Retelling, At Length: Letters, Ladies, and Vampires

Each Sunday for five weeks, we’re sharing a collection of posts by writers on Substack. “Retelling” is issue #2 in a 5-part series.

This series, called At Length, will recommend pieces that we think are not only worth reading, but worth returning to again and again. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on emerging writers, as well as introduce readers to more independent writers who are hiding in plain sight. Each week, we’ll pick a theme and surface a few posts that speak to that theme in a memorable way.

Our theme this week is Retelling, At Length. The “retelling” of various myths and fairytales has become popular over the last few years. The retellings featured here are, instead, those of history from a modern view and those of the modern age from a historical perspective. Discover stories untold, misunderstood, or oft-forgotten from wonderful writers!

Illyanna Maisonet

A pilgrimage to the keeper of Puerto Rico's past, before she disappears

Food writer Illyanna Maisonet travels to Puerto Rico to learn from Lula, a chef specializing in cooking prior to European contact that’s at risk of being lost. Read more.

Shaun Usher

'I hate everybody including you'

Ever receive an invitation to an event you’d rather not attend? So did these writers. Shaun Usher has compiled rejection letters throughout the past centuries, suggesting that perhaps we are not so different from those who came before us. Read more.

Florence H R Scott

Godgifu: The Bare Truth Behind the Lady Godiva Legend

Florence H R Scott tells the stories of oft-forgotten medieval English women. Here she reveals the true story of Godiva, the legendary English lady, and provides context to better understand the real woman and the legend together. Read more.

Dracula Daily

Dracula: May 3

Despite Dracula’s pop culture fame, few know his original incarnation. Dracula Daily adapts the classic story into the modern newsletter format for readers everywhere. Read more.

Victor Luckerson

The Story of Black Wall Street #002: The Black Journey Out West

Writer Victor Luckerson dives deep into the history of Tulsa’s Greenwood District. Though famous for its race massacre, Luckerson explores the successes of Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” and the people who took part. Read more.

Florian Maganza

The Wisdom of Agnes Denes

Artist Agnes Denes, inspired by the polymath geniuses of the past, uses her art “to integrate human knowledge,” and to interact with society as a whole. Read more.


This is issue #2 in a 5-part series. Read issue #1 “Making” here.