Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Breadwinning Broads

One comment

Call for essays: Breadwinning Broads: stories from women who bring home most (or even all) of the bacon

The topic of wives out-earning their husbands has received a lot of attention recently. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a third of all wives earn more than their husbands (2003). The Breadwinning Broads project wants to hear about life from the perspective of these meal-ticket mamas. Our hope is to shine a light on the shifting roles in modern marriages or relationships and how women feel these changes have impacted their identity as a wife, girlfriend, partner, mother, daughter or woman.

The Breadwinning Broads project is seeking first person essays of 2000-3500 words from wives, girlfriends, or partners, who earn, or once earned, most or all of the household income. Rather than social commentary or man-bashing rants, we are looking for stories focusing on unique perspectives of being the breadwinner.

Here are some questions that may help spark your essay:

1. As the breadwinner, how to do you see yourself? How do you think others see you? Has been the breadwinner changed you? What have you learned about yourself?
2. Does being the breadwinner feel liberating or confining? How and why? What are your hopes? What are your fears?
3. How has being a breadwinner impacted your role as a daughter? Was your mother a breadwinner, as well? Has your role as the provider affected your relationship with your mother or father?
4. How do you feel about your work outside the home? Are you passionate about it? Hate it? How do your feelings about your job affect the way you see yourself as the breadwinner?
5. How might your role as breadwinner impact your daughter(s)? Son(s)? Does being the breadwinner shape your feelings about motherhood? How? Why?
6. What about your marriage or relationship changed, improved or deteriorated as a result of your breadwinning status? Did you willingly enter into your role or did circumstances require you to take it on? If your marriage or relationship did not last, was it due to your role as the provider?

Above all, we are looking for writing that moves us, makes us laugh, surprises us and gives us unique insight into life as a breadwinning broad.

Please submit essays to by May 31st, 2011.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Fine Print:

Submission of an essay does not guarantee publication in the book. Several factors will be considered when determining which works will be selected for publication by the editor and publisher.

Electronic submissions only, please. Essays will not be returned to the author.
No contributors will receive financial compensation for their work whether or not it is selected for publication. Contributing authors will be recognized in the book and in the book publicity for their published work.
If selected for publication in the book, authors agree to terms in a consent agreement (e.g., permission to publish the work in the book, use in promotional materials, use of name in the book, release of copyright).
Authors affirm that submitted work was not previously published.
The editor and publisher reserve the right to reject any submissions and to edit the stories for grammar, style and space.
Editor: Katie Griffith holds an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and has spent the last ten years studying cultural and social trends in the United States. The Breadwinner project began when she and many of her thoughtful friends realized that things had really changed--and they weren't sure they liked it. Katie has worked as a lecturer in American Studies, a young adult librarian, an educator and, of course, a breadwinning wife and mother.

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.

More from

Several revisions to the Breadwinning Broads call for stories can be found at Please see the revised call description for changes to word length. Thanks!
Comments are now closed for this piece.