At this time, Literary Mama is closed for submissions.
We seek essays focused on motherhood and the creative process. We’re looking for first-person reflections with a focus that’s intellectual as well as personal and which tell a story that’s both resonant and unique.
Potential topics include:
Writing as a Mother
- The relationship between becoming a mother and becoming a writer.
- The influence of motherhood on your craft.
- The influence of writing on your mothering.
- The outlets for mother writers, from the private (e.g, journals, diaries) to the public (e.g., books and magazines) and those that attempt to bridge the gap (e.g., blogs).
- The development and influence of communities of mother writers (online and real time).
- The challenges of maintaining your writing life in your specific family situation.
- Reviews of “how to” books on the writing process, by and/or focused on mother writers.
Reading as a Mother
- The reading that inspires and motivates your writing process.
- Returning to familiar or discovering new childhood literature as you read to your child.
- Introducing your child to reading and writing.
- Giving feedback to and editing the work of other mother writers.
Working as a Professional
- Your experiences developing a career as a professional mother writer, from sending out queries and negotiating with agents and publishers to promoting your work, giving readings, and doing signings.
- Your experiences working as a professional editor or publisher in the field of mother writing.
- Your experiences as a teacher of literature or writing in the classroom and within the school, college or university, or adult or nontraditional educational environment and how that interacts with your life as a mom.
What We Are NOT Looking For:
- Essays about motherhood generally; these are published by our Creative Nonfiction department.
- Reviews of literary works or interviews with authors; these are published by our Reviews and Profiles departments, respectively.
- Laments about how hard it is to write with children underfoot. While we empathize, we’re looking for essays that surprise us and offer alternative takes on motherhood and creativity.
- Motivational, how-to, or self-help-style articles.
- Short pieces with a “bloggy” tone. If a piece doesn’t meet our minimum word count, it’s probably not right for Literary Reflections. It takes time and space to reflect and dig deep.
Please peruse our archives and these tips from our editors on writing a Literary Reflections essay before you submit to get an idea of what we love. Some of our favorite essays from over the years are:
- For the Love of Lemony Snicket
- Why We Still Need Ramona’s Realism
- Raising Readers: A Mother’s Tale from the Trenches
- Bernadette and Me
- Keeping a Writer’s House with The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
- Dead Scientists Society
- Dear Virginia
- Rage Against the Melancholia
[Note we are closed for submissions.] Please also review our General Submission Guidelines before sending submissions of 1,500-3,500 words to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com in the text of an email (no attachments), along with a brief cover letter. Include the word “Literary Reflections Submission” in the subject line. We typically respond within four to six weeks. If you don’t hear from us after a couple of months, feel free to follow up.