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 work for an issue themed “Mother Figures”—works that grapple with iconic images of motherhood from history, religion, pop culture, myth, and real life. They publish “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. You need not be a mother to submit.”
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 an un-themed issue. The upcoming issue, for which submissions are now open, is themed “Mother Figures.”
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; it featured mom-rock bands such as “The Mydols” and “Housewives on Prozac.” 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 others are interested in women’s literature (college Literature and Women’s Studies programs) or just like 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, and about the intersection of motherhood with their other identities. 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. One need not be a mother to submit; we 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 to receive more short and flash fiction and creative non-fiction works (our maximum word count for prose pieces is 1000) 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, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write. In general interest magazines, some I like, in no particular order, are Post Road, Smokelong Quarterly, Juked, Whale Road Review, SWWIM, Epiphany, 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, 2021
REGULAR DEADLINE: July 15, 2021
THEME: “Mother Figures”—works that grapple with iconic images of motherhood from history, religion, pop culture, myth, and real life
FORMAT: print and digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: Fee-free early bird week, regular fee is $3 or free with purchase of a discounted subscription.
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
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