Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing It Real “Mothers and Fathers, Mothering and Fathering” Poetry & Essay Contest

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Reading Period: March 1 - June 15, 2010

Have you been meaning to write about your mother, your father or yourself as a parent? Is there some one in your life who has been like a mother or father to you? It's on our minds as Mother's Day and Father's Day approach and Sheila Bender's Writing It Real, an online magazine for those who write from personal experience, announces a poetry and essay contest on the topic.

We are seeking creative non-fiction essays and poems about mothers and fathers and our own mothering and fathering. Work that honors parents, meditates on memories and losses, and/or examines successes and failures in parenting as well as the ways in which we find alternative parents is welcome. Essays and poems submitted must be previously unpublished. Send an essay up to six pages, double-spaced or up to three poems by June 15, 2010. We'll announce our list of winners by the end of July.

Cash Prizes and More!
First Place: $100
Second Place: $50
Third Place: $25
In addition to the prize money, the top three prizewinners will also win their choice of:

free admission to one of Sheila's Writing It Real online classes OR
a half-hour email or phone consultation with Sheila.
10 Honorable Mentions will receive a detailed written response from Sheila Bender.
Three winners will be published in a summer issue of Writing It Real with the author's permission.

Entry Fees
If you are a current subscriber, your entry fee is $15. If you'd like to renew your subscription the fee is $45 dollars, which includes your next year's subscription to Writing It Real. If you are not yet a subscriber, your entry fee of $45 includes a year's subscription as well as the reading fee. Your subscription begins as soon as the entry arrives. To read more about Writing It Real please visit our magazine page.

Mailed Essays
Mailed submissions must be accompanied by a check for US$45 for new or lapsed subscribers or US$15 for current subscribers. Checks should be made payable to "Writing It Real". The submitted essay or poems must be accompanied by a cover sheet that contains the author's name, title of the essay or poems, phone number, address and email. Don't worry; the cover sheet won't be counted toward length. Mailed submissions will NOT be returned -- NO SASE's please. Mail to:

Writing It Real Contest
394 Colman Drive
Port Townsend, WA 98368

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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