Skip to main content

Snippets From a 1966 Interview With Helen Gurley Brown

Helen Gurley Brown, author and longtime editor of Cosmopolitan, died at age 90 yesterday. Her bestselling nonfiction book, Sex and the Single Girl, which took her career to the next level in 1962, was eventually adopted for the big screen in 1964; it starred Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Lauren Bacall and Henry Fonda. Brown went on to become editor of Cosmo in 1965, breathing life into the magazine with her outspoken advocacy of women’s sexual freedom.

Image placeholder title

Here are a few of Brown's quips from an interview we conducted in 1966, in which she detailed her revitalization of Cosmopolitan:

“We’re not an intellectual’s magazine, but I don’t want to scare off the intellectual writer. I’m terribly keen for good writing.”

“There are too many women in the country for the number of men around. So we show women how to find men. We don’t treat men as a commodity.”

"Management goes up in flames when we are compared to Playboy magazine. We're not a female Playboy, but I want to do stuff about my people, just as Playboy does about theirs. We edit for our readers. If it isn't for a Cosmo girl, it doesn't get in the book."

 Brown celebrating Cosmo with a champagne toast. Click for larger image.

Brown celebrating Cosmo with a champagne toast. Click for larger image.

 Click for larger image.

Click for larger image.

5 Tips for Incorporating Sensitive Family Material Into a Memoir

5 Tips for Incorporating Sensitive Family Material Into a Memoir

Wading into the murky waters of the past to write a memoir is only half the battle. Here, author Elisa Bernick shares 5 tips for incorporating sensitive family material into a memoir.

Adam Hochschild: On Unlearned History Repeating Itself

Adam Hochschild: On Unlearned History Repeating Itself

Award-winning author Adam Hochschild discusses the surprising things he learned in writing his new historical nonfiction book, American Midnight.

7 Outlets to Consider for Your Journalism

7 Outlets to Consider for Your Journalism

Journalist Alison Hill shares seven outlets for writers to consider when trying to place their journalism, including newspapers, podcasts, newsletters, and more.

5 Insights on Writing About Challenging Topics With Children in Age-Friendly Ways (and Why It’s Important To Do So)

5 Insights on Writing About Challenging Topics With Children in Age-Friendly Ways (and Why It’s Important To Do So)

Children are often the ones most effected by both major policy changes and personal family changes, making engaging with them on tough topics critical. Here, public health specialist and writer Patty Mechael shares 5 insights on writing about challenging topics with children in age-friendly ways.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 629

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an avoidance poem.

What Are Submission Guidelines in Writing?

What Are Submission Guidelines in Writing?

In this post, we answer the question of what are submission guidelines in writing, and we look at how writers can take advantage of them to find more success getting published.

3 Tips for Crafting a Character That Can Carry a Series

3 Tips for Crafting a Character That Can Carry a Series

From planting characteristics early on to understanding the expectations of your genre, author Mia P. Manansala shares 3 tips for crafting a character that can carry a series.

Quite the Reward

Quite the Reward

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character rescues a creature that turns out to be a powerful being.

Rita Zoey Chin: On the Way Storytelling Can Shape Lives

Rita Zoey Chin: On the Way Storytelling Can Shape Lives

Author Rita Zoey Chin discusses the process of writing her new novel, The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern.