I got into this gig because I was a fan of advice columns. I don’t keep up with them the same way I did before I started writing one, but here are a few you might like:
Asking Bear, by S. Bear Bergman. Check out his advice to a young Christian with gay feelings, and also check out his children’s book project.
I really enjoy John Paul Brammer’s social media posts and general writing, and his advice column ¡Hola Papi! is especially good today. It’s about learning from managing his own Borderline Personality Disorder and how breakups don’t have to be a referendum on anybody’s character.
I’m also really enjoying Brandy Jensen’s Ask A Fuck-Up series at The Outline.
Who are you reading/who shouldn’t be missed?
40 thoughts on “Advice Column Goodness!”
Heather Havrilesky’s Ask Polly column on nymag.com is pretty awesome.
I’m a fan! She’s wonderful.
Love the *idea* behind her advice but mostly hate it in practice. “Put yourself into the light and learn to love your beautiful fucked up self” is quite honestly the only advice she ever actually gives, no matter what the situation, and I find it very frustrating and abstract.
For those who enjoy podcasts, I’ve been a big fan of Han & Matt Know It All (they’ve introduced me to some wonderful new columns, including Ask a Fuck-up, and I appreciate when they answer their own listener questions), Dear Hank & John, who give dubious advice and are very funny, and Guys We F****d, who are mostly an interview podcast but also occasionally answer reader questions related to sex.
I love Dear Hank & John! Although, as they say often, their advice is incredibly dubious.
Dear Sugars is often serious, full of compassion, and very gentle about what can be wrenching situations.
Ask a Manager is prolific and great about establishing what is to be expected in office culture/professionalism, and what is banana-pants bonkers or a bad situation, and how to handle it when you are struggling to deal with either side. When I was first starting in an office job, it really helped me understand what was expected of me, and when my boss was not being helpful or reasonable.
I’m a huge fan of Terrible Writing Advice. It’s a shame that they don’t write new ones any more, but lots of fun stuff can be found in the archives.
oops, I meant thatbadadvice. Terrible Writing advice is also a lot of fun but my brain just kinda switch them, I’m really sorry.
Dear Prudence! (with Daniel Ortberg)
Totally endorse! Daniel Ortberg is very thoughtful, kind, and funny!
I loved it a lot more with Emily Yoffe. She was very no-nonsense and wasn’t afraid to stand up to LWs. I feel like Daniel can sometimes be a bit more neutral/flexible and thus not as interesting.
I’ve had some strong agreements and strong disagreements with both authors—Yoffe’s thoughts on the interaction between alcohol and sex and Ortberg’s lack of experience with children come to mind.
But really I think the biggest thing I value in advice columns is the narrative and the chance to rehearse situations by thinking about what I’d do or what I’d recommend in that circumstance, and Prudie gets some very memorable circumstances.
Liza Featherstone writes the Asking for a Friend column at The Nation. She explores all kinds of great questions from lefties about living in a neoliberal world. https://www.thenation.com/admin-taxonomy/asking-for-a-friend/
Nice! Wasn’t familiar with this one.
Shout-out to the fine folks at https://agonyaunt.dreamwidth.org, who select the best and worst of advice columns for discussion. I find out about so many great advice columns there.
I had no idea that S. Bear Bergman had an advice column now! That’s super cool.
I love Rose/ Story Nurse of Story Hospital game. Their website is storyhospital.com. Lots of great writing advice.
Yes, so lovely and supportive!
😊 Thanks. You remain my model and inspiration.
I’m not a parent, but I love both Carvall Wallace and Nicole Cliffe’s advice on ‘Care and Feeding.’ I especially love it when Nicole is like, “I am happy to report that this is not a problem!” I definitely feel like some parents worry too much and strive for perfection (which, hey, non-parents do that all the time too, so it’s not like I can judge), so Nicole’s assertive statements that some things are just not worth worrying about are reassuring. Plus! They recently added “Ask a Teacher,” which lets parents ask teachers for advice specifically about school-related problems.
The only caveat is, there have been two questions related to food and eating disorders that I think Carval and Nicole kinda fumbled. I wish in those cases they’d pointed the LWs to other people who are experts on eating disorders rather than just winging it. But, other than that, I really like their column.
Seconded – Care and Feeding is just humane and funny. I hope it’s useful to parents; I’m going to assume it is!
(It occurred to me that I read C&F, and do not have kids; and can’t take Beast Mode, Slate’s pet advice column, though I have pets. No offense to BM, reading about pet problems just stresses me out.)
On Parenting in the Washington Post is also really good. Meghan Leahy has such positive, reassuring advice for people in stressful situations. It’s nice to read about having patience and seeing the big picture. It really goes beyond parenting.
Carvell is also one of the 3 hosts on the parenting podcast Mom and Dad are Fighting. Funny and thought-provoking, even though I don’t have kids.
Yes! I’m not a parent either and don’t plan to become one but I love Care and Feeding for some reason. They just really strike a good balance between everything in advice-giving, if that makes sense.
Ask a Queer Chick is no longer posting, but her archives at The Hairpin are great! And, of course, Everyone Is Gay for a diversity of voices, though I miss Dan/ielle Owens-Reid 😦
AQC is still going strong over at Rewire! Here’s the recent archives: https://rewire.news/tag/ask-a-queer-chick/.
I was honestly just excited for the chance to share that good news, but since I’m here, I s’pose I might as well plug another monthly-ish column, for anyone interested in deep-dive career advice… https://www.thebillfold.com/tag/dear-businesslady/
Thank you! I like your work a lot!
I learned it by watching you!!
Holy anniversary, Batman! I asked this question of Sars over at Tomato Nation almost exactly ten years ago.
The link is still available (click) and some of those advice column still exist. The Vine archives of TN in general are great. Type “ren faire douchebag” into the search terms and you’ll get to a particularly hilarious and well-loved Vine.
Going back through all the hold columns of Dear Sugar. She’s so compassionate. I wish Cheryl Strayed could be my mom.
Oh yes she was great.
Does anyone know of a travel / backpacker advice column? Like, not “what are the top activities in Lima?” Or “how do you find cheap airfare,” but more like “how do I navigate hospitality cultures when I hate having food shoved in my face?” and “my companion and I have different language proficiency levels in this country, how do I not use her as a translator?” I want to read that sort of thing, if it exists.
I wish that existed! The closest I can think of is Tough Love by Blair Braverman at Outside.
I love Blair Braverman! Follow her on Twitter – she’s racing in the Iditarod!
Han & Matt Know It All is great. One of my favorite podcasts, full stop. I also really enjoy the Dear Prudence podcast and most episodes of Dear Sugars.
For dubious advice on weird and petty topics, I really enjoy Caity Weaver’s old defunct Gawker column, “That’z Not Okay”, which may be one of my favorite things on the whole internet, and “Judge John Hodgman”, a podcast which adjuidicates incredibly minor debates.
Also Digg recently continued “Good Question”, their weekly roundup of interesting advice questions from across the web, which can be an interesting way to find new columns.
YIKES. Could you please put a NSFW warning on Hola Papi for the popups 8-|
The ones I read most are Carolyn Hax and Miss Manners.
My favorite advice column in the whole wide world after this one is Gothic Charm School, even though I am not really a part of any goth “scene” these days because politics ate my life. It is basically about how to be a big weird freewheeling eccentric while still being a polite, decent person whomst can navigate society.
Not an advice column, but I love reading Quinn Cummings and her “small stories,” so funny and sweet. She’s here on WordPress for Patreon patrons and on Twitter @quinncy
Comments are closed.