Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
life, love and change in our 40s

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Call for submissions – help create the first anthology about
life, love and change in our 40s

• Are you a 40-something woman?
• Do you have something to say about life in your 40s?
• Do you want to be part of a talented, interesting group of women across the country who are making a difference?

We are publishing an anthology of personal essays, currently called Laugh Lines, by women from a variety of backgrounds. In this book, 40-something women tell it straight about what it means to be in your 40s. They talk openly and honestly about work and family, sex and divorce, new confidences and lingering doubts. This anthology will consist of 25-30 personal essays combined into one print title for publication in Fall 2008.

Brief Synopsis
Turning 40 is a milestone for women. We spent our 20s going to college, and perhaps graduate school, launching our careers and perhaps our marriage. We spent our 30s building our careers, achieving a track record, and perhaps starting a family. What are the 40s all about?

The contributors will answer:
What is a major experience, realization or change that I have gone through in my 40s, and what have I learned from it? (themes include bodies, work, relationships, children, self-image, priorities, parents and following your passion. Other topic ideas welcomed.)

The Details

Submissions are open until May 15, 2008, and the final acceptances will be communicated by June 1, 2008. Submissions should be sent to Please put Laugh Lines Submission in the subject line. We will send a reply email to confirm receipt.

The audience is women aged 31-50 who will be inspired by other women’s stories, and will appreciate getting a better understanding of “what’s happening” or “what comes next.”

Project Specifications/Development Schedule: All essays will be written in the first person, with an honest, informal tone. Each will be 1600-2000 words (about 4-5 pages, double-spaced). Each contributor will title the essay, and submit a short (1 paragraph) bio. The book will consist of 25-30 essays total.

Contributors: The contributors will come from a range of backgrounds and professions. Some will be professional writers, many will not. All will be interesting women who have something to say about life in their 40s. By sending in a submission you are agreeing to your work being edited and also to it being published in the new anthology. If your essay is not chosen for the anthology, you will retain all copyrights to publish.

Compensation: This is a labor of love, a project to bring together a fantastic network of women to leave a legacy for others. Money from book sales will first be used to recoup expenses, including a launch party for the contributors to promote connection among this fabulous network of women. Net proceeds will be donated to a not-for-profit organization supporting access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer.

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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