Literary Mama believes that all mothers have a story worth sharing and honors the many faces of motherhood by publishing work that celebrates the journey as well as the job.
We celebrate the physical, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual processes of becoming a mother through words and images that may be so stark it hurts. We welcome perspectives that challenge us to examine motherhood through a variety of lenses. We’re not afraid of publishing work that crosses boundaries of race, gender, age, or income and encourage comments that build community.
We take pride in publishing new and emerging writers as well as established writers. Because we value superior craft, we work with each of our contributors in an intensive editorial review process that respects her voice and the depth of her message.
We publish six times a year and each issue features creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, essays, book reviews, and profiles. Our blog supports mother writers with motivational essays, craft-related resources, and calls for submissions. To learn more, visit our Staff, Contributors, and Submissions pages.
Our Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Literary Mama believes that Black Lives Matter. Black Mothers Matter. Black Writers Matter. Read our full statement in solidarity Here.
Literary Mama prohibits discrimination and harassment against any member, officer, applicant, or artist submitter on the basis of sex, disability, race, age, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, marital or familial status, medical condition, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, physical characteristics, criminal record, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.
Literary Mama first started to take shape in 2002 as a class called Writing About Motherhood taught in Berkeley, California by Amy Hudock. A group of mothers continued meeting at the conclusion of the class, and within months, had connected with other mother writers who, like them, were producing work that was deemed too complex for glossy parenting magazines and too mother-centric for traditional literary journals.
The group decided to found their own online magazine, a home both for their own writing and for the kind of writing they wanted to read. They published several issues of Books and Babies: Writing about Motherhood Literary Web Zine in the spring of 2003; they launched Literary Mama that fall. In 2006, they published an anthology.
Although the founding members have moved on to other projects, the spirit behind their efforts continues today. Our current staff includes women from across the United States, Canada, and the world. We’re communications professionals, university professors, writers, editors, copy editors, photographers, students, and moms. Our contributors hail from all corners of the world.
In 2019, Literary Mama became an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Read our full history as written by Caroline Grant, one of Literary Mama’s former editors-in-chief, here and thoughts from other staff members who participated in our Celebrating Ten Years blog series here.