The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Twenty-Five

lLM lrgeFeeling rather literary today? Good. It’s a three-fer. Yep, that’s right. Today’s Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway is three books:

Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined edited by Andrea Buchanan and Amy Hudock, is a unique collection features the best of the online magazine literarymama.com, a site devoted to mama-centric writing with fresh voices, superior craft, and vivid imagery. While the majority of literature on parenting is not literary or is not written by mothers, this book is both. Including creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Literary Mama celebrates the voices of the maternally inclined, paves the way for other writer mamas, and honors the difficult and rewarding work women do as they move into motherhood.

Editor Bios:

A. BuchananAndrea Buchanan is a writer living in Philadelphia. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Daring Book For Girls, The Pocket Daring Book For Girls: Things To Do, and The Pocket Daring Book For Girls: Wisdom and Wonder along with Miriam Peskowitz. She is also the author of Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It and the editor of three anthologies: It’s a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons; Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined; and It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters. Before becoming a writer, Andi was a classical pianist; she studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where she earned her bachelor of music degree, and continued her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, earning a master’s degree in piano performance. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Amy HudockAmy Hudock, Ph. D., is a writer, teacher, and editor who lives in South Carolina with her daughter.  She is a co-founder of Literary Mama, an on-line literary magazine chosen by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers (2005 and 2009) and by Forbes as one of their 100 Best of the Web (2005). She is also the co-editor of Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press 2006) and of the book American Women Prose Writers, 1820-1870 (Gale 2001).  Her work has been anthologized in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort series, as well as in Ask Me About My Divorce, Mama, PhD, Single State of the Union, and Mothering a Movement. You can read more about her at www.amyhudock.com

Mama PHd Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant, is a literary anthology of personal narratives by women both in and out of the academy, writing about their experiences attempting to reconcile bodies with brains. This anthology voices stories of academic women choosing to have, not have, or delay children. The essays in this anthology speak to and offer support for any woman attempting to combine work and family, and make recommendations on how to make the academy a more family-friendly workplace.

Editor Bios:

Caroline GrantCaroline Grant is the editor-in-chief of Literary Mama, where she also writes the column Mama at the Movies. She is co-editor, with Elrena Evans, of the anthology Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life (Rutgers University Press, 2008). She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, where she taught classes on film, women’s studies, American literature, and writing; she has also taught at Stanford University and the San Francisco Art Institute. Her essays have been published in a variety of anthologies and journals.  She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons, a life she writes about on her blog, food for thought.

ElrenaEvansElrena Evans holds a MFA from Pennsylvania State University and writer for numerous mama-centric publications, including a monthly column for Literary Mama. Her work also appears in the anthologies Twenty Something Essays by Twenty Something Writers (Random House) and How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel (Seal Press). She lives in Pennsylvania. Her website is: http://www.elrenaevans.com.

MaternalIsPolitical2The Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change edited by Shari MacDonald Strong. Exploring the vital connection between motherhood and social change, The Maternal Is Political features more than 40 powerful, hard-hitting literary essays by women who are striving to make the world a better place for children and families — both their own and other women’s — in this country and globally.

From the mom deconstructing playground “power games” with her first-grade child, to the mother who speaks out against misogyny during an awkward road trip with her college-age daughter and friends, to the mother of sons worrying about the threat of a future military draft, The Maternal Is Political brings together the voices of women who are transforming the political and social: one child, one babysitter, one peace march at a time.

Editor Bio:

S. MacDonald StrongShari MacDonald Strong is a senior editor and former “Zen and the Art of Child Maintenance” columnist at Literary Mama. Her essay “On Wanting a Girl” appeared in the Seal Press anthology It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters (edited by Andrea J. Buchanan), and her essay “The Slope” appears in the new anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (edited by Hannah Notess).  Shari worked as an editor and copywriter in the publishing industry for fifteen years (most recently as a freelance contractor for a division of Random House). She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her photographer and inventor husband, Craig Strong, and their three children: Eugenia, Will, and Mac. You can read more about her at www.ShariMacDonaldStrong.com.

If you are new to the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

Especially since folks have been getting, ahem, a little long-winded lately. This is funny because at the beginning of the giveaway folks weren’t writing long enough. Now I can’t get them to stop writing. 🙂

Please keep it between 50-200 words. Do you best!

Today’s question is…

Are you a literary mama? Do you read Literary Mama? Would you like to be a literary mama? Today the topic is literary mamas…share whatever you’d like on the topic.

Give me the goods in 50-200 words, please. :)

Before you go! WE HAVE A CAUSE TO RAISE MONEY FOR THIS YEAR! Please read the story about the Applin family here and consider making a small contribution at some point during the giveaway. We’re aiming for $100/day collectively. Please help us help the Applin family adopt two beautiful children from Russia. :)

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25 Responses to “The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Twenty-Five”


  1. 1 Karrie Z Myton September 25, 2009 at 5:01 am

    I call myself literary because I also teach reading and writing. Sometimes I hesitate to say that because teaching second language speakers and working with high school students is so different from the writing I do here.

    And then there is the fear that I’ll slip in my grammar and someone will wonder how it is that I can teach (like starting a sentence with a conjunction).

    Finally, I have found that when I tell people I teach English they freeze up and worry that I’m the grammar/writing police. I wonder if Math teachers experience anything similar:)

    As for Christina’s question, my son makes me a mama. Literary + Mama = Literary Mama. My math teacher would be so proud!

  2. 2 Joyce Lansky September 25, 2009 at 5:20 am

    I’ve written many works that involve mothers and their children. Does that make me a literary mama? Some of the best mamas I’ve met in fiction would have to be Mama from Ingrid Law’s Savvy because she is perfect and Mrs. Weasley, of Harry Potter, is cool.

    My favorite thing to talk about is my three children. In writing, I can incorporate my kids into my characters since they have been my widest window into the kids’ world; however, I usually don’t. The more an author abuses a character, the more the reader wants to continue. So, I often distance my kids from my writing. Did that answer your question? I’m not really sure about what you were asking in this one.

  3. 3 L Ringler September 25, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I claim literary mama – yes! But I can’t claim being published in that genre. Yet?

    I have Brain, Child’s anthology, and I do check Literary Mama and Hip Mama sometimes. I’ve submitted to Literary Mama and gotten back-and-forth with an editor, but no publication in the end.

    I’m glad there are Literary Mama venues; I think there are a lot of us out here who care to read such writing. And I look forward to seeing our thoughts more available to a greater audience, because the culture could use our smart child-thoughtful perspective. As the people who named Brain, Child are saying, yes there are women well engaged with both.

  4. 4 Danielle C September 25, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Does having mama writing brain count?
    I am a Wannabe Literary Mama. I have been dusting off the parts of my brain that have been covered in applesauce and spit-ups to write the moments of mommyhood that I never knew from my mom who passed away a long time ago.
    Love being a mom in this electronic tribal age!

  5. 5 Cara Holman September 25, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I was delighted to discover the Literary Mama website quite by chance sometime last year. LM really struck a chord with me, as I had left the world of academia over 20 years ago to pursue my other passion: parenthood. Although I have never looked back, and have no regrets about the different direction life has taken me, LM reconnected me with my past in a very positive way.

    I’ve been enjoying testing my writing mettle with their monthly literary reflections prompts, and their feedback has been invaluable for helping me grow my craft. I’ve even had the added icing on the cake of seeing five of my reflections featured as selected shorts on their blog. I’m hooked now! But mostly, I come back to LM again and again because their writing is just plain good! Authentic, powerful, and above all, never saccharine.

    So long answer to a short question. In brief: Yes, I am a literary mama, yes I read Literary Mama regularly, and yes! I would like to be a literary mama. 😉

  6. 6 writerinspired September 25, 2009 at 8:42 am

    YEs! YEs! And YEs! I am a literary mama (I’m a mom and I write literary fiction) I do follow Literary Mama zine and covet a byline in their essay or fiction section.
    My two greatest passions in life are being a mom to my two beautiful creative boys and writing/reading/teaching.
    I think even those ladies who write but don’t have children can consider themselves literary mamas – they are birthing stories, afterall : )

  7. 7 Jessica Varin September 25, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I am a writer and I want to be a mama one day (far from today). As a feminist, I want the voices of women to be heard. Since women are the primary caretakers in many cultures, this means supporting literary mamas.

    I read Literary Mama occasionally. Admittedly, this is mostly so I can write in persona. It also helps me anticipate the challenges and joys I will eventually face.

    Rock on writer mamas!

  8. 8 Beth Cato September 25, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I am a literary mama. I’ve read eighty books this year and had a fair share of publications, and I’m the mother to a sweet little four-year-old math whiz. So yep, I think I qualify.

    I did follow Literary Mama for over six months in 2007-2008, but I haven’t visited there this year. I’ve become rather overwhelmed with publications I want to research and follow, but I’m sure I’ll read their zine again.

  9. 9 Cheryl M September 25, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I read Literary Mama every week. And, just this month I did the new column (Birthing the Mother Writer) where you send in some writing and mine got picked to be revised. Hooray! It was a great experience for me and I highly recommend it to anyone else.

    I have one of the books mentioned here on the giveaway, but I have been really looking forward to reading Mama PhD. As a former professor I imagine there are many essays that I can relate to in it.

  10. 10 Janel September 25, 2009 at 10:15 am

    To me, being a literary mama is choosing my kids over work in the summer then working hard while school is in session. I carry a notebook with me to write down ideas while I wait for school to dismiss. Yesterday I found the spark of a story from a decal on a mini van. Being a mama means that I always have questions and knowing that other mamas will probably wonder the same thing. Moms have a built-in audience of other moms.

  11. 11 Meryl K Evans September 25, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I probably became a literary mama before I became a mama. My definitely of literary mama may be different in that it all started with a children’s literature college course. I fell in love with children’s books and build up my library before the kiddos came along. I share my love for reading with my kids. They don’t always love doing the reading themselves.

  12. 12 Rebecca C September 25, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Like Meryl, I’m far more in love with children’s literature and currently write for kids, although I’d love to one day type up all the miscellaneous notes I’ve taken on raising my own family and complile them into a humourous book in Erma Bombeck fashion.

    I used to read more adult books but find the competition with the ever expanding children’s market too great and don’t have time to read both, and still leave myself time to write.

  13. 13 Amie September 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    My four year old son has been telling me lately “Read ALL the words mommy!” In books and on signs and cereal boxes. He points. I read. We talk. I have been exploring the literature of everyday life, trying to take in all the words + ideas + experiences – the more the better – and put them in the big blender in my head. I appreciate literarymama.com as a place where words, ideas and experiences can be expressed. A place to engage in an exchange. Reading and writing help me to have something to contribute to the great thought potluck of life. I look forward to tasting yours and I just hope mine isnt too salty.

  14. 14 Maribeth September 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I am a literary mama for sure but am ashamed to say I have not read the Literary Mama as of yet. I am going on to their site right after this so I can check it out.
    I give a high-five Woo-Woo-Woo to all my fellow literary mama’s. It’s a tough business but fun, fun, fun!

  15. 15 Jaymie September 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I am not sure about a “literary mama.” I haven’t read Literary Mama or been to the website before, but I try to be a well-read mama. I try to read things that entertain me, enlighten me, challenge me and educate me. I would love to read these books offered today. They all look fascinating.

  16. 16 Mar Junge September 25, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Once a literary mama, always a literary mama? Well, maybe there’s a lull in there when the kids go off to college. For 23 years I was very much a literary mama. I was a professional writer long before my first child was born and was intent on proving I could do it all – to the point where when I was in the hospital in labor I was determined to finish my article by deadline. My home-based business enabled me to continue to be a full-time professional writer while raising three children. It wasn’t easy, but for me, it was the only way. Considering that now my kids tell me that when they have kids they’re going to tell them to call me “Grammar” since I’m such a stickler for it, I guess in time I’ll be a literary grand-mama!

  17. 17 Cat September 25, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I am a literary mama, though I’ve only read essays on the Literary Mama website a few times. I’m a writer and a mother trying to find a balance in those two passions every day. A few other collections related to this that I’ve really liked are The Grand Permission and Mamaphonic. I don’t write about motherhood, but I find great support in the work of the literary mamas who do write on that topic.

  18. 18 Pam Maynard September 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    You bet I am a literary mama! My son has inspired me to write for him, to him and about him. I strive everyday to be taken seriously (by even my own husband) as a writer. I do have several magazine article published and am working on a non-fiction chapter book through ICL. Maybe because I work full time, I don’t define myself as a writer first, I am a mom, wife, MRI tech, then writer….
    I do read Literary Mama occasionally. I would love to write about being a mom and how it has influenced my writing. Would I have written what I wrote if I never had a child? Would what I write be different if I had a girl instead of a boy? I believe it would, but I’m grateful that my son is so creative and imaginative, he inspires me everyday!

  19. 19 Fawn September 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    This is the first I have heard (at least in a method that stuck to me) of Literary Mama. I will definitely be checking it out. I haven’t decided if I am literary or not. There seems to be a wide variance in the definition of that word. I feel like I am literary, but I don’t know if I would live up to others’ expectations of that label. Kind of like saying I am a wine drinker, although I don’t know the finer points of wine – just that I like to drink it.

  20. 20 Laura September 25, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I am a mama, to twin boys (21) & a girl (19). I love everything to do with words, from reading to writing. I really miss the days when my kids were all home & younger. Every night, before bed, they’d curl up on the sofa with me, and we’d read together. So, I think I qualify as a literary mama.

    I just recently discovered Literary Mama through this website I have read it, and enjoyed it. This site, Writer Mama, is currently my only link to other writers, so I have been working my way through the list of other’s blogs & websites. It’s so nice to not feel alone, in finding balance between being a mother and writing. Even though my kids are older, and only my daughter still lives at home, I am and always will be a mama who writes, thus a writer mama (or literary mama?)

  21. 21 Jenn Crowell September 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I’m definitely a literary mama — both in the sense that I’m a writer and a mother, and that my writing frequently addresses the mothering life (and is oftentimes at its most compelling when I do so). I’ve been a frequent, if sporadic reader of Literary Mama, and would savor a copy of their anthology.

  22. 22 Brianne A September 25, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I am on my way to becoming a literary mama! I’m not sure what the exact definition is, but when I hear the word “literary,” I think of studying and learning about literature, as well as writing it. I’m excited to learn new things everyday, whether it’s from a blog, a book, a class, or a message board. I think I’d like to earn a masters degree in English or Writing someday.

    This is the first time that I’ve visited the Literary Mama website, and now that I know about it, I will definitely be reading it regularly.

  23. 23 Liz September 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I’m a literary mama for sure! I read Literary Mama online and I credit their collection(s) for bringing me back into the writing fold. I stumbled across it by chance at a local bookstore after the birth of my first son and found that they were doing a reading a few days later. I was hooked and have been ever since. It’s great reading and inspiring writing.

  24. 24 Sarah Joyce Bryant September 25, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I am a literary mama, but I would like to be a published literary mama. I have not really found my niche yet, but I have been experimenting with different things on my blog to get input. I would really like to break into freelance writing but I know it will take some time and hard work to get there. For now, I am content on working on honing my skills and researching opportunities.

    Oh, and yes, I do read Literary Mama!

  25. 25 caroline September 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Christina! I’m delighted to meet so many literary mamas, readers and writers, through your site.


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