1st September, 2020

by Alia Wilhelm & Anna White · Artwork by Alex Smyth

Dear Nearness readers,

September always feels like a new beginning to us, or some kind of secondary new year. Even if you’re no longer a student, the excitement of a fresh start still lingers. The switch in seasons offers us an opportunity to implement changes to our routines and to embrace this reset in a way that feels more organic than making a list of new year’s resolutions. 


This year, though, things will be different. Many universities and high schools have moved to fully remote classes, or are adapting schedules and campus access to minimize contact among students. It’s new territory for us all, and as we move forward with content over the next month, we encourage you to share your “back to school” experiences with us. More generally, if you aren’t a student anymore, we’re interested in hearing about the many ways that this fall feels different to you than all the others before it. Or maybe it doesn’t feel that different at all, and if so we’d love for you to share your perspective on that with us. As usual, we are looking for collage kits, playlists, personal essays, photo series, comics, DIY  guides and more, and we’d love for these to be informed by your experience of this secondary stage of the pandemic.


And in other news, we’re also very excited to share the Nearness 2021 Calendar that we spent this past month curating.  You can check it out here, and take a look at a few of the pages below. Each month was designed by a different artist who has contributed regularly to this site, so a very big thank you to Frasie Molina, Luna Rey Cano, Fior, Alex Smyth, Sedona LeBlanc, Eniko Eged, Tina Tona, Lucy Comer, Holly Leonardson, and Nina Yagual. You can buy the calendar on pre-order here. We will start shipping in early November.


Thank you for being here with us! It’s been a journey.


Alia & Anna