Mom Egg Review is currently open for submissions for both their print issue and online feature MER VOX; and early birds can submit for free during this first week! They are looking for “works that reflect diverse experiences of mothering and motherhood, and are interested in your perspective on any aspect or phase of mothering, from pre-inception to later life. Many of our contributors are themselves mothers, but you need not be one to submit if the subject matter of your submission focuses on mothers or motherhood.”
I was curious how and why this literary project began, so I asked Editor-in-Chief Marjorie Tesser a few questions to find out. See my interview with Tesser and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Mom Egg Review.
TESSER: Mom Egg Review, also known as MER, is an independent literary magazine. We publish an annual print issue and an online quarterly, MER VOX. MER publishes fine literary works of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry about mothers, mothering, and motherhood. Our current print issue, just out, is a themed issue focused on mothers’ work, (and play). The upcoming issue, for which submissions are now open, is un-themed, and will be about all aspects of motherhood.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Mom Egg Review originally started?
TESSER: Mom Egg Review was started in the early 2000’s as part of the Mamapalooza Festival, founded by M. Joy Rose to celebrate atypical iterations of motherhood; it featured mom-rock bands such as “The Mydols” and “Housewives on Prozac.” The editor, Alana Ruben Free, developed and expanded the publication. I joined as a co-editor in 2006, and became editor in chief in 2009.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
TESSER: Our readers are often mothers at all stages of motherhood, but some are non-mothers who are interested in women’s literature (college Literature and Women’s Studies programs) and others who are interested in fine literary writing about the types of topics we cover. Our contributors write about the decision whether to parent, conception, birth, adoption, nurture, the body, the rigors and pleasures of mothering, interactions with job or creative work, partners and sex, the body, aging, caring for extended family, loss, joy. They write about being first-time mothers, adoptive mothers, mothers of color, queer mothers, older mothers, grandmothers, and more. In short, they write about life through the lens of motherhood.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
TESSER: We are interested in literature that illuminates diverse experiences of mothering and motherhood. The media often portrays mothers as stereotypes. But in real life, the circumstances, cultures, intellectual and emotional landscapes, pressures, goals, and philosophies of mothers differ widely. “Mother” is noun and verb, a status, a role, a concept, a job, a relationship, an identity. We welcome pieces that explore how that role interacts and sometimes conflicts with other personal identities. We also publish work by non-mothers that is focused on a mother, mothering, or motherhood.
We appreciate both craft and heart. We love sharp writing, thoughtful language choices, ideas, energy. We are not opposed to emotion if it is a natural outcome of a thoughtful piece of writing. We think we have a sense of humor too.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
TESSER: The majority of the work we receive is in poetry. We do love poetry, but/and would love especially to receive more short and flash fiction and creative non-fiction works (our maximum word count for prose pieces is 850) and more prose poetry and hybrid and collaborative works.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
TESSER: OK this is a tough one; too many to list. I tend to like publications that focus on women’s lives or publish women writers, such as Bone Bouquet, So To Speak, Earth’s Daughters, Luna Luna, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write. In general interest magazines, some I like, in no particular order, are Tuesday, The Lune, Spinning Jenny, Bellevue Literary Review, Four Way Review, Ploughshares, Fence, Lumina, Anomaly, N+1, New England Review…sorry, I can go on for days; I’m a big fan of small press literary publishing! And of course, that’s just me; guest poetry editors, Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach and our team of readers have their own favorites. I will say that our literary tastes are broad and include both traditional and experimental work.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
TESSER: We accept submissions solely through Submittable, here: https://themomegg.submittable.com/submit
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
TESSER: For questions regarding submissions, please email us at MERsubmissions@gmail.com.
NO FEE SUBMISSION DEADLINE: May 7, 2019
REGULAR DEADLINE: August 1, 2019
FORMAT: print and digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: Fee-free early bird week, regular fee is $3
PAYMENT: We are a volunteer organization, and are unable to pay for pieces at this time. A complimentary PDF contributor copy of the complete issue will be emailed to you prior to the launch date. You will also have the opportunity to purchase hard copies at reduced contributor rates if you wish.
FORMS: fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry about mothers, mothering, and motherhood