Our upcoming anthology, Motherhood and Domestic Violence (working title),
will explore the complexities of mothering in a violent home through
stories, essays, and poems written by survivors.
Women with children experience domestic violence on two levels ~
Besides the cruelties inflicted upon themselves, mothers suffer the
violence again as they witness the effects on their children.
They endure the torment of being unable to create a safe and loving home
for their children and at the same time experience verbal and psychological
abuse as their abusive partner convinces them they are a bad mother.
As many women say, "You can't do your job as a mom if you are living in
domestic violence. All your energy is taken up with mothering him or just
getting through the day."
The stories we receive from survivors will in large part dictate the
structure of our book. We will focus on the survivor's experience being a
mother while living in violence, rather than on the impact of domestic
violence on children. We are interested in thoughts, feelings, and
recollections of events - whatever the survivor is willing to share about
Possible topics might include:
Your reactions to your children witnessing your abuse.
Losing or giving up custody of your children.
Making decisions about the abusive relationship based on what you thought
was best for your children.
What do you wish you had done differently?
What do you think you did well?
Things to consider:
Writing can be wonderfully therapeutic and a lot of distressing feelings
can come up in the process. We recommend that the writers be out of their
domestic violence relationship and have successfully moved through the
They should have a strong support system.
• Good writing skills are helpful, but not necessary - we will work closely
with contributors to polish their writings. Or, if writing your story
seems too daunting, send us a tape. Mostly we are looking for the heart
and wisdom of our story-tellers.
• We prefer submissions to be typed and double-spaced, but if you don't
type, please print clearly.
• Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address.
Remember to notify us at once if you move, change your phone number or
email. (If you wish to remain anonymous, let us know and we won't include
your name in the book.)
• Send your submission by either mail or email.
• Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so we can return submissions
we are unable to use. Submissions without this cannot be returned.
• Each contributor chosen for the anthology will receive a copy of the book
when it is published.
• It may take time for you to write your story. We'd like to know you are
considering making a submission, however, so send us a letter by March 1,
2009 with your contact information so we can offer our assistance.
• Final drafts of stories, essays or poems must be postmarked on or before
November 1, 2009. The final selection process will begin then.
• Address your submissions to: Mary Zelinka, PO Box 3047, Albany, Oregon
97321-0700; or email to
Questions or concerns?
Contact Mary Zelinka at PO Box 3047, Albany, OR 97321-0700 or