My new book is out! And other things…

Hello, friends and acquaintances! Sorry for the posting delay. Things have been very busy lately. This will be a short post.

  • My new teen-targeted nonfiction book about apocalyptic pop culture — The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…before it’s too late  is OUT NOW!  Hurray. Go buy it here. It’s not just for kids, either; adult doomsday buffs will LOVE this book. I promise!
  • I’ve written a few fun things recently. Last Friday on, I wrote about Madonna’s bizarre recent “MDNA” tour antics. I explored whether she is, indeed, crazy, or if it’s just the same old same old provocation shtick she’s been doing, well, forever. On Huffington Post  I wrote about the gender gap in apocalyptic cultural works. Read it here. And in the next few days, a piece I wrote about my teenage obsession with summer camp will go up on WomanZine, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
  • There’s an interview with me over on the Zest Books blog.
  • I’ll be reading from Madonna & Me with Susan Shapiro and Wendy Shanker on August 16 at Barnes & Noble in West Bloomfield, Michigan (outside Detroit). Come see us! 7 – 9pm EST.

Hope everyone is having a nice summer! Bye for now.


My long-awaited new anthology, ‘Madonna & Me,’ is finally here!


OMG, there’s just so much to discuss right now.

1. Madonna & Me is officially OUT!  It’s published!  It lives!  It’s on shelves! It’s on the Internet!  It’s (hopefully) on your bookshelf or your Kindle!  You get my point. The book hath been published. Go buy it right now. You will love it, I promise.

2. HuffPost Women had a huge Madonna & Me spread on its front page yesterday! It was super-exciting. They ran a slightly modified version of my essay from the book, as well as a slideshow of cute “Madonna-fied” images of kids dressed up like Madonna (reprinted from the Madonna & Me website). Yay all around! Go read my HuffPo essay here, and leave a comment if you’re feeling generous.

3. Today I was interviewed for this cool website 12 Questions. I talked about a bunch of random stuff, like movies and books and what I want my headstone to read when I die. You will find that Q&A right here.

4. If you are one of the lucky few to have already read Madonna & Me, will you consider making me exceptionally happy by writing a customer review of the book on Amazon?  It would mean the world to me. Thank you!

5. The San Francisco launch party for Madonna & Me is going to be INSANELY FUN! It’s happening on March 29 at the Cat Club in SF. There will be three contributors (Wendy Tokunaga, Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, and Marisela Huerta) reading from the book from 8-9, and then hours and hours of dancing to ’80s and Madonna music. The reading will be part of the club’s themed Madonna Night, and there will be giveaways, plus copies of the book for sale. Plus lots of sweaty, cute Madonna-lovers dancing their asses off. And I’ll even be there, live and in person, wearing something lacy and neon.  If you live in SF, please come check it out!

6. Because it’s finally out, Madonna & Me has been getting more press lately — check it out here. Some highlights were a mention in ELLE magazine and a glowing review in Library Journal!

Contributors announced for “Madonna and Me” anthology

I recently posted the list of contributors for “Madonna and Me” on the book’s website.  Check it out, and then leave your feedback here. What do you think?

Personally? I’m psyched. It’s a great roster of writers — both established and up-and-coming talent. Yay.

More info to come both here and at Stay tuned…

Madonna anthology update!

Things are coming along swimmingly with the Madonna anthology.  My Soft Skull editor and I have decided to change the name to “Madonna and Me.” Yes, that’s semi-official.  🙂

I received a ton of great submissions, and I’ve finally finished reading through all of them. Thank you so much to all the great writers who submitted!  I really appreciate all your hard work and patience.

Now that I’ve figured out what there’s room to include in the book, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and start editing these essays and putting them together in an orderly book-y fashion.  Excited to see how this project will turn out in the end!  Stay tuned for periodic updates.

Forthcoming Madonna anthology is accepting submissions from women writers!

**** Madonna Anthology Seeks Essay Submissions From Women Writers ****

I’m looking for sharp women-authored nonfiction essay submissions for a new anthology (to be published by Soft Skull Press in winter 2012) about our favorite freaky feminist singer/artist/’Sex’-er/mother/material girl: Madonna.
She’s been such a powerful, iconic cultural figure for the past 27 years (!).  For women and girls in America, it’s almost impossible not have been influenced, in some way, by her media presence.

I want to hear how Madonna has changed your life.  Love her or hate her, you probably have an opinion. Whether you think she’s a genius marketing maven, a pioneering feminist businesswoman or little more than a very rich stripper, I want to hear your perspectives.  How did her work affect your feelings, your mindset, your sexuality, your ambitions? How did seeing her videos on MTV change the way you thought about growing up female? How did your parents react when they heard you singing the lyrics to “Like a Virgin” at the dinner table?  What was it like the first time you saw her perform live? What about her pisses you off to no end?

I don’t care if you love her or loathe her. Just own a strong point of view, and write your essay in an honest, thoughtful, engaging fashion. Having a very specific, unique, or unexpected angle is a plus!

Some possible themes are below. No need to heed them if you have another idea of your own:

  • How your ideas about feminism changed, or were challenged, by Madonna
  • How her ever-changing image helped spark a transformation in your life
  • Madonna’s role in club / nightlife culture and how that impacted you
  • Madonna’s role as a mom
  • How her sexual expressiveness affected your feelings about your body or your sexuality
  • How Madonna influenced your thoughts about gender roles / identity
  • How she influenced your approach to romantic and sexual relationships
  • How she helped you come out
  • How you felt about her as a child or adolescent vs. how you see her as an adult
  • The many eras of Madonna (the club kid, the sex queen, the superstar, the spiritual seeker, the caretaker, the humanitarian) — in your own life, how have you evolved on a similar (or different) path as you grew older?

WORD COUNT: Submissions should be between 1000 – 5000 words, double-spaced and paginated.

DEADLINE: Feb. 15, 2011

Please send your submission via email, as a Microsoft Word document attachment, to Also include your full name, address, phone number, email address and a short author bio.

CONTACT: Feel free to email the editor, Laura Barcella, at with questions.

Writers whose work is selected for publication will be notified as quickly as possible. They will be paid a small stipend ($TBD) upon publication, and will also receive 2 copies of the book.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Laura Barcella is a San Francisco-based writer & editor who has written for more than 40 magazines, newspapers and websites, including the Village Voice,,, Time Out New York and the Chicago Sun-Times. She contributed to the acclaimed book BitchFest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism From the Pages of Bitch Magazine. This will be her first anthology. Visit her website at