Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Call for Submissions: Anthology

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Are you the mother of a child with special needs?

Check out the guidelines for this proposed anthology --


Deadline:  April 22, 2013
Nonfiction. Up to 6,000 words or 6 poems.


From a group of mothers, writers, disability advocates, professors, and editors Darolyn “Lyn” Jones and Liz Whiteacre:

Most of what is written about mothers who are the primary caregivers of children with special needs is written by “outsiders.” The dominant view of deficit or burden is an unrealistic depiction that emerges from the medical, educational, or social service community, who serve or service children with special needs. Accepting the paradigm that mothers of special needs children are challenged and marginalized leaves little room for any other understanding that the actual lived experience of the mothers is—as it is with all human beings—a much more complex socio-cultural process than it appears. We want people to see, experience, and feel how mothers of children with special needs live with challenges that are, yes, lived painfully and differently than what most people outside of our world understand, but also generously, fully, and joyfully.

We believe in the power of story. Story transforms. Our hope is that your stories will illustrate a realistic tableau of the lives of mothers of children with special needs.

Submissions must address one of the themes listed below:

  • Challenges: Sometimes it sucks.
  • Purpose: I learned my own power; I get “it.”
  • Providence: Why was I chosen?
  • Pure Joy: Their joy is my joy!
  • Joy?: It’s the simple things.



  • Nonfiction works accepted:  memoir essay, poetry,  graphic or illustrated essay,  narrative photo essay.
  • Word limit:  6,000 words.
  • Poems:  6 poems.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed but please do not submit work that has been previously published or that you are simultaneously submitting.
  • Format your work in Times New Roman, 12-pt, double-spaced font.
  • Include your name, email address, phone number on the first page of your document.
  • All illustrations or graphics must be in black and white.
  • Work should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file.
  • Photos should be submitted as a .jpg, .tif, or .gif file.
  • Save your files with your last name_title.


Email submissions to lizwhiteacre (at) gmail (dot) com by Monday, April 22, 2013.

You will receive a confirmation email that your submission has been received and can anticipate a response in regards to acceptance in 6-8 weeks.

Each contributing writer will receive one copy of the final and published book. There will be no other monetary compensation. A publisher has not yet been selected, so we are unsure of a timeline for publication.


This anthology is the vision of mothers, writers, disability advocates, professors, and editors Darolyn “Lyn” Jones and Liz Whiteacre.

About the Editors

Lyn Jones has facilitated the Indianapolis Special Needs Mom’s Writing Group for seven years now, asking mothers to gather and write about the challenges and joys of being a mother to a child with a disability. As well, she has focused her ethnographic and narrative research at Ball State University on mothers and individuals with disabilities.

Liz Whiteacre teaches creative writing at Ball State University and has been an editor for literary magazines and the University of Indianapolis Press. She was awarded an Inglis House Poetry Award in 2010 and was nominated for a Push Cart Prize in 2011. Her poetry has appeared in Wordgathering, Disability Studies Quarterly, Disabled World, and other literary magazines. Her chapbook, Hit the Ground, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editor is Bridget Lillethorup; read her bio here

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For the purposes of this submission, is a blog entry considered "previously published"? I have several entries and poems that I think would be a great fit for this project, but they are available on my blog.
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