Literary Mama Creative Nonfiction Call for Submissions

14 December 2009

Literary Mama Creative Nonfiction Department seeks:

* creative nonfiction for Special Theme issues below
* We prefer previously unpublished work. We will consider reprints, however, if you have the rights and the work is not currently available online.
* Authors retain rights. Please credit us if your work is republished.
* Standard response time from 3-12 weeks. Our reading periods vary; please check the specific guidelines for the department to which you wish to submit (below).
* Simultaneous submissions are allowed, as long as you notify us if accepted elsewhere.
* Electronic submissions only. Please send submissions to creative nonfiction editors Susan Ito & Kate Haas at Include a brief cover letter.

May: Mother’s Day Month
We seek writing that is about mothers from the child’s perspective, or from fathers, partners or other family members about the mothers they love.

June: Father’s Day Month
We seek writing that is about fathers from the child’s perspectives; about the relationships between fathers and mothers and husbands and wives; about husbands as fathers; and by self-defined fathers about fathering and mothering (including lesbian or transexual parents who identify as fathers).

What We Are Looking For:
We are seeking personal essays and stand-alone creative nonfiction excerpts by mothers related to motherhood that read like fiction. We look for:

* A distinctive personal voice.
* Attentiveness to language, rich details, lyrical phrasing.
* Vivid imagery, use of metaphor, simile, personification, symbols, setting, and other literary elements.
* Illustrative anecdotes or vignettes.
* Compelling narrative.
* A fresh or startling topic area, or a fresh or startling take on a universal or common experience.
* Character development.
* A reflective element. We’re looking for thoughtful pieces that take the experience of motherhood and use it as a jumping off point for exploring deeper issues of identity, relationship, family, politics, transformation, loss, and more. Make sure, for example, that your piece not only describes an experience but reflects, either overtly or metaphorically, on how the experience changed you.

Submissions and Formatting:

* Submissions should be double-spaced, 500-7,000 words.
* Please do not send queries. We consider only complete pieces.
* Please send submissions in the text of an email (please do not send attachments) to lmnonfiction (at) literarymama (dot) com
* Multiple submissions — If you are sending your submission out to more than one market, please let us know.
* Cover letters — please include a brief cover letter with your submission. This letter should include a short biography, mention of other places you have been published, and why your submission is right for Literary Mama.
* Please include the word Submission and the NAME OF YOUR PIECE in the subject line of the email. If you do not, our computers may read your email as spam and we may never get a chance to read your prose.
Submissions for ours special issues should be marked “Mothers day/Fathers Day Submission: title” in the subject line of your email.

* CNF is receiving so many first rate original submissions that we are not taking reprints at this time. However, if you have a piece that has been previously published and you think it is an especially good fit, we’d be glad to take a look at it for a future date. If your submission has already been published, mention that fact in your cover letter. If it is available on the Web, we are not interested in publishing it at Literary Mama.
* Contact information — All submissions must include contact information for the author: name, address, phone number, email.
* Please send only your best work. We are not interested in rough drafts.
* Please send only ONE submission at a time.

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