Hello. My name is Em Ledger.
When I was a kid, my Nan’s boyfriend nicknamed me Margaret Thatcher because I was clever and he said ‘you’ll run the country one day.’ Oh the 80s! Bearing in mind I grew up working class and my whole family was – this was not entirely a positive comment, but here we are! Now I’m in my 30s, less of an Iron Lady, more just someone who likes a good chat. Life really doesn’t always give you lemons, I can tell you first hand. I like to talk about the things we find hard, from my own experiences and talking to others about theirs.
I’ve always loved writing. I kept a diary since I was a teeny ween, some of them still exist. My 1999 Diary in particular is a friend fave (TL;DR I was 12yo rebel in a northern working class town getting up to mischief via an excellent blend of badassery and naivety). Teachers used to tell me I was a great writer, that my imagination was wild. Pretty handy really as the rest of my brain was dosey AF. The writing from that period eventually formed my first ever blog My Kid Brain when I was in my late teens. The thing is though, the journey to being a writer is not linear and not all styles of writing have a set career path (certainly not one that pays and can be sustained). I started sharing writing on Live Journal, creating sites on Geocities (oh hey millennial!) and eventually ended up self publishing zines in parallel with a bevy of office jobs where their photocopiers got absolutely rinsed.
My first zine The World’s A Mess and Yr My Only Cure (10 points to those who get the reference) came from a need to seek out and elevate some positive stories of creative success. Of survival. Of hope. I am a graduate of the school of hard knocks, a constant student of the school of life, a special brand of what is often referred to as ‘street smarts.’ A typical signifier of our type of person is that we often give ourselves nicknames and refer to them in third person (Gu on Big Ledge, you’ve got this!).
Sometimes shit can be T O U G H. Sometimes, just hearing success stories exist, that people are capable of excellence and doing good, is what you need to get you up and out of bed in the morning.
I then found my people through co-creating Poor Lass Zine (and eventual podcast) with the brilliant Seleena Laverne Daye. We created a space for us to elevate and amplify working class voices and experiences from the mouths of legit working class people. Talking about class is one of the things I love to talk about the most. Oversharing is my second fave. I put out Get Real, my first full perzine in 2015. That then led to a podcast series which ended up becoming Survivin & Thrivin.
Over the years, I’ve shared my story through those zines, I’ve been published in magazines, chapbooks and even proper books! Well proper that, innit. This year i got paid proper money to write. I reckon I’ve finally made Lil Ledge and that mad imagination proud.
This new site was born in 2020. The new blog starts from a new chapter in my life also starting in 2020. I’m spending less time looking back and more time trying to figure out what’s ahead and what that could look like.
There will be lots of F E E L I N G S as always, some things never change.