Open Call for Creative Writing: Mothers and Motherhood

Deadline November 4, 2019

What does it mean to be a mother in today’s changing world? How does the absence of mothering shape someone? How do mothers change their children, and children their mothers? Mothering today is hard. Instead of relying on the consistent advice of community, mothers are bombarded with values and theories by loved ones and strangers: breast is best, attachment parenting, forest schools, tiger mums, and elimination communication, to name a few. Becoming a mother is about more than being responsible for a life; it is also about learning how people now see you differently, and about choosing where you belong.

The London Reader is issuing an open call for short stories, true stories, creative nonfiction, flash/mini-fiction, poetry, photography, painting, and any other writing or art that explores the topic of mothers or motherhood. From challenging assumptions about mothers to revisiting the tradition of motherhood, the London Reader seeks personal and intimate stories about mothers and motherhood written by mothers themselves and by those reflecting on the impact of mothers on their lives.

Submissions to this issue can include:

  • Childhood memories of mothers and grandmothers
  • Poetry and stories about being a mother
  • Difficult family stories
  • Piecing together scraps of memory of a lost mother
  • Experiences of mothers who have had to move away from their extended family
  • Stories of pregnancies lost or terminated
  • The changing relationship between a mother and child over the decades
  • Stories about mothers’ lives outside of motherhood
  • Perspectives on LGBTQ+ or non-binary motherhood
  • Pregnancy and birth stories
  • Stories about being unable to be, or choosing not to be, a mother
  • Stories about the difficulties of relating to your children
  • And stories of fathers as well

Authors from international or marginalized communities with under-represented stories are especially encouraged to submit to help create a multifaceted portrait of motherhood in this issue.

What to submit: Creative works can be stand-alone pieces or collections, but should generally be fewer than 5,000 words or no more than 5 poems or visual works per collection. Multiple submissions, simultaneous submissions, and re-prints are welcome. Artwork should be favourably viewed on a tablet or single A5 page.

How to submit: The London Reader Submission Portal for this issue. If you have any questions or difficulty submitting, email coordinator@LondonReader.uk.

The deadline for submission on this theme is November 4, 2019.