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Misadventures Among 2016’s 30 Hottest Magazine Launches

min is magazine media’s trusted source for consumer and B2B brands, reaching thousands of media executives in print, online and live events. For more than 60 years, min has been serving its community with unparalleled information, education and recognition.

Post Title: Introducing “Mr. Magazine’s” 30 Hottest Launches of 2016

Published: October 5, 2020

Author: Samir Husni, Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, School of Journalism

2016  was a bona fide year for new magazines. Content was diverse and designs were divine and they just kept coming each and every month, for a total of 790 new magazines. Selecting only 30 was almost impossible. Almost.

In reaching my decision on what makes a magazine “hot,” by far the number-one criteria point is the audience’s reaction to that magazine. How did the overall marketplace react and how did its intended audience respond to it? And, just as important, how did the industry behave toward it? These questions are the first thing I ask upon selection of the Hottest 30. Then, once I’ve answered those initial questions, I really get down to work. Remember my mantra: Audience First.

Then there are the entrepreneurs, with the vision and determination to fill a void with their magazine—no matter the cost or the emotional toll it takes. They are no less amazing. Some of the best titles among my Top 30 come from relatively unknown publishers who are not without experience, just without the names that audiences know so well.

So, the criteria for selection is based on factors that include creativity and audience reaction first and foremost, and then industry trends and, as always, those rogue wildcards out there that just won’t be denied and seem to make some of the best magazines around.

Without further ado; here are the 30 Hottest New Launches for 2016 in alphabetical order….

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Feature on the Founders of Misadventures

To Whom It May produces marvelous, meticulously hand-crafted cannabis chocolates. As part of their mission to de-stigmatize cannabis use, their blog, SWAY, features artists, adventures, scientists, innovators, and adventures living a life of pursuit.

Post Title: ICONS: Pioneer Women - Misadventures

Published: August 5, 2016

Author: Alma Eliot

Like a lot of adventures, this one started humbly, and without a map.

In 2013, Zoe Balaconis drafted an email to her former classmate, Marybeth Campeau. It was one of those messages good friends exchange all the time—jokey but earnest, full of exclamations and ideas, and followed by a flurry of tasteful GIFs. It was the email that launched a thousand pages, because that was the moment when Misadventures, an outdoors magazine by and for adventurous women, was born.

There was a clear and egregious gap in the media market, the misadventurers noticed, when it came to women and the outdoors. Sourcing content from friends, Marybeth and Zoe started collecting material for their new brainchild, along the way acquiring a third partner in the enterprise, Jessica Malordy.

A few years, a lot of grit, and countless Google Hangouts later, Misadventures is on the shelves of Barnes & Noble.

It was an appropriate intersection of interests for all three women. Each had her own recent story of adventure: for Marybeth, it was living in Kenya; for Zoe, it was moving to Hawaii; for Jessica, it was working for the Girl Scouts in India. The trio also held a range of expertise that conveniently lined up with the needs of a magazine, with careers in design, publishing, and social media, respectively. Today, the publication is a fruitful and fulfilling labor of love, produced biannually, by moonlight and on weekends. All three women still work other jobs, and live in different states.

For Zoe, Jessica, and Marybeth, Misadventures isn’t just a magazine: it’s also a grounding force in their personal lives. It’s a physical testament to their cross-country friendship, an emotionally rewarding outlet, and a beacon of hope for future female adventurers.

“This time of life [mid-twenties] can be lonely sometimes. You’re trying to find your way, and trying to figure out what you’re doing,” says Zoe. “But we have a very clear goal, and one that’s very united, which is survival.”

Emails from fans indicate that the magazine is on the right track, and fulfilling a need among adventurous women. For Jessica, the most affecting messages are those highlighting how the magazine will shape the next generation of women.

“The emails and Tweets and Instagrams that get me are when people take photos with their kids, or they say, ‘I just bought a copy of this for my thirteen-year-old daughter’—that just gets me every time, that this can be something that this generation can take for granted.”

What else has been rewarding?

“The fame and the glory,” Zoe jokes. (It’s not always so serious.)

The trio believes that one measure of Misadventures’ success will be if they eventually leave the media landscape in a more equitable state than they found it. It’s the campsite rule, but for an entire industry.

“We’ve joked that the best thing that could happen is that Misadventures isn’t needed anymore,” says Marybeth. “Either it draws attention to the fact that the representation is unequal, and people fix it, or the landscape evolves. And then we can just be a magazine for everyone.”

Explore Misadventures magazine for yourself at

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A Last-Minute Gift Guide for People Who Are Sorta Outdoorsy

Brokelyn is a webmag devoted to living the best possible life in Brooklyn regardless of one’s means. Its irreverent mix of news and humor have made it essential reading for people who live, work and go out in Brooklyn (plus other people who just want to). 

Post Title: A Last-Minute Gift Guide for People Who Are Sorta Outdoorsy

Published: December 18, 2020

Author: Sorta Outdoorsy, a weekly newsletter full of adventure inspiration, trip how-tos and gear reviews written by people who are sorta outdoorsy, also based in Brooklyn, NY.

Our first issue of Misadventures—an outdoor adventure magazine dedicated to content about women—arrived a few weeks ago and we’re still displaying it in the most prominent spot on the coffee table. The matte pages are filled with inspiring photography, illustrations and witty accounts by women who, it turns out, have adventures outdoors too. We read every word.

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You Should Go or Do or Give: Misadventures

Autrostraddle is an intelligent, hilarious & provocative voice and a progressively feminist online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends).

Post Title: Also.Also.Also: 500 Years of Virgin Mary Sightings and Other Fine Stories

Published: November 16, 2020

Author: Laneia, Executive Editor of Autostraddle

How much do you love print magazines for and by women??! A LOT. Misadventures is premiering its first print edition this month, and you should subscribe! If you’re not already obsessed with them, Misadventures is a magazine all about women in the outdoors, exploring the world, doing cool stuff and being adventurous. You will not regret this subscription decision, I promise.

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Female Athletes Are Judged More On Their Looks Than Their Talent… And Here’s The Proof

Mpora is the world’s largest action sports website covering everything from BMX to Surfing , with Skateboarding , Skiing , Road Cycling , Wakeboarding and many other action sports in-between.

Published: February 26, 2020

Author: Cynthia Krueger

This morning I surfed at a popular reef break with fifteen other surfers. All were male, except for me. I wondered, as I often do: “Why am I the only woman here?”. 

It’s similar at my local skatepark. Females make up half the population, so where are they?

The sad fact is that women are underrepresented in action sports, and it’s because they are largely unseen, unheard, and unsupported in an industry traditionally controlled by and centered on men.

Surfing is a sport where this is particularly apparent. If you flip through a copy of Surfer, looking for a woman on a wave, you’re unlikely to find one. There are also many more films showcasing men who surf than women at the top of the sport.

And professional women’s surf contests, which offer less prize money, are fewer in number and webcast less often than the men’s competitions. Misadventures Magazine recently analyzed gender representation in outdoor/adventure activity publications…

Read the rest of the article here.

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Grant #116: Misadventures Magazine

Awesome Without Borders is a collaboration between The Harnisch Foundation & The Awesome Foundation.

Post Title: Misadventures Magazine

Published: November 16, 2020

Misadventures champions women who embrace creativity, take risks, and out and beyond!

Zoe Balaconis, Marybeth Campeau, and Jessica Malordy are taking nature by storm! After years of frustrating subscriptions to outdoors magazines catering to men, and not seeing themselves in the pages of publications for women, they decided to take action, like true trailblazers! So in November 2013, they co-founded Misadventures, bringing quality outdoor/adventure content for and about women to a large, growing, unfed  audience.

Misadventures Magazine ingeniously builds a bridge between outdoor interests, and traditional women’s topics, including fashion, weight loss, dating, and diet. Their content covers everything from how-tos and gear reviews, to recipes and interviews. MM is boldly breaking down many common misconceptions plaguing women’s image in the media, with creativity, taking risks, and going out and beyond!

Currently, Misadventures Magazine is online only, with plans to move into print. First, the trio is looking to expand their readership, and boost their media presence. An AWB grant will go towards that, and then some. Things are about to get wild for women!

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Let Us Now Praise: Women-Focused Adventure Magazines

Fit and Feminist: “Because It Takes Strong Women to Smash the Patriarchy.”

Post Title: Let Us Now Praise: Women-Focused Adventure Magazines

Published: April 25, 2020

As a media junkie, I have a tendency to develop really powerful feelings for things like magazines, TV shows and books, to the point that it sometimes feels like I have a relationship with said media product.  Usually those relationships are solid and mutually fulfilling. You know, I give them my money and my attention, they reward me with entertainment and information.  Usually it works.

But sometimes the relationship becomes more complicated, veering into frenemy territory or maybe even something resembling an unrequited crush.  A good example of the latter relationship is the one I have with Outside magazine.  I think there are so many awesome things about Outside: outstanding long-form journalism, gorgeous photos, interesting travel writing about places I’d like to see before I shuffle off this mortal coil.  But the problem is, I don’t think Outside likes me much at all. Actually, “like” assumes that Outside even knows I exist, which I often get the feeling it doesn’t.  I don’t think it thinks about me or women like me at all.

It’s not just the fact that the female athletes they profile are almost always in bikinis, whether the sport warrants it or not.   It’s that they’ll do a feature on running shorts and only include shorts for men, or they’ll make an attempt at branching into female-friendly content with a piece about style trends at the Boston Marathon.  I have nothing against a feature on running shorts for men or lists of style trends at major marathons, but it’s just part of an overall gestalt that tells me Outside thinks of itself more as a magazine for my husband and not so much for me.

A few months later, my lady-adventure reading got even better when I learned about Misadventures, an online magazine with the following mission statement: “Mis­ad­ven­tures cham­pi­ons women who embrace cre­ativ­ity, take risks, and go out and beyond. We spot­light inspi­ra­tional feats and fig­ures, beau­ti­ful spaces, honest-to-goodness adven­tures, and dis­cov­er­ies of all sorts.” When I saw their origin statement, which references Outside’s seemingly accidental dude-centricism, I knew I had found another tribe of my people.  I sadly have not had as much time to delve into Misadventures but it looks interesting, plus I love the site design, so I wanted to mention it as well in hopes of sending more traffic its way.

I have to say, the actual content is not the only thing I love about these magazines. I love that the editorial staffs behind each publication saw a gap in the existing media landscape and then put in the effort to create something to fill that gap.  I love what they are doing, both as a woman who loves outdoor sports and as a media professional, and I’d like them to keep being able to do what they do, whether that’s through buying a subscription or writing about them on my blog or giving them page views.

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Magazine by alumni scores $25K from college Venture Fund is Davidson, NC’s community newspaper

Post Title: Magazine by alumni scores $25K from college Venture Fund

Published: March 26, 2014

Misadventures magazine, a startup founded by three Davidson College alumni, has been offered an investment of $25,000 as the winner of the2014 Davidson College Venture Fund competition. Misadventures plans to use the funding to grow readership and expand to a print edition.

As part of the deal, Davidson College is also breaking new ground – becoming part owner of the startup.

Misadventures is an online women’s adventure magazine written by and for adventurous and outdoorsy women aged 18-35. The magazine venture is headed by three Davidson College alumnae—Zoe Balaconis ’11, Marybeth Campeau ’11 and Jessica Malordy ’11.

Misadventures intends to provide an alternative to the highly male-focused realm of outdoors and adventure magazines. Recent articles have expounded on the adventures of life in Benin, different ways to travel the world on a limited budget and the activism of a young environmental justice advocate from Charlotte.

“I’m an outdoors enthusiast and magazine lover, and when it came to reading magazines I had two choices: women’s magazines and outdoor magazines,” said Balaconis, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. “I looked around to see if there were magazines for outdoorsy, adventurous women and I saw a gap.”

The team competed against five others last month for a chance to win up to $25,000 in funding from Davidson College’s new Entrepreneurship Initiative. The $25,000 Misadventures is getting is the first in a series of planned annual awards of up to $25,000 from the college’s Venture Fund. The fund is supported primarily by a 2013 gift from the Nisbet family, which also supports other branches of the Entrepreneurship Initiative. The fund accepts applications from Davidson students and recent alumni, who compete for the award by presenting their business plans to a panel of judges. Because the $25,000 is an investment rather than a cash prize, Davidson College will also own a small percentage of the magazine and will help ensure that the fledgling business succeeds.

Teams vying for the Venture Fund attended a series of three clinics led by Davidson’s Entrepreneur in Residence Mark Williams ’86. The clinics aimed to refine the teams’ business models and presentations. Teams then presented their business plans to a panel of judges, including local entrepreneur Mark McDowell, Davidson alumnus and investor Chris Holden, and college president Carol Quillen. WhileMisadventures didn’t have a chance to participate in the entrepreneurship clinics, Balaconis said phone conversations with Williams helped them prepare to pitch their business plan, which she said stood out to the judges because it was a business venture with a social goal.

“It was indeed an entrepreneurial venture, but it also had a heart to it that was socially-minded. We’re not just selling something – it has a purpose,” Balaconis said.

Misadventures magazine first went online in November 2013. With the $25,000 investment, the  team hopes to increase readership through advertising and search engine optimization. While the website currently gets only about 7,000 views per month, Balaconis said they’ll need to grow that number to attract advertisers. The team also hopes to expand its revenue through advertising, branded product sales and ultimately a transition to a print-based business model.

Balaconis said her team will meet with college officials in April to work out the details of the investment, including the size of the college’s stake in the business.


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Alumni-driven startup named winner of Davidson Venture Fund Competition in Entrepreneurship

Davidson College is a highly selective independent liberal arts college committed to access and equal opportunity.

Post Title: Alumi-driven start-up named winner of Davidson Venture Fund Competition in Entrepreneurship
Published: March 24, 2014

A startup publication founded by three Davidson alumni, Misadventures magazine, recently has been offered an investment of $25,000 as the winner of the 2014 Davidson College Venture Fund. Beginning this year, the fund will provide planned investments in annual awards of up to $25,000. The fund accepts applications from Davidson students and recent alumni who present business plans, and a panel of judges chooses recipients.

Misadventures magazine, which spotlights the lives of adventurous women, was this year’s winner. The magazine venture is headed by three alumnae-Belk Scholar Zoe Balaconis ’11, Marybeth Campeau ’11 and Jessica Malordy ’11. Misadventures intends to provide an alternative to the highly male-focused realm of outdoors and adventure magazines.

The trio, who learned to explore, inquire and innovate at Davidson, seek to extend the values of their liberal arts education into the mainstream. Misadventures accomplishes that goal by providing inquisitive and dynamic women-who are largely ignored by conventional media-an outlet to connect with, learn about and validate each other. The judges rewarded the team for their ability to convert this valuable aspect of Davidson’s culture into a workable business plan.

Because the $25,000 is an investment rather than a cash prize, Davidson College will also own a small percentage of the magazine and will help ensure that the fledgling business succeeds.

Additionally, one finalist team was offered a position in the Davidson College Venture Lab, a summer accelerator for student startups based in Charlotte. The student team, named Crossfaded, is comprised of math majors and musicians with bold ideas for creating and distributing online music content.


The Venture Fund is part of Davidson’s growing Entrepreneurship Initiative, which is designed to inspire, connect and support a community of entrepreneurs at Davidson. The fund is supported by a generous 2013 gift from Marian Nisbet and her two sons, Walter Olin “Chip” Nisbet IV ’86 and William McGowan Nisbet, which also supports other branches of the Entrepreneurship Initiative.

The process for this year’s competition began in January 2013, when teams first applied to become finalists. Accepted teams then attended a series of three clinics led by Davidson’s Entrepreneur in Residence Mark Williams ’86. The clinics aimed to refine the teams’ business models and presentations.

Williams explained that one of the key goals of the Venture Fund is to transform people with great ideas into entrepreneurs. To do that, he helped participating teams answer important questions, including: What problem does your business try to solve? Who are your potential customers? How will your business make money? Who is on your team, and what skills do they have?

On Feb. 25, teams presented their business plans to a panel of judges, including local entrepreneur Mark McDowell, founder and managing partner of Court Square Ventures Chris Holden ’85 and Davidson College President Carol Quillen.

Williams explained the value of receiving an investment as opposed to a prize or grant. “When a business receives an investment, it shares a financial risk with its investor,” he said. “This relationship solidifies and promotes a commitment to success that is well beyond what the business previously had.”

Balaconis expressed thanks for Davidson’s investment in Misadventures. “This investment means a lot to my team,” she said. “It feels great to have the validation from the judges.”


Misadventures first went online in November 2013. Balaconis conceived the idea for the magazine after becoming jaded with the male-centric articles and female objectification present in other magazines. Balaconis currently leads the surfing club at the high school where she teaches English in Summerville, Mass.

Misadventures is important because it shows readers that the world of action sports, adventure and the outdoors is not just for men,” Balaconis explained. “There are women doing these activities too, and by reading Misadventures, they can learn from and connect with each other.”

Balaconis’ teammate Marybeth Campeau added, “Davidson does a great job of encouraging women to be adventurous and multidimensional. When we graduated from Davidson, we learned the message distributed by the media is not as positive.”

With the $25,000 investment, the Misadventures team hopes to increase Misadventures readership and revenue through advertising, branded product sales and a transition to a print-based business model. “The investment will primarily go toward increasing our visibility through a variety of methods, including advertising,” Balaconis explained.

Campeau also expressed her gratitude for Davidson’s recent focus on entrepreneurship. “A liberal arts education teaches students to develop and share ideas, which then creates conversations. That’s what we aim to achieve with Misadventures. Those values of innovation and collaboration are very applicable to entrepreneurship.”

Williams added, “Davidson is quietly and strategically investing in the ideas of our students. We are making investments and taking risks to say that we truly believe in their ideas.”

Learn more about the Venture Fund.

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Davidson Students, Alumni Compete for 25K in Start-Up Funding is Davidson, NC’s community newspaper

Post Title: Davidson Students, Alumni Compete for 25K in Start-Up Funding
Published: February 25, 2014

Davidson College students are taking the plunge into entrepreneurship this week as they compete for funding for a business start-up. Six teams of students and recent graduates are vying for $25,000 to get their business ideas off the ground in the college’s first venture fund challenge.

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, each of the finalists will have just a few minutes to pitch their venture to a panel of four or five entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors. To prepare, the teams have participated in a series of clinics this month led by experienced entrepreneurs, to refine their business models and hone their pitching skills.

Competing with First In Line for investment from the Venture Fund are Cross Fade It, a music-mixing phone app led by Andy Baay ’17; Open-MindED, an educational curriculum source that focuses on teaching about identity and culture, led by Jordan Starck ’12; Misadventures, an online women’s adventure magazine led by Zoe Balaconis ’11, Marybeth Campeau ’11 and Jessica Malordy ‘11; 730DC, a daily email newsletter for young professionals in the Washington, DC, area led by Hayden Higgins ’12; and Haan Education, an educational consulting company for Chinese students applying to elite colleges in the United States, led by Yuxi Wang ’14.

One or two of the teams will come away from Tuesday’s pitch to investors with up to $25,000 in funding. Should the ventures accept the funding, Davidson College will own 2 percent to 8 percent of the company, depending on the size of the investment.

In addition to receiving funding, the team or teams that win will have access to a network of entrepreneurs who can provide mentoring and support as startups take their first baby steps.

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Making the Round-Up

HANSEL, &C. is “Your Guide to All Things So Hot Right Now”

Post Title: Rounding ‘Em Up
Published: February 10, 2014

This recently-launched online magazine — “by and for adventurous women” —  is like the perfect best friend: smart, entertaining, and interesting, with impeccable taste. The site itself is beautifully-designed and features content that ranges from practical (DIY guidesrecipesproduct reviews) to informative (interviews,adventure essays) to aesthetically inspiring (travel photography, music recommendationspoetry).

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Misadventures included in GenEq’s 2013 Year in Review

GenEq is the gender equality and women’s empowerment committee of Peace Corps Benin.

Post Title: In Review: 2013
Published: January 3, 2021

“On this last day of 2013, it is important to reflect on the year past and remember what we learned and achieved, what we gained as well as what (and who) we lost, what we discovered and what remains unsolved. Taking these things into account, we can welcome the New Year with informed enthusiasm and wizened sensibility. With that in mind, GenEq has prepared for you the following “year in review” – the headlines from 2013 that most impacted our continually evolving world of gender politics, equality, and justice. Bonne fête, meilleurs voeux, et heureuse année!

November 1: Hillary Clinton’s views on abortion and reproductive rights go <a href=””>viral</a>.

“December 10: Four young women launch a free online magazine by and for adventurous women, aptly naming it Misadventures. It features lady adventurers in essays and interviews, and shares their insights and visions through photography, DIY guides, recipes, and product reviews.”

Dec 13: Just in time for Christmas, Beyonce released an  awe-inspiring visual album, affirming the fact that she really is the greatest woman on the planet.”