Before They Were Our Mothers


Poor Girl

Editor’s mother at Buffalo State College, 1935.

Call for Submissions from Female Writers in New York State

Deadline: May 31, 2017

Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting is seeking first-person, present-tense TRUE stories giving voice to the author’s mother or grandmother born before World War II.

Submit a compelling true narrative, from your foremother’s perspective, to be published no later than December 31, 2017 in a printed anthology of approximately 15 stories. Featured authors will receive a copy of the book with the opportunity to buy additional copies at cost. They’ll also be invited to participate in a writing seminar and book launch party in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Chosen submissions will:

  • tell an interesting true story in her first-person voice about a certain time in her life before she becomes a wife and/or mother (not a biographical sketch or chronology).
  • showcase how she asserts herself at a time when women’s voices are often silenced.
  • showcase her success against the odds and/or her frustration with unrealized dreams and aspirations.
  • follow literary conventions and demonstrate an excellent command of the English language.


  • Word count limit: 3000 words
  • 1” margins, double spaced
  • 12 pt. Times New Roman font
  • Numbered pages
  • Docx or pdf files only

To submit (NO FEE):

  • Write a cover letter in the body of the email to include:
    • Title
    • Author
    • relationship to foremother (daughter or granddaughter)
    • foremother’s birthdate
    • author’s contact information including phone # and physical address within New York State
    • a short third-person author bio.
  • Attach one docx or pdf file. (NO identifying information; entries will be judged blind by editorial board.)
  • Email to b4theywereourmothers(AT)gmail(DOT)com by May 31, 2017.


  • Electronic submissions only.
  • No previously published work.
  • Verification of factual data may be requested to confirm nonfiction narrative.
  • Simultaneous submissions welcome if withdrawn immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.
  • While the author must be a resident of New York State, the foremother’s location is not restricted.
  • Entries that do not comply with the above guidelines will automatically be disqualified.

Notifications will be emailed by mid-August.

Questions may be directed to Editor, Patricia A. Nugent, at b4theywereourmothers(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

This project is made possible by Saratoga Arts with an Individual Artist Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Before They Were








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