Literary Mama believes that all mothers have a story worth sharing and honors the many faces of motherhood by publishing work that celebrates the journey as well as the job.
We celebrate the physical, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual processes of becoming a mother through words and images that may be so stark it hurts. We welcome perspectives that challenge us to examine motherhood through a variety of lenses. We’re not afraid of publishing work that crosses boundaries of race, gender, age, or income and encourage comments that build community.
We take pride in publishing new and emerging writers as well as established writers. Because we value superior craft, we work with each of our contributors in an intensive editorial review process that respects her voice and the depth of her message.
Each monthly online issue features creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, columns, essays about writing and/or reading as a mother, book reviews, and profiles of mother writers and artists. We welcome work written from the child’s perspective, or from fathers, partners or other family members for our special-themed issues in May and June. Our blog supports mama writers with motivational essays, craft-related resources, and calls for submissions. To learn more, visit our Staff, Contributors, and Submissions pages.
Literary Mama first started to take shape in 2002 as a class called Writing About Motherhood taught in Berkeley, California by Amy Hudock. A group of mothers continued meeting at the conclusion of the class, and within months, had connected with other mother writers who, like them, were producing work that was deemed too complex for glossy parenting magazines and too mother-centric for traditional literary journals.
The group decided to found their own online magazine, a home both for their own writing and for the kind of writing they wanted to read. They published several issues of Books and Babies: Writing about Motherhood Literary Web Zine in the spring of 2003; they launched Literary Mama that fall. In 2006, they published an anthology.
Although the founding members have moved on to other projects, the spirit behind their efforts continues today. Our current staff of 27 includes women from across the United States, Canada, and Israel. We’re communications professionals, university professors, writers, editors, copy editors, photographers, and moms. Our contributors hail from all corners of the world.
Read our full history as written by Caroline Grant, one of Literary Mama’s former editors-in-chief, here and thoughts from other staff members who participated in our Celebrating Ten Years blog series here.