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Publisher: Amy Hudock

Established: 2003

Frequency: departments publish monthly on rotating schedule

Circulation: 70,000 a month

Accepts Email Submissions: Yes

Website URL:

Description: Literary Mama, an online literary magazine, features writing by mother writers about the complexities and many faces of motherhood. We publish fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, literary criticism, book reviews, columns, and profiles.

Editor(s): Amy Hudock, Editor-in-Chief

Masthead URL: Click here for the masthead webpage.


Phone: 803-777-4203

Guidelines URL: Click here for writer's guidelines information.

Address: Department of English

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208


Rights: Author holds copyright. We only publish writing that has not yet appeared elsewhere on the internet, but we do accept reprints from print publications.

Needs: Literary Mama features writing by mother writers about the complexities and many faces of motherhood. We seek top-notch creative writing: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. We also look for quality literary criticism about mother-centric literature, book reviews, and profiles about mother writers.

At Literary Mama, we publish writing with fresh voices, superior craft, and vivid imagery. Please review our Mission Statement and read the work on our site to find out what we like. Our specific submission guidelines are below.

General Guidelines for Creative Writing

Literary Mama seeks:
  • Short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction (please see specific guidelines by genre below).
  • Writing rooted in/inspired by the experience of motherhood.
  • Submissions written by writers of all ages who are also self-identified mothers: biological, non-biological, step, transgendered, grand, or adoptive.
  • Reprints okay (so long as you have the rights). Authors retain rights. Please credit us if your work is republished.
  • Standard response time from 3-6 weeks. Manuscripts are read year round except for June and December.
  • Simultaneous submissions okay as long as you notify us if accepted elsewhere.
  • Electronic submissions only. Please send submissions to the appropriate departmental editors (see genre guidelines below).
  • Include a brief cover letter.

    What we tend to like:

  • Writing that hurts.
  • Superior craft (clarity, concrete details, strong narrative development).
  • Ambiguity, complexity, depth, thoughtfulness, delicacy, humor, irreverence, lyricism, sincerity; the elegant and the raw.


    Editor: Ericka Lutz,

    The fiction department seeks short fiction of less than 6,000 words. We love:

  • Stories with strong narrative structure, great characters, interesting settings, beautiful language, complicated themes.
  • Fiction at a flat-out, heart-racing run.
  • Fiction that meanders slowly and irrevocably.

    Please send submissions in the text of an email along with a brief cover letter.


    Editor: Rachel Iverson,

    We are looking for poems extraordinary for their vision, craftsmanship, integrity and originality. Poems of any length and form are welcomed. Maximum of four poems per submission. Please send submissions in the text of an email.

    Creative Non-Fiction

    Editors: Amy Hudock and Sophia Raday,

    We seek personal short stories/essays, polished journal entries, and stand-alone memoir excerpts by mothers related to motherhood. We look for:

  • A distinctive personal voice.
  • Attentiveness to language, rich details, lyrical phrasing.
  • Vivid imagery.
  • Illustrative anecdotes or vignettes.
  • Compelling narrative.
  • A fresh or startling topic area, or a fresh or startling take on a universal or common experience.
  • 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 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.

    Literary Criticism about Mother-Centric Literature

    Editor: Libby Gruner,

  • Scholarly articles about literature whose main theme is motherhood and written by mothers.
  • Writing that is accessible to a general readership.
  • Manuscripts up to 20 pages long using MLA style.
  • Reprints are welcome (as long as you own the rights or you can gain permission from your previous publisher).
  • All articles will be submitted to a blind review process. Response time is 3 months. Reprint response time is 1 month. Please send submissions in the text of an email.

    Book Reviews

    Editors: Sybil Lockhart and Rebecca Kaminsky,

    We seek reviews of recently published literary works about any form of motherhood (biological, foster, adoptive, empty-nest, transgendered, grand, and more). We want reviews of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We are interested in work that explores motherhood in a reflective way. If you include a summary, please be sure it serves a purpose. Summaries must illustrate a point or support a thesis, not simply give away the plot.

    Length: 500-2000 words

    Format: specify title, author, publisher, publication date, price and bookseller's link (if there is one) at the top.

    Please send submissions in the text of an email.

    Mama Writer Profiles and Interviews

    Editor: Joanne Catz Hartman,

    We seek profiles of writers who are mothers, OR writers who write about motherhood (who may or may not be mothers themselves), or writers who have something to say to mothers. Interview (Q&A) or profile format; 750-2500 words.

    Cast your net widely--we're interested in profiles of well-known, living mama writers, of course, but are also interested in the off-beat, the less-known, the not-so-obviously a mama writer. Has anyone profiled Harriet Beecher Stowe as a mama writer, for example? Surprise and delight us.

    Please send a query first. Tell us why you're the person who should be profiling this writer, and why we should be interested in her/him.

    Length: Each department has their own length standards

    Payment: We provide author bio with weblinks

    How to Submit: Contact by email the editor in whose department you would like to publish.

    Response Time: 4-6 weeks

    Tips for Writers: Please read our literary magazine before submitting. We are not looking for writing that could be published in mainstream parenting magazines. Our main focus is on craft.

    This listing was lated updated on Mar-11-2004.

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