What is illuminate?

illuminate is a monthly writing program dedicated to shining a light on the creative within us all. Yes, ALL of us, you included. We are focused on getting your words out and helping you do what you do best - WRITE.

Our program offers themes, prompts, inspiration, expert reviews, publishing opportunities, a supportive writing community, and more.

How can illuminate help you?

Whether you’re a beginner, or a professional writer, or somewhere in between, we all often face the same issues when it comes to our writing: I’m stuck, what do I write about? What is my story? Do I have more than one? Is this piece resonating the way I want it to? Where can I find a supportive, inclusive writing community that accepts writers from every skill level and genre? How do I get more eyes on my writing? I can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on writing courses, where can I find help?

illuminate is here to help you answer all of those questions and more.

Why did we start it?

illuminate came about because of Holl & Lane Magazine. When the magazine first began in 2015, we never imagined the community that would develop because of it. Women from all around the world came to read the stories of our brave writers. And even more surprising, women from all around the world asked to write for us, sharing their innermost journeys, thoughts, and feelings.

Due to our passion for storytelling, we've long wanted to develop a community for writers. But we wanted to be mindful of the type of group we created. We wanted to provide value and substance. To help women be able to share their story, no matter who would read it. And with that, we created illuminate in 2018.

Who are we exactly?

illuminate was co-founded by two members of the Holl & Lane team: Sarah and Mia. Read more about them below.

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Sarah Hartley is the creator and editor in chief of Holl & Lane Magazine, a magazine dedicated to showcasing real life from real women. Searching for a magazine that featured honest life in a beautiful way, that would give women a voice and a platform, Sarah set out to create that magazine. She publishes stories on infertility, miscarriage, mental health, body image, self-care, love and loss, and so much more. She wants to show women that they are not alone. She is also a wife to Brandon, a mom to Henry and Harrison, and lives near Pittsburgh, PA. In her (minimal) spare time, she loves to read, have dance parties with her sons, and enjoy a beer with her husband at the end of a long week. You can read her writing at


Mia Sutton is the editorial manager for Holl & Lane Magazine. Mia has had a lifelong love affair with writing and is a self-proclaimed word nerd. She writes personal essays and poems - mostly about mental health, marriage, and motherhood. She loves donuts, cheesy action movies, pretty notebooks, and the Oxford comma. Mia lives in Virginia with her husband and 2 kids. You can read her writing at