Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Submission Guidelines: Creative Nonfiction

Editors: Maria Gupta and Kate Haas
LMnonfiction (at) literarymama (dot) com

We seek essays of all kinds (lyrical, personal, memoir, braided, flash) that focus on motherhood. For examples of what we are looking for, please read our previously published Creative Nonfiction pieces.

What We Are Looking For:

  • A compelling, thoughtful narrative that includes scenes, dialogue, and developed characters.
  • A distinctive personal voice.
  • Attentiveness to language, rich details, and lyrical phrasing.
  • The use of literary elements such as vivid imagery, metaphor, simile, personification, symbols, and setting.
  • Illustrative anecdotes or vignettes.
  • A fresh or startling perspective.
  • A reflective or emotional connection in which the writer expresses how the experience affected her. We seek essays that use the experience of motherhood as a jumping-off point to explore deeper issues of identity, relationships, family, politics, transformation, loss, and more. Make sure, for example, that your piece not only describes an experience but reflects on it.

What We Aren't Looking For:

  • Work that fits the too-often-used formula of: “Motherhood is hard, but it’s all worth it in the end,” or "I am flawed as a mother, but my children have lead me to realize that I am good-enough."
  • Pieces that read like columns.
  • Reported or journalistic essays.
  • Essays that read like check-out line magazine “How to” or advice pieces.

Submissions and Formatting:

  • We only consider previously unpublished work. Pieces that have appeared on personal blogs or websites are considered published material.
  • Submissions should be double-spaced; minimum of 500 words, maximum of 2,500 words; 12-point type; left justified; one space between paragraphs.
  • No queries. We consider only complete pieces.
  • Please send submissions in the body of an email (no attachments) to LMnonfiction (at) literarymama (dot) com
  • If this is a simultaneous submission, please let us know.
  • If your piece is accepted elsewhere, please inform us as soon as possible.
  • Include a brief cover letter.
  • Please include the word "Submission" and the "Title of Your Piece" in the subject line of the email. All submissions must include contact information for the author: name, address, phone number, email.
  • Please send only one submission at a time.

Review our
General Submission Guidelines and check out this blog post for more tips.