Writer's Guidelines

Interested in Contributing?

Mothers Always Write is both a literary and ideas magazine for mothers

(and fathers too).

Contributing Members of Mothers Always Write


Published monthly online, our mission is twofold: 1) to offer parents beautiful and insightful reading that will elevate and deepen the parenting experience, and 2) to offer mother/father readers and writers a place to congregate during the sometimes isolating years (both early and late) of parenthood.

We publish literary essays and poetry that are intended to honor parenting as one of life’s greatest callings. MAW reads the way motherhood is, not as someone is telling you it should be. Our pieces fall into three categories: (1) Early Years: mothering the younger years (from birth to age 12), (2) Middle Years: mothering the middle school and teenage years, and (3) Adult Children: mothers facing the empty nest.

Please send your submissions through Submittable only. Please also tell us in your cover letter where you heard of us and include your Twitter handle and a 2-4 sentence bio. We also ask that you “Like” our Mothers Always Write FB page and follow us on Twitter (@mothersalways) when you make your submission.

Great News!  MAW is now a paying site. MAW pays $25.00 for essays published in our issue. Blog pieces (pieces published on days other than our issue release date), columns and poems are not paid. We reserve the right to decided in which category a piece is published. We nominate for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best New Poets, and work hard to promote your writing on our social media.

Suggested Themes: (Please specify theme in cover letter)

For April, write about April showers and the cleansing power of a spring cleaning. What can/should we get rid of? What weighs us down? What clutters our mind, body, soul? What is there too much of in our lives?

For May:  Announcing our Spring Micro-essay contest.  

May is the month when new life grows, often from roots that survived the winter. Send us an essay of up to 500 words on the topic of roots/growth/blossom–your family’s history/culture, the roots/foundations a mother creates for her children, some way in which you’ve seen your children grow, something positive that has sprouted from something else, some way in which your motherhood has blossomed.

Deadline April 5th. Our winner will receive free tuition to a MAW Literary Writers’ Boot Camp ($100 value) and publication in our May issue. MAW will consider all submissions for publication. There is no fee for participation, but MAW would appreciate a FB “like” and Twitter follow if you haven’t already.

Send your essay through Submittable using the “Spring Micro-essay contest” category so we will know of your intention to participate. MAW reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not select any winner if manuscripts of publishable quality are not received.

For May we are also seeking poetry and essays (non-contest submissions) on the same topic of spring roots/growth/blossom. Open non-themed submissions will be considered as well.


We interpret our suggested themes loosely (although they must have strong ties to motherhood) and continue to accept general submissions for all issues as well.

Please note:

We do not accept previously published material (published online or in print).

We do accept simultaneous submissions but respectfully request that you notify us if your piece is accepted elsewhere.

We ask for first serial rights. All other rights revert back to the author after publication.

We ask that authors mention that work was first published in MAW for future reprints.

By submitting your piece, you are verifying that MAW has the right to publish this submission and to use the piece to promote the magazine on social media.  

We do not publish anything profane, political, or anything that degrades faith.

Types of Submissions:

Personal Essays:  Submit entire essay (up to 2,000 words). Please cover topics of parenting children of any age (don’t forget adult children) consistent with our mission statement. We are not looking for “how to” articles or lists but for essays about parenting issues written with literary merit and offering moving insight.

Poetry:  Submit up to three poems about the parenting experience. We prefer non-rhyming, free verse poetry that uses unique imagery, that offers thoughtful insight into the parenting experience, and that tugs a bit at the heartstrings. Poems will be published justified left.

For our Blog:  Submit (unpublished) post (up to 2,000 words) about parenting. Posts should be essay about a particular parenting experience or insight or about being a mother writer and are more relaxed in style than personal essays. Posts are published more often than once per month and are not paid. Share your wisdom.

Book Reviews:  Submit book reviews (unpublished) of books relating to motherhood. Address your submission to our Book Review Editor, Jennie Robertson, and submit through Submittable. Please include with your submission: a photo of the book cover, contact email for the book author, and a 2-4 sentence bio for yourself. 

Writing Column: “The 25th Hour”:  Submit the first only in a series of column pieces on writing (instructional or inspirational–almost anything goes). In your cover letter, let us know how many you intend to offer in the series (2-4 preferred).

Please note: By submitting your piece, you are representing that you control the copyright for the piece and are granting MAW the right to edit and to publish your piece. You are also warranting that publication of the piece will not violate the rights of privacy of any person or entity or libel or slander any person or entity.

Thank you for sharing your writing with us. (Guidelines revised effective 2/22/17).


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