Writing Our Lives is partnering with Longreads to publish your mother wound essays!

** As of June 17th, we have closed submissions for the launch but will be opening them up again soon. Stay tuned. **

At the successful Writing the Mother Wound panel at the AWP 2019 in Portland, five multi-genre writers (Vanessa Mártir, Jaquira Díaz, Elisabet Velasquez, Rene Denfeld and Michele Filgate) shared how they address and interrogate the complex realities of mother-daughter relationships. They discussed the silence imposed on those who are un-mothered, abused, or choose to not be mothers themselves, and talked through how they use their own lives as fodder to create complex stories about mothering with the audacity of truth.

In the spirit of extending and expanding the conversation, in partnership with Writing Our Lives, Longreads is looking for essays — personal, researched, reported, and hybrid forms — that address and complicate the myths, ideology, and over-sentimentalization of mother love. Stories about fraught mother-daughter relationships, mercurial moms, nurturers who need nurturing, “other” mothers, relationships that change over time. We believe the afterlives of slavery and colonialism mean mothering can be especially fraught for those whose bodies bear those legacies. And that the nature of mothering, with its implied transmission of gender roles in a society still invested in patriarchy, can be especially fraught in the lives of those who identify as female, femme, or non-binary. Submissions are open to everyone, but we’re privileging work from writers who are POC, women, femmes, and / or non-binary.

The ideal length of essays is 2,500 – 4,000 words, but we’ll consider anything above 1,200 words. We’re not beholden to length. We like thrilling, new voices, deep inquiry, vibrant, dynamic narratives. Rates start at $500.

A few things to note:

  • Submissions are open to everyone (not only WOL alum), but we’re privileging work from writers who are POC, women, femmes, and / or non-binary.
  • Please send drafts with a short summary to Vanessa Mártir & Danielle Jackson at motherwound@longreads.com.
  • We are not accepting pitches without finished drafts.
  • We accept submissions from writers outside the US.
  • We are hoping this will be an ongoing collaboration, but to be considered for our launch, we must receive your draft by June 17th.


  1. Hi Vanessa. May I ask what you consider a ‘draft’? Is this a finished essay, rough version of the entire essay or a partially written piece? Thanks for enlightening me. Ines

  2. I have been through several wounds as a mum caused by my daughter’s and now I going through the last one at the age of 55 years I am happily married now , my heart has been broken so many times from loss of grandchildren through break up , vendettas from one daughter losing child to adoption to the latest one ,false allegation against my son for historical rape as vengeance for compensation to completely destroying a family ,I of course support my son ,but I wish to write about it now and tell people what it does to a mother been torn apart . Debs Clarke

  3. Hello,
    I just discovered this site so I am too late for the submission. I do plan to keep a lookout for the next date for submissions.
    I have short stories, fiction and none fiction, essays and memoirs. I look forward to submitting.

  4. Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s