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 & Daniel Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.