgh Dance Academy, a true showcase of talented young women.

‘Hopefully it’ll be a really cool, chilled, laid-back event to show off the diversity and the creative girls that we’ve got in the magazine,’ Hannah says.

Happening as part of SMHAFF, the event is doing a lot to highlight the importance of mental health in young people, and particularly young women.

‘I think She is Fierce is providing a creative outlet for young people, which I think is really important when it comes to their wellbeing,’ says Hannah. ‘We’re trying to highlight the fact that your teenage years are the most important of your life. Although you should be having a heap of fun, there’s actually a lot of pressure on young people.’

A recent study from the Scottish Health Survey, corroborates this view. It found that women aged 16-24 have ‘significantly lower’ levels of mental wellbeing than other age categories, as well as higher levels of self-harm. This is something particularly worrying to Hannah, and something she is taking into consideration every step of the way with She is Fierce.

‘Your teens are the time of your life when you’re making the biggest decisions. Young people should take care of themselves, be gentle with themselves and not give themselves too much of a hard time.’

by Kirstyn Smith


She is Fierce takes place on Thursday 20 October from 7pm–9pm in the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle. Ticket information can be found here.