Archive for March, 2007

Writer’s Digest Essay Contest for Writer Mamas Deadline Tomorrow!

Joell asked and I just checked with my publicist at Writer’s Digest.

The deadline for the Writer Mama/Papa Contest (When Writing and Parenting Collide—read more) is tomorrow, Saturday, March 31st at midnight Cincinnati time (Eastern Time).

Last chance to win! But hey, it’s not to late to dash off an entry!

Everything you need to know is right here. Go for it!


Call for Submissions: The Maternal is Political

Call for Submissions: The Maternal Is Political

Writer-mamas, how do your political views affect the way you parent? How has motherhood shaped or transformed your politics? How does the act of mothering serve as a form of activism in your life? What important work is being done at the place where motherhood and politics meet? Shari MacDonald Strong is seeking essay submissions for a literary anthology about mothers who are changing the world; about the relationship between motherhood and social change. The deadline is June 1, 2007. Selected essays will appear in the anthology The Maternal Is Political (Spring 2008, Seal Press). For more details, see the submissions guidelines at Shari’s blog. (The call for submissions will be posted on Seal Press’s website in the next few days.)

Writers on the Rise Writer-Mama-Columnists

Did you know that out of the fifteen monthly columnists who contribute to my zine, Writers on the Rise, a full ten of us are writer mamas?

Here is a quick rundown of each WOTR writer mama with a link to her latest column. You won’t believe how much you can learn from these ladies!

Wendy Burt has been with Writers on the Rise the longest. She’s expecting a pal for daughter Gracie this fall. She pens the “Ask Wendy” column, which is always full of great advice to timely questions from her decade-plus writing career. Her latest column is: Should I self-publish a book?

C. Hope Clark covers time management for writers. She is a gem in the online writing community and the mother of two sons. You may have heard of her as the founder and editor of Funds for Writers. Her column A Tool that Beats Waiting Every Time can help you get out of the waiting holding pattern, we writers often find ourselves stuck in. Hope is the author of The Shy Writer.

Cindy Hudson is a Mother-Daughter Bookclub expert, who is one half of our agent/editor interview team every other month. The other half is Lori Russell, an award-winning freelance journalist, who recently completed her first novel. Cindy recently interviewed Tracey Ryder of Edible Communities Magazines to find out how the rest of us could break in. Next month, Lori interviews Amy Wang an editor from The Oregonian.

Sharon Cindrich’s first book will be released by Random House this June, E-Parenting, Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids. She writes our Parent Writer: Strategies for Success column, this time on Work and Play Groups.

Abigail Green from Maryland is a seasoned journalist and essayist and the teaching assistant for Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff. Her Freelancer’s Phrase Book helps readers become more familiar with editor-speak. This month’s topic is Learn the Secret Language of Editors. Abby’s blog is Diary of a New Mom.

Elizabeth Short from Bellingham, Washington writes The Copywriter’s Paycheck. Beth is expecting her first child in the fall. She’s walking readers through Grow Your Copywriting Business in 2007.

Pamela Kim is a busy writer mama who lives in the bay area with her daughter Katie. She rounds up our Conference Confab each month, which suggests which writing conferences are coming up soon. And we all know that conferences are a great place to Meet and Greet Industry Insiders. Right?

And finally, Mary Andonian, who just landed an agent for her young adult novel Bitsy’s Labyrinth is our resident Writing Conference expert. Her column Writing Conference Success helps writers get the most out of any conference experience. Mary is the agent and editor coordinator for the Willamette Writer’s Conference.

Two More (Possible) Mom Markets

Share Some Comfort

The bestselling Cup of Comfort book series is actively seeking inspiring true stories for the following 5 new volumes.

We publish only creative nonfiction stories that read like fiction. Stories must be uplifting, original, in English, typed, and 1000-2000 words. Authors must be at least 18 years old. Simultaneous submissions and some previously published material OK. $500 grand prize; $100 ea. all other stories; plus copy of book. No entry fee.

Email submissions to Copy and paste story into body of email; no attachments; one submission per email. Write the volume (i.e., Single Mothers) in the subject line. Include story title, wordcount, and author’s first and last name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

For more detailed writer’s guidelines:

A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors

It has been said that “stories are medicine” and that “one of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is to share our stories.” This volume gives the healing power of story to women (and men) who have survived breast cancer, enabling them to share their inspiring triumphs and courageous trials with others who have beat breast cancer as well as with those who are currently dealing with breast cancer. We want uplifting stories about the experiences and emotions involved in battling and surviving breast cancer. Possible story themes include but are not limited to: diagnosis, treatment, emotional impact, support systems, healing practices, coping mechanisms, effect on loved ones, effect on personal and/or professional life, life after recover, prognosis, positive post-cancer outcomes.
Submission Deadline: 8/15/07

A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women

Divorce in the 21st century should come with an instruction manual, a release valve, and a support system. This anthology will serve essentially those three purposes, in the form of comforting, insightful, and inspirational stories about surviving and thriving during and after divorce. We seek uplifting, contemporary stories on a wide range of topics of importance to divorced women—including but not limited to: dating, children, relationship with ex, in-laws, finances, friends, solitude, personal transformation, healing, revenge, mending fences, the ex’s new wife or lover, empowerment, rediscovery of self. The majority of stories will be written by women who are or have been divorced. Stories can be poignant, irreverent, humorous, witty, or wise.
Submission Deadline: 12/31/2007

Copyright 2001-2007, Adams Media Corporation, an F+W Publications Company

Village Books Presentation

How lovely to come back to Bellingham and give a presentation at Village Books. And even with the first really bright sunny spring day AND catching the tail end of Spring break, we had a nice turnout of familiar and new faces.




Bellingham just gets better all the time. No wonder it is often rated as one of the best places in the U.S. to live.

I’m looking forward to next time. Thank you Village Books, especially Brooks, for taking such good care of everyone.

I forgot to ask her where she heard the story she used in her intro. I’ll e-mail her and find out, though.

A Room of My Own

Today, I woke up in Bellingham, our old hometown, in a hotel room of my very own, across the green from Village Books.

How delightful!

Bellingham is the place where my husband earned his theater masters and his teaching certificate before we moved to Wilsonville, and is especially close to my heart because it’s where our daughter Samantha was born.

I got an education on the way here on the Amtrak train from the nineteen-year-olds in my seating area. I learned: A young man’s perspective on being a U.S. soldier in Afganastan, that I have a good-shaped nose for piercing, that one should not get too large of a hole put in their body when getting pierced, what it feels like to get it pierced, what it (sometimes) sounds like to get pierced, how to pretend to have Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome to get released from the army, how spiders spin webs, kill their prey, suck their guts out and mate.

I could have learned about car engines, but I chose to read some of Barbara Kingsolver’s Small Wonder instead. I learned how to walk on a speeding train, how to use one of those toilet-seat covers for the first time ever in my life, how to pirate DVDs (should I ever wish to do such a thing, which I don’t), how to remember some of my Eurorail adventures from my college days, one young woman’s understanding and personal experience of the Holy Ghost, and how to trust that no one would walk off with my luggage.

For some reason, this last one, was perhaps the most challenging for me. But the rest was easy and thoroughly enjoyable.

Surely, there were a myriad of publishable ideas in these flurries of conversation. But more than anything, as a mom who typically inhabits the same orbit day after day after day, I enjoyed the freshness of breaking routine. The vast difference in thoughts and ideas between nineteen-year-olds and my five-year-old. And the fact that, though my train ride was nothing like what I’d imagined, it was refreshing and educational, just the same.

I also remembered that when I became a mom, my mind more than ever grasped tightly the idea of personal safety and how to keep my family safe. And that as a singleton traveling out into the world, one is much more likely to venture outside the zone, ask absurd questions, and simply let go and take it all in.

Maybe we moms could all use a little more adventures in our lives. Adventures without our kids, as well as all of those we take with them. It was a good reminder, even if the adventure was as tame as the train from Portland to Bellingham.

Oh, and by the way, I’ll be at Village Books tonight at 5:00 p.m. Can’t wait to see some old friends.

Plane, Train or Automobile?

I’m on to Plan B.

Plan B is what you turn to when Plan A (driving up to Bellingham with  Jason, Samantha and two puppies for my Village Books presentation) goes bust.

It’s probably just as well, the pups aren’t ready either! And more importantly, Samantha is recovering  more slowly from her Strepp than I am recovering from my Bronchitis.

And let’s face it, road trips require energy. And we’re all running a  low on that precious commodity this Spring Break.

So off I go solo! It’s only the second time I’ve been away from Samantha ever. And last time I did this was for the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference last summer and the water pump went out as soon as I got on the highway heading home…on a Sunday morning.

Yeah. I was stuck for TWO extra nights. In retrospect, I remember that it was actually kind of nice. For the first time in four-plus years nobody needed me every minute of the day for 48 whole hours.

Nice, huh?

So, I’m doing it again. Only this time I’m taking the train. (Yes!)

Are you getting the picture? Not just 48-hours where nobody can need me every minute, but, six and a half hours of pure, uninterrupted time to think and clear my head, all the way there and back. Ah. I like the sound of that.

And, thanks to the miracle of antibiotics, I plan on making the most of every minute.

Now if my voice would come back by Sunday afternoon that would be an extra bonus.

Hope to see you at Village Books in Bellingham on Sunday, March 25th at 5:00 pm!

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