September 15th, 2014

[cross-posted from the Literary Mama blog]

I am writing to announce that it is time for me to leave Literary Mama. Both my family life (caring both for my children and elderly parents) and work life (directing the Sustainable Arts Foundation with my husband) have grown much fuller these days and I no longer have the time I need or want to give to Literary Mama.

Literary Mama has given me a reliable structure, a supportive community, and a broad platform for my entire writing life as a mother: I started as an editorial assistant in Literary Reflections ten years ago, wrote a column for five years, and have now served as editor-in-chief for five years. Both of my books developed directly out of editorial conversations with contributors. It is hard for me to imagine life without Literary Mama as part of my days! I will miss the editorial staff and the broader LM network of readers and contributors profoundly, but I am looking forward to focusing more closely on fewer responsibilities.

Luckily, we have a deep editorial board, and women with the vision, energy, and commitment to lead LM. I have asked Katherine Barrett, Maria Scala, and Karna Converse to step up and I’m thrilled that they have agreed to serve in these positions: Maria will be LM’s new Editor-in-Chief, Karna will be the Managing Editor, and Katherine will define a new role as the site’s Publisher. They will maintain the same high standards Literary Mama has always been known for, and have plans for some great new improvements to the site. I am confident in their ability to lead LM, and am excited to see how the site will develop under their direction.

Thank you, readers and contributors, for your support over the years. Whether you’ve read an essay, shared a poem, or commented on a column: you are a key part of Literary Mama and you help make it the best writing community on the web. It’s been a privilege to lead the way these past five years, and I look forward to my new role as avid reader.

Posted in contributor news, Mama Ph.D. News, News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Transitions

Call for Essays: Tao of Parenthood — Extended Deadline!

April 15th, 2012

There is no essential “Tao” or “way” of parenthood. This literary anthology of personal essays by and about writers of Asian ancestry will try to capture the multitude of perspectives on the impact of Asian culture, heritage, and identity on your experience as a child, on raising children, or on deciding whether to have children.

Click here for more information on submitting to this anthology.

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Call for Essays

February 1st, 2012

Tao of Parenthood: An Anthology of Essays

Description of Anthology:

There is no essential “Tao” or “way” of parenthood. This literary anthology of personal essays by and about writers of Asian ancestry will try to capture the multitude of perspectives on the impact of Asian culture, heritage, and identity on your experience as a child, on raising children, or on deciding whether to have children.

While Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” was a single narrative about a specific family, this anthology aims to open up the conversation. We are seeking stories to expand the perspectives of Asian parents and childhood within and beyond the American context. We welcome men and women writers with ancestry from Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives). We also welcome those who are not of Asian descent, but are raising children of Asian descent.

This unique collection of literary essays, memoirs, and short creative nonfiction will reveal the diverse experiences of Asian writers worldwide.

Who Should Submit An Essay:

Writers from various perspectives are welcome to submit essays of all forms. Anyone self-identifying as Asian or mixed heritage Asian in any way is invited to submit their first person essay. This is an inclusive collection and seeks to highlight as many true stories as possible. We hope to hear from various generations, parents, grandparents, extended family members, nontraditional families, and biological and adoptive adult children. Also, those who are considering parenthood or those who have chosen not to become parents or those experiencing fertility challenges. We would like to hear from as many voices of experience as possible.

The essays must be true stories exploring some aspect of Asian culture and parenthood.

Kinds of Essays We’re Interested In:

Tell us a unique story about growing up Asian or raising Asian children. Break a silence. Speak a truth. Our primary criterion is that the narrative be engaging, true, and well-written.

Were you raised or affected by an Asian parent? Are you an Asian parent today? Are you raising an Asian child(ren) from an adoption? In what ways has Asian identity, culture, or heritage influenced your perspective towards parenthood?

You might interview your parents and write this up. (See StoryCorps examples at and sample:

You may write on anything related to the topic, but if you’re looking for ideas, here are some questions that may help you begin.

1. What did you appreciate about your Asian parent(s)? What did you despise? How have these perspectives changed over time?
2. What impact does Asian culture or ancestry have on you as a parent?
3. Was there a specific cultural revelation about your parent(s) or child(ren) that has informed how you approach parenthood?
4. If you have decided against becoming a parent yourself, do any factors have to do with how you were raised in connection to cultural heritage?
5. What culture clashes occurred between you and your parent(s) or child(ren)?
6. Would you like to interview your parent(s) and whether their Asian cultural knowledge or experience impacted how you were raised?



Submission deadline is April 1, 2012.


Email your 750-3000 word essay (first person personal essay, memoir, creative nonfiction) for consideration as a Microsoft Word file (DOC, DOCX), PDF, or text file to along with a brief email introducing yourself. MLA-format preferred (12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, page numbers, title, name).

Unpublished work is preferred, but your previously published work is welcomed if rights have reverted back to you and you can supply a text file. Expect a decision within 3 months of submission. Simultaneous submissions accepted, but please withdraw the piece as soon as it is accepted elsewhere.

We’re looking for true stories: creative nonfiction, literary essays, memoir, autobiographical comics, or other innovative forms. The work must be in English or translated to English.

Publication Details

We do not have a publisher yet, but we are seeking publication by April of 2014. At the very least, we will pursue print-on-demand and e-book format. We would like to pay our contributors, but at this point, this is a volunteer effort and we hope to raise enough money to offer contributor copies.

Contact Information
Please contact Anh Nguyen Merrick ( with questions.

About the Editors

Anh Nguyen Merrick immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. with her parents at the age of 4. Anh majored in English Literature at Bryn Mawr College and completed her masters at Harvard Divinity School. She has a 3.5 yr. old child and has recently immigrated to Australia.

Grace Talusan immigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. with her parents at age 3. Grace was awarded an Artist Grant in Fiction Writing from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a residency at Hedgebrook, and other fellowships and awards. Her work has been published in Solstice, Boston Magazine, Boston Globe Magazine, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and Grace teaches writing at Tufts University and Grub Street. Grace is not a mother, but a very active aunt to eight nieces and nephews.

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Make Your Opinion Known!

August 4th, 2010

Participate in this University of Memphis survey on advertising

From Christine Kowalczyk, Doctoral Candidate, University of Memphis:

Today’s children are growing up in a society where they are exposed to televisions, video games and computers at younger ages. As parent of a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I am concerned about marketing and advertising toward young children through these mediums, thus I am interested in hearing other parent’s opinions about this topic. The purpose of this study is to investigate parents’ attitudes toward advertising, both for themselves and their young children, aged 2- to 7-years old. By responding to the survey, you have the opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 online gift certificate. You will not be solicited other requests in the future. You must have a child between the ages of 2 and 7 years old, including these ages.

The survey will take less than 10 minutes of your time and can only be completed once. Click on this link:
survey link
or paste the following into your browser:

Thank you for your opinions! Please feel free to share the link with family and friends.

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Celebrate World Read Aloud Day!

February 25th, 2010

People write to me at Literary Mama fairly regularly, asking me to help them promote this or that event, and most of the time the events don’t have much to do with the mission of Literary Mama. But when I heard from the folks at LitWorld about World Read Aloud Day, it was easy to offer our help, especially since it means I get to a) read aloud to kids (including my own!) and b) promote the celebration on television.

So join me on World Read Aloud Day, March 3rd, at Books, Inc. in San Francisco’s Laurel Village, from 6 – 7 PM for a bedtime story reading. I’ll be joined by my friends and fellow writer-mamas Lisa Harper and Nicki Richesin. Bring the kids in their pj’s for a fun evening outing!

Call for Proposals: Exploring More Signature Pedagogies

February 1st, 2010

This just in from Mama, PhD contributor Aeron Haynie:

“We are seeking proposals for chapters in follow-up to Exploring Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind (Stylus, 2009), under contract with Stylus Publishing. Each chapter should briefly introduce a discipline, provide a brief literature review of the scholarship of teaching and learning (or the lack thereof) in the discipline, describe and evaluate the discipline’s traditional pedagogies and practices, and articulate elements of existing or potential signature pedagogies. Each chapter will also be grounded in strong literature reviews and written in a lucid, engaging style.

Exploring Signature Pedagogies included chapters on history, literary studies, creative writing, music, visual and performing arts, geography, human development, psychology, sociology, agriculture, biology, computer science, mathematics, and physics. For this “sequel,” we are looking for considerations of other disciplines, inter-disciplines, and professions, such as the following:

o foreign language

o philosophy

o political science

o communication

o chemistry

o business/economics

o economics

o engineering

o anthropology

o social work

o interdisciplinary studies

o women’s studies

o new media studies

o education

o medicine

o nursing

o others?

Some of these fields have an existing literature on their signature pedagogy, so proposals should reflect a familiarity with these publications, as well as plans to summarize and extend this work. Completed chapters should be approximately 4,100 words, including works cited. Co-authored chapters are welcome.

Proposals are due on March 15 and should include a two-page (double-spaced) description of the chapter and a CV reflecting each author’s qualifications and experience with SoTL.

Proposals should be sent to nancy.chick AT uwc DOT edu. Questions and queries can be addressed to the editors Nancy Chick (nancy.chick AT uwc DOT edu), Aeron Haynie (haynieaATuwgbDOTedu), and Regan Gurung (gurungrATuwgbDOTedu).

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Mama, PhD at the University of Rochester

October 6th, 2009

Join Mama, PhD coeditor Elrena Evans in conversation with author Judith Warner and filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll at the University of Rochester this Friday, October 9th.

The 2009 Stanton/Anthony Conversations: Mothers as Leaders: Contradictions & Challenges

Time: 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: Interfaith Chapel
Room: Sanctuary
Cost: FREE

Judith Warner is the author of several best-selling works, including Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety; Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story; You Have the Power: How to Take Back Our Country; and Restore Democracy in America (with Howard Dean). She writes the New York Times blog Domestic Disturbances and has written for Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Elle magazine.

Pamela Tanner Boll is an artist and director of the film
Who Does She Think She Is?, which follows five women artists as they navigate the economic, psychological, and spiritual challenges of making work outside the elite art world.

Elrena Evans is co-editor of the book Mama, Ph.D: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life and its corresponding blog.

Sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership

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Who Does She Think She Is? DVD discount!

October 2nd, 2009

whodoesWho Does She Think She Is?, the terrific documentary about women trying to combine motherhood and artistic work, is coming out on DVD! I wrote about the film last year in my Mama at the Movies column. Here’s an excerpt:

I hadn’t really thought about the constraints of space and materials that visual artists work with until I watched Pamela Tanner Boll’s moving new documentary, Who Does She Think She Is? (2008), which introduces us to several mother-artists and asks why, when making art and raising children are both crucial for our culture, it is so hard to do both. The film wants us to know about these mothers making art, and it puts their stories in the larger context of all women artists. Like all women, women artists find their work less well-known and less well-compensated than the work of their male contemporaries. Like all mothers, mother artists endure isolation from their peers, sleep deprivation, and myriad claims on their time which make it difficult to continue their careers. But they do.

The filmmakers are celebrating the DVD release by organizing house parties around the country on November 8th. Want to join them? You can buy the DVD at a 10% discount with a special promotional code for Literary Mama and Mama, PhD readers; just go the DVD online store and enter the promo code LitMama.

There’s more information about the house party idea here and here. Check it out, and then gather  your friends for a screening!

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Call for Papers: PERINATAL A Symposium on Birth Practices and Reproductive Rights

June 23rd, 2009

Submission Deadline: July 13, 2009
A Symposium on Birth Practices and Reproductive Rights
Wednesday 7th October 2009 (tentative) at
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Forty years ago, the feminist movement advocated for reproductive rights.  Over the years,
childbirth was dropped from the agenda.  Why? What has this meant for women?  How are
women organizing for change?
We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, artists, mothers and others who work
or research in this area. Comparative and interdisciplinary work is encouraged. Feminist
inquiries are explicitly sought, although all submissions will be considered. We encourage a
variety of types of submissions including academic papers from all disciplines, workshops,
creative submissions, performances, storytelling, visual arts, and other alternative formats.
This symposium is interdisciplinary.  Possible topics include:
• Cultural myths and expectations around birth (written, verbal, or visual culture)
• Rethinking maternal-fetal conflict
• The psychological impact of contemporary birth practices
• Developments in midwifery, homebirth, and unassisted birth
• The symbolic significance of birth practices as socialization
• The evolution of contemporary birth practices and taboos
• Maternal resistance to birth practices
• The feminist movement and birth
If you are interested in being a presenter, please send a 250-500 word abstract and a 50 word bio
by July 13, 2009 to: Jessica Clements (  Late abstracts will be considered
and accepted if possible.
Please send the abstract as an attachment, not in the body of an email, in either PDF or Word
DOC format.  Include Title, Abstract (250-500 words), Name, Institutional Affiliation, Address,
Phone, Email Address, Brief Bio (50 words).

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DadsDudesDoingIt: A Father’s Day Conversation

June 16th, 2009

Girl w/Pen and her cohorts ask, “When are men giong to care about work/family balance? And what is the role of men in the feminist movement anyway?” Join panelists Deborah Siegel, Courtney Martin, Gloria Feldt, and Kristal Brent Zook in a Father’s Day conversation at the Brooklyn Museum, this Saturday, June 20 at 2 PM.

For a taste of their  work, you can check out this YouTube video from one of their past events:

Posted in News | 452 Comments

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