For many parent writers, it is enough of a challenge to find a spare moment to jot down our thoughts about parenting, our children, our new roles, and our shifting identities. Finding the additional time to research the publishing market, draft query letters, devise a marketing plan and get to a post office to send out our manuscripts often feels impossible. A number of parent writers have sought out alternatives to traditional publishing avenues and instead choose to showcase their work through online literary magazines, self-published zines, and blogs.
In California, Neighborhood Parents Network, a Bay Area parenting organization, has taken the unique step of editing, publishing and distributing an anthology of essays authored by group members, former members and friends. Using Our Words: Moms and Dads on Raising Kids in the Modern Neighborhood, edited by Kathy Briccetti, Lysa Hale, & Donna Jaffe, is a collection of essays by 29 authors, described as follows:
The voices of a single mom, gay dad, foster mom, mother of twins, a couple adopting cross-culturally, stepmother, and a transgendered mother ring out in this collection of intimate essays from an urban neighborhood. In these 38 engaging pieces, moms and dads rekindle sexual relationships, cope with potty talk at the dinner table, challenge gender stereotypes, referee food fights, and define modern fatherhood. From pregnancy hyperemesis to teenage alienation, sleep deprivation to report cards, these parents are negotiating the modern parenting landscape. These writers are politically conscious, contemporary parents in the process of holding their children close while simultaneously letting them go.
Authors include Literary Mama’s own Sybil Lockhart (Reviews Editor and Mama in the Middle Columnist), Heidi Raykeil (Columns Editor and Sex in the Suburbs Columnist), Joanne Hartman (Profiles Editor and Mother Angst columnist), Rachel Sarah (Columns Editor and Single Mom Seeking Columnist), and Sophia Raday (Mommy Athens, Daddy Sparta Columnist), and LM contributors Dayna Macy, Suzanne LaFetra, and Rachel Hollowgrass.
Copies of the anthology can be ordered through NPN’s website.