Shameless is an independent Canadian voice for smart, strong, sassy young women and trans youth. It's a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines, packed with articles about arts, culture and current events, reflecting the neglected diversity of our readers' interests and experiences. Grounded in principles of social justice and anti-oppression, Shameless aims to do more than just publish a magazine: we aim to inspire, inform, and advocate for young women and trans youth.
Shameless strives to practice and develop an inclusive feminism. We understand that many of the obstacles faced by young women and trans youth lie at the intersection of different forms of oppression, based on race, class, ability, immigration status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. As a grassroots magazine, we are committed to supporting and empowering young writers, editors, designers and artists, especially those from communities that are underrepresented in the mainstream media.
Proudly independent, Shameless is a grassroots magazine produced by a team of volunteer staff members, with content guided by a teen advisory board.
Each issue of Shameless entertains and inspires with profiles of amazing women, discussion of the hot topics that concern you most, DIY guides to crafty activities, sports dispatches, the latest in technology, columns on food politics, health & sexuality, advice and more.
Shameless has been making waves since its launch in June 2004. That year, Shameless was named Best New Magazine by Toronto alt-weekly NOW and nominated for two Utne Independent Press Awards (Best New Title and Best Design). In 2005, Shameless won an Utne award for Best Personal Life Writing. We were nominated again in 2006, for Lifestyle coverage. In 2005, cover story “Making The Cut” was nominated for a National Magazine Award.
Published three times a year, Shameless is available in independent bookstores and Chapters/Indigo locations across Canada and select locations in the United States.
Who we are
Shameless is a grassroots publication produced by a team of volunteer staff members. Rooted in feminism and DIY culture, we are creative, sassy and actively involved in the independent media and arts communities.
Sheila Sampath, Editorial Director
Sheila Sampath has worked as a counselor, organizer, educator and advocate in the anti-violence movement and has chaired the Board of Directors at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multi-cultural Women Against Rape. Currently, she combines her background in grassroots, anti-oppression activism with her passion for creative idea-making, as a Principal and Creative Director at The Public, a Toronto-based studio specializing in creative communications for unions, not-for-profits, public health and social justice organizations. Sheila has a diploma in graphic design and an Honours B.Sc. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Toronto.
Jo Snyder, Managing Editor, Co-Publisher
Jo Snyder has been working in independent and small publishing for five years: copy editing for Canadian Dimension magazine, writing for the Vice blog, contributing to Stylus magazine, as well as founding and publishing her own national zine, 1234V. Her love for publishing and writing began at the University of Winnipeg as the Managing Editor of the Uniter. When not working on printing press projects, Jo finds time to tour around Europe playing shows in punk squats and renovated bunkers for steadfast audiences of appreciative punks, artists, and girls who dig it when other girls get up on stage with an electric guitar. For the last decade she has been releasing records on the Hamburg DIY label TCWTGA.
Jo has an Honours B.A. in Politics from the University of Winnipeg and is currently finishing her Master’s of Publishing from Simon Fraser University.
Caitlin Blennerhassett, Front of Book Editor
Caitlin Blennerhassett lives and works in both Ontario and Nova Scotia. She has been a Board member of the Saint Mary’s Univerity Women’s Centre and has been trained as a Restorative Justice Facilitator, Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. Currently, she is a first year Midwifery student at McMaster University, single mom, bibliophile, and queer lady activist. She has an Honours BA from Saint Mary’s University in Criminology and Psychology (and half of an MA from McGill in Counselling Psychology). You can find her on twitter at @caitfem.
Lauren Pragg, Columns Editor
Lauren is a daughter of Trinidadian immigrants who was born and raised on the land of the Missisaugas of the New Credit and Haudenosaunee peoples (aka Toronto). She’s a student, educator, and editor. Lauren likes colouring books, beaches, and pressing the buttons in elevators. You can follow her on tumblr at http://laurenpragg.tumblr.com/.
Michelle Kay, Features Editor
Michelle Kay is a writer and web editor in Toronto. She is also a crafter, DIY enthusiast, wanderer and mad knitter, but lately she’s traded in her knitting needles for bike tools. She has written for Broken Pencil, Ricepaper, The Coast and Shameless. Follow her on Twitter @yo_mk or http://michelle-kay.tumblr.com/.
Ronak Ghorbani, Arts Editor
Currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Studies at York University, Ronak’s research focus is on diasporic youth cultures and developing Iranian-Canadian life histories. A recent MA graduate from Ryerson and York Universities’ joint programme in Communication and Culture, her Master’s Research Paper focused on Muslim feminisms and self-publishing. Since her first year as an undergraduate student at Ryerson’s School of Journalism, Ronak has worked with alternative media. She has written for publications such as NOW Magazine, Exclaim! and rabble.ca and is a former co-Editor-in-Chief of feminist magazine McClung’s. Her research into the world of feminism and social media has been featured in the Toronto Star. You can follow her on Twitter @ronakgee
Jessica Balmer, Reviews Editor
Jessica Balmer has been writing and editing for fun since forever and for money any day now. Her writing has appeared in Bitch magazine, Trot Magazine, HEART Business Journal for Women, The London Free Press and The F-Word, among others. She is a prolific, though narrowly published, poet and blogger with a penchant for tattoos, avocados and culture jamming. Jessica has an MA in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research and a BA in Women’s Studies and Media, Information, and Technoculture from the University of Western Ontario.
Julia Horel, Web director, blog and community manager
Julia Horel is the web director, blog and community manager at Shameless. She has a B.A. in English literature from Trent University and a Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser University. She works in publishing and loves books, social media, food and napping. Her pet issues are reproductive justice, anti-racism and body image/size acceptance. She ditched her last diet in October 2007 and has been learning to love her body ever since. She recently became a certified indoor cycling instructor and can often be found dragging all her friends and loved ones to give spin classes a try.
Wesley Fok, Webmaster
As the webmaster for Shameless, Wesley painstakingly created this website for your consumption by carefully gluing together the individual pixels on your screen using a very small glue stick. The pixels were sourced from a unionized fabrication plant in Louisiana and are made of equal parts light and magic. Wesley has written for The Globe and Mail and The Block.
Meg Pirie, Web Editor
Meg Pirie is a freelance writer in London, Ontario. Her work has been published in a number of local publications, along with forthcoming articles in two academic texts that deal with feminist filmmaking. Over time, Meg’s varied and bizarre employment experiences
led to a keen interest in the many issues concerning labour and is the primary focus of her Shameless column. You can expect to also find commentary on adolescence, feminist health issues, and young adult literature. Meg holds a Master’s in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario. In her free time, she plays with her dog Layla and reads about public transit.
Sarah Feldbloom, Web Producer
Sarah Feldbloom is a journalist, community media facilitator, and maker of poems, songs, stories, food, art and fun! She has hosted and produced women’s radio shows for stations CHRY and CHMR, and collaborated on gallery, magazine and radio projects with community arts and media organizations including the Association for Media Literacy, Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre, and For the Love of Learning. Recently she returned from Malawi, where she was working with local radio and newspaper journalists to develop gender reporting initiatives. She is a contributor to publications Carousel, Herizons, OpenFile.ca, and the Toronto Star’s “Africa Without Maps” blog. Currently she’s at work on a pop-poetry “book on tape” called The Tearable Adventures of a Kodiak Broad, and figuring out a really good recipe for wheat-free, dairy-free date squares.
Julia De Laurentiis Johnson, Director of Special Projects
Julia De Laurentiis Johnson is an enthusiast, particularly of magazines and events that bring magazine lovers together. She has contributed to Azure, This Magazine, The Walrus, Torontoist and Delicious and has assisted in managing the National Magazine Awards. She began contributing to Shameless in 2005 and has an MA in International Journalism from City University, London UK.
Nicole Cohen, Co-Publisher, Co-Founder and Board Member
Nicole is the co-founder and former co-editor of Shameless and a PhD candidate in the graduate program in communication and culture at York University. She has written for a variety of independent and alternative Canadian media, and her academic work has been published in Democratic Communique, Stream, and Feminist Media Studies.
Melinda Mattos, Co-Founder and Board Member
Melinda is the co-founder and former co-editor of Shameless. When Melinda was a teenager, the media tried to convince her that her breasts were too small, her brain was too big and her life would be incomplete if she didn’t have a boyfriend. When she got a bit older, she fought back by starting her own teen mag. Melinda has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University and has worked at The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, TVOntario, Magazines Canada and Eye Weekly. She writes The Last Word, a column about language, for Shameless.
Christine McFarlane, Contributing Editor
Christine McFarlane is a Saulteaux woman from Peguis First Nation. She is an emerging writer and graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies in June 2011. Her story “Choosing the Path to Healing” appeared in the 2006 anthology Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces, a creative non-fiction piece titled “As A Child” appeared in Yellow Medicine Review in 2008, a new piece titled “Mother: An Essay” in Yellow Medicine Review Spring 2011, a poem titled “I Remember” in xxx ndn, a book of poetry published by the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba, a short story “A Different World,” and poem “Standing on Barren Land,” on Native Literatures: Generations website. She has a regular column in the Native Canadian newsletter, titled Life’s Journey, freelances for Anishinabek News, New Tribe Magazine, First Nations House magazine that is based out of First Nations House of the University of Toronto and Windspeaker. She is also the Events editor for First Nations House’s radio- show Indigenous Waves.
Her blog can be found at http://chrissyredwindsmith.blogspot.ca
Kate-Christine Miller, Community Liaison
Kate-Christine Miller is an artist, writer, activist, and administrator. Kate comes to the Shameless team with a background in coordination and youth programming for several arts and community organizations based in Toronto including Parkdale Project Read and Planet in Focus. She now works for the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. Kate is interested in how we can use alternative structures and play to work together better in collectives, boards, staff teams or other groups. She holds an Honours B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Guelph, a diploma in Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counselor Advocate from George Brown College, and a certificate in group facilitation.
Roxana Parsa, Events Coordinator
Allison Martell, Shameless Wire Director
Allison Martell was a member of Shameless‘s first teen editorial collective,
when she was still in high school. By her second month at the University of
Toronto she was writing for The Varsity, the main campus paper. Since then
she has published more than a hundred articles in the student press and
beyond, including pieces for This Magazine, Xtra, The Tyee, and Eye Weekly.
She is currently an editorial intern at The Walrus.