Hi, I’m Elle Griffin

I’m writing about a better future, researching a utopian novel, studying humanist philosophy, and worldbuilding in public. Join our salon of literary thinkers!

This is all because I’m nostalgic for the Enlightenment—when all our writers were thinkers.

Literary salons popped up all over the place. So did leagues and social clubs. People wanted to think, and to think up solutions! They came up with ideas like democracy and capitalism and socialism and humanism. They were philosophers, literary thinkers, and they spread these ideas far and wide with pamphlets delivered to every door.

Now all of our writers are doomers. Journalism is not about thinking up the solutions, it’s about reporting on the problems. Even our fiction is dystopian. Our science fiction writers can only imagine a future plagued by AI apocalypse, government surveillance, computer chips in our brains, and space colonies that take us away from the polluted world we created.

If even our best literary minds cannot imagine a better future, how are we supposed to create it? 

That’s why I’ve created The Elysian—a utopian garden where we can study philosophy and debate politics and rethink capitalism and enjoy contemplative leisure and be part of a new enlightenment. It’s a place where we can think through a more beautiful future through essays and literature and discourse.

And I’m just optimistic enough to believe that’s enough of a start to creating one. 

Subscribe right here 👇🏻

About Me

My newsletter has been featured by The New York Times, BBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, The Information, Publisher’s Weekly, Means of Creation, and Morning Brew. I am also a freelance journalist with bylines at Esquire, ForbesEvery, and The Musea portfolio of my work can be found here.

In 2023, I was named a Roots of Progress fellow and in 2022, I was awarded one of 10 places in Substack’s coveted fellowship program. After I serialized my first novel in my newsletter, I gave a TEDx talk about my experience and the return of serial publishing.

I hold degrees in Fashion Merchandising and French and completed my graduate studies in Mariology. For my final project, I recreated eight iconic images of the Virgin Mary using modern photography.

I live with my husband in Salt Lake City, Utah but we spend most of our time working from the remote corners of the world and researching utopia while we’re there.

I can be reached at elle@elysian.press.

Thanks for reading!

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Writing about a better future. Researching a utopian novel. Worldbuilding in public.


Wandering the world, writing about how we can better it, researching a utopian novel, studying humanist philosophy and Chinese poetry, drinking tea and watching c-dramas, worldbuilding in public.