Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Call for submission of personal accounts from mothers who have survived domestic violence.

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Our upcoming anthology, Motherhood and Domestic Violence (working title), will explore the complexities of mothering in a violent home through stories, essays, and poems written by survivors.

Women with children experience domestic violence on two levels ~

Besides the cruelties inflicted upon themselves, mothers suffer the
violence again as they witness the effects on their children.

They endure the torment of being unable to create a safe and loving home for their children and at the same time experience verbal and psychological abuse as their abusive partner convinces them they are a bad mother.

As many women say, "You can't do your job as a mom if you are living in domestic violence. All your energy is taken up with mothering him or just getting through the day."

Possible Topics:

The stories we receive from survivors will in large part dictate the structure of our book. We will focus on the survivor's experience being a mother while living in violence, rather than on the impact of domestic violence on children. We are interested in thoughts, feelings, and recollections of events - whatever the survivor is willing to share about her experience.

Possible topics might include:

Your reactions to your children witnessing your abuse.
Losing or giving up custody of your children.
Making decisions about the abusive relationship based on what you thought was best for your children.
What do you wish you had done differently?
What do you think you did well?

Things to consider:

Writing can be wonderfully therapeutic and a lot of distressing feelings can come up in the process. We recommend that the writers be out of their domestic violence relationship and have successfully moved through the trauma stage. They should have a strong support system.

Guidelines:

Good writing skills are helpful, but not necessary - we will work closely with contributors to polish their writings. Or, if writing your story seems too daunting, send us a tape. Mostly we are looking for the heart and wisdom of our story-tellers.

We prefer submissions to be typed and double-spaced, but if you don't type, please print clearly.

Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address.
Remember to notify us at once if you move, change your phone number or
email. (If you wish to remain anonymous, let us know and we won't include your name in the book.)

Send your submission by either mail or email.

Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so we can return submissions we are unable to use. Submissions without this cannot be returned.

Each contributor chosen for the anthology will receive a copy of the book when it is published.

It may take time for you to write your story. We'd like to know you are considering making a submission, however, so send us a letter by March 1,2009 with your contact information so we can offer our assistance.

Final drafts of stories, essays or poems must be postmarked on or before November 1, 2009. The final selection process will begin then.

Address your submissions to: Mary Zelinka, PO Box 3047, Albany, Oregon
97321-0700; or email to (replace (at) with @)

Questions or concerns?

Contact Mary Zelinka at PO Box 3047, Albany, OR 97321-0700 or

(replace (at) with @)


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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