Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Interview with Brain,Child editors

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Jennifer Niesslein and Stephanie Wilkinson are the brains behind Brain,Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, one of the best print magazines around when it comes to reporting on and exploring the life of mothers. Stacey Greenberg interviews the duo for Literary Mama:

    SG: How has the material you received changed over the years, if at all?

    JN: It's funny -- certain subjects come in waves. For example, we'll receive nothing about atypical boys for a long time, then all of a sudden, everyone's son is wearing dresses and putting on nail polish. Generally, the subjects haven't changed a lot. It's motherhood, right?

    SW: I think we get sent some really great stuff. Of course, it gets harder as you go along, from an editorial standpoint, since you don't want to repeat yourself too much. So it will always be a challenge for us to find fresh ways to talk about the tried and true stuff.

    SG: How do you account for the fact that hundreds of mothers are clamoring to get their writing into your magazine?

    JN: Mothers have interesting stories to tell and Brain, Child is one of the few publications committed to publishing personal essays about motherhood. I can't speak for all our contributors, but I personally think that our readers are the people whom I want to talk to when I write.

    SW: I do think we hit a cultural nerve. The mid-to-late 1990s was a time when talking and writing about motherhood in a new, open, fresh way became popular. We are riding the wave, and helping sustain it, I hope.


Andrea J. Buchanan is a writer living in Philadelphia. In addition to her latest book, The Double-Daring Book For Girls (HarperCollins), 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 (Seal Press) 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 (all from Seal Press). 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. She is the mother of a daughter and a son, both of whom are equally daring.


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