Jennifer Niesslein and Stephanie Wilkinson are the brains behind Brain,Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, one of the best print magazines around when it comes to reporting on and exploring the life of mothers. Stacey Greenberg interviews the duo for Literary Mama:
- SG: How has the material you received changed over the years, if at all?
JN: It’s funny — certain subjects come in waves. For example, we’ll receive nothing about atypical boys for a long time, then all of a sudden, everyone’s son is wearing dresses and putting on nail polish. Generally, the subjects haven’t changed a lot. It’s motherhood, right?
SW: I think we get sent some really great stuff. Of course, it gets harder as you go along, from an editorial standpoint, since you don’t want to repeat yourself too much. So it will always be a challenge for us to find fresh ways to talk about the tried and true stuff.
SG: How do you account for the fact that hundreds of mothers are clamoring to get their writing into your magazine?
JN: Mothers have interesting stories to tell and Brain, Child is one of the few publications committed to publishing personal essays about motherhood. I can’t speak for all our contributors, but I personally think that our readers are the people whom I want to talk to when I write.
SW: I do think we hit a cultural nerve. The mid-to-late 1990s was a time when talking and writing about motherhood in a new, open, fresh way became popular. We are riding the wave, and helping sustain it, I hope.