Laurie Penny
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Laurie Penny

Laurie Penny
Penny in 2016
Penny in 2016
BornLaura Barnett
(1986-09-28) 28 September 1986 (age 33)
Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom
OccupationColumnist, blogger, author, screenwriter
Alma materWadham College, Oxford

Laurie Penny (born 28 September 1986) is an English screenwriter, columnist and author. She has contributed articles to publications including The Guardian, Time Magazine, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, Vice, Salon, The Nation, The New Inquiry, Wired, and Medium, is a contributing editor at the New Statesman, and has written a number of books on feminism.

Early life and education

Penny was born in London, the daughter of Ray Barnett, a lawyer.[1] She is of Irish, Jewish, and Maltese descent,[2][3][4] and has described herself as an "atheist child of a lapsed Jew and a lapsed Catholic".[5] She grew up in Brighton[6][7] and Lewes,[8] attending the independent school Brighton College with a scholarship.[6][9] As a teenager she suffered from anorexia and was hospitalised at age 17, subsequently making a recovery.[10]

Following secondary school she studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, graduating in 2008 with a 2:1.[11] Whilst a student, she performed amateur drama in the Oxford University Light Entertainment Society, of which she was a committee member, and burlesque.[12][13] She then completed her NCTJ journalism training certificate in London.[14]


Penny's blog "Penny Red" was launched in 2007[15] and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for blogging in 2010.[16] She began her career as a staff writer at One in Four magazine and then worked as a reporter and sub-editor for the socialist newspaper Morning Star. She has written columns and features for several publications,[17] and is a columnist and contributing editor for the New Statesman[18] and regular contributor to The Guardian.[19]

In April 2011, Penny presented the Channel 4 Dispatches programme "Cashing In on Degrees", and appeared on the same channel's satirical current affairs programme 10 O'Clock Live[20] and BBC Two's Newsnight.

On 26 March 2012, Penny announced via her Twitter account that she was leaving the New Statesman to take up a full-time post at The Independent newspaper as a reporter and columnist.[21] In October 2012, it was announced that she was leaving The Independent to rejoin the New Statesman (in November) as a columnist and contributing editor.[22]

Penny is the author of Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism (Zero Books, 2011) and Penny Red: Notes from a New Age of Dissent (Pluto Press, 2011).[7] In Meat Market she criticises liberal feminism as embracing the consumer choice offered by capitalism as the path to female emancipation.[23]Penny Red was shortlisted for the first Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing in 2012 after the publication of Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens (Random House, 2012). Her 2013 work Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet (Bloomsbury, 2013) contemplates online harassment and its motivations.[24]Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution was published in July 2014. Shortly afterwards, Penny stated she had been subjected to "a stream of vile sexist and anti-Semitic abuse" following the book's publication.[25] Everything Belongs to the Future (St. Martins Press-3PL, 2016) followed in 2016. Her seventh book, Bitch Doctrine: Essays for Dissenting Adults, (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017) was longlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize.[26]

Penny was selected by Truthdig as "Truthdigger of the Week" for the week of 25 November 2011.[27] In 2012, Tatler magazine described her as one of top 100 'people who matter'.[28] In October 2012, The Daily Telegraph ranked Penny as the 55th most influential left-winger in Britain, reporting that she is "without doubt the loudest and most controversial female voice on the radical left",[29] and the knowledge networking company Editorial Intelligence gave her its "Twitter Public Personality" award.[30] In April 2014, she was announced as an International Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in the United States.[31]

In August 2015, Penny endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election.[32] She wrote:

Corbyn, however, has been re-elected by the people of Islington North consistently since 1983 and, like Bernie Sanders in the US, seems as surprised as anyone suddenly to be reaping the rewards of a lifetime of sticking to his principles..."[33]

In 2016, Penny wrote a novella for the science fiction magazine called Your Orisons May Be Recorded.[34] In 2019, she said via Twitter that she was working as a staff writer on the HBO show "The Nevers".[35] and the Netflix series The Haunting.[36]

Personal life

Penny identifies as pansexual[37] and genderqueer.[38]




  1. ^ "Laurie Penny on the politics of the personal (From Herald Scotland)". Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Penny, Laurie (12 September 2010). "Zionism, chauvinism and the nature of rape". New Statesman. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ Penny, Laurie (13 February 2011). "Julie Burchill's imperialist froth over Israel". New Statesman. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Penny, Laurie (19 June 2013). "Twitter".
  6. ^ a b "Shut up, little girl, don't you know grown-ups are talking?". Laurie Penny - via Penny Red blogspot. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Laurie Penny author profile at Zero Books". Zero books. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ "So they burned Alex Salmond in my hometown". New Statesman. London. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "Laurie Penny: Yes, Mr Gove, I enjoyed an expensive education, but I'm still not on your team". The Independent. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ "Life tastes better than skinny feels". London Evening Standard - Laurie Penny. 24 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ Conn, David (30 April 2010). "The jobless are no shirking scroungers - you try living on £65.45 a week". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "Burlesque laid bare". London: Laurie Penny - via The Guardian. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ "Previous committees - 2006 social secretary (Wadham)". Oxford Light entertainment society. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "Penny for your privilege?". Laurie Penny - via Penny Red blogspot. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "We have achieved preambulation. Bring me a sweetie-bag of amphetamines and the head of Margaret Thatcher". Laurie Penny - via Penny Red blogspot. 23 September 2007. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "Laurie Penny - Student Media Awards judge". The Guardian. London. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ "Home page on "Penny Red"". Laurie Penny - via Penny Red blogspot. Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ "Pop culture and radical politics with a feminist twist". Laurie Penny blog at the New Statesman online. Retrieved 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ "Laurie Penny profile at The Guardian online". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  20. ^ "10 O'Clock Live Episode 11 guest listing at Channel 4 online". Channel 4. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  21. ^ Penny, Laurie "Laurie Penny (@PennyRed)", twitlonger, 26 March 2012.
  22. ^ "Laurie Penny rejoins the New Statesman", New Statesman (The Staggers blog), 10 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Chocolate, Snuggles, and Straight Hair, review of Meat Market". Oxonian Review. Retrieved 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  24. ^ "Online Harassment, What Drives it and How it Lowers Visions". The Conference / Media Evolution. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Unspeakable Things: Feminist author Laurie Penny subjected to 'vile sexist and anti-Semitic abuse' over her book, The Independent, 21 July 2014.Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  26. ^ Onwuemezi, Natasha (10 April 2018). "The Bookseller". The Bookseller.
  27. ^ Truthdigger of the Week: Laurie Penny - Truthdigger of the Week - Truthdig
  28. ^ "Laurie Penny". Tatler. Retrieved 2015.
  29. ^ "Top 100 most influential figures from the Left 2012". The Daily Telegraph. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  30. ^ Penny, Laurie (19 October 2012). "Laurie Penny wins Editorial Intelligence "Twitter Public Personality" award". New Statesman. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ Nieman Foundation announces the 77th class of Nieman Fellows, Harvard University, 30 April 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  32. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn: can he take Labour forward?". Channel 4 News. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 2017 – via YouTube.
  33. ^ Laurie, Penny (23 August 2017). "What the Corbyn moment means for the left". New Statesman. Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ Penny, Laurie (15 March 2016). "Your Orisons May Be Recorded". Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Penny, Laurie (27 April 2019). "Well firstly I've written 6 books (or 7, depending on how you count it) - it says so in the bibliography already. And I'm a screenwriter as well as a columnist and author and have worked on The Nevers and am currently on The Haunting of Bly Manor". @PennyRed. Retrieved 2019.
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Laurie Penny". The Orwell Prize. Retrieved 2019.
  40. ^ Flood, Alison (6 March 2012). "New prize for radical writing announces shortlist". Retrieved 2012.
  41. ^ "Laurie Penny shortlisted for the Red Women of the Year awards 2014". Blake Friedmann. Retrieved 2019.
  42. ^ "Nieman announces named fellowships for the class of 2015". Nieman Reports. Retrieved 2019.
  43. ^ "Berkman Center Announces 2015-2016 Community". Berkman Klein Center. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 2019.
  44. ^ "2017 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  45. ^ "Winners and Finalists Database". American Society of Magazine Editors. 2018. Retrieved 2019.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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