Thursday, August 30, 2007

Call for Submissions: Anthology on Motherhood


Who’s Your Mama: The Voices of Unsung Women and Mothers

Looking for women writers in the U.S. who are mothers, trying to become mothers and who are childless by choice or circumstance.

There are so many books published about the motherhood experiences of affluent, married, White women, books that often revolve around the "mommy wars," the raging debate between mothers who work and those who stay at home. The fact that this small demographic is represented in the media as the face of U.S. motherhood has effectively removed the voices and stories of the true majority of mothers from the public dialogue. The true majority includes mothers who are: women of color, low and middle income, single, bisexual or lesbian.

This anthology proposes to gather women’s writings about motherhood that addresses race, class, sexuality, identity and intimate partnership. We have chosen to use the words women and motherhood, but it’s being used to focus on the female experience of parenting under patriarchy, not to exclusively define it.

Gen-X/Hip Hop generation women, those born between 1965 and 1984, grew up in the aftermath of social and political revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s that sought to re-define marriage, sexuality and motherhood. While the primary societal messages continue to trumpet traditional values and heterosexual marriage as the preferred norm, on the ground, women are actively engaged in crafting identities and family structures (including remaining single and/or childless) that speak practically to their personal beliefs, intimate relationships and economic realities.

Demographically, this generation of mothers looks different from its predecessors. Many did not even have children until they were 25 years old or older and on average they are having only two children. Therefore in comparison to their mothers and grandmothers they are older and have fewer children to look after. Having come of age in the 1980s and 1990s these women also grew up taking feminism (and the benefits it bestowed) as a given. For Gen-X and Hip Hop generation women, they believe that they can choose to raise healthy happy children and still be true to themselves.

Unlike previous generations, Gen-X women are represented by a diversity of contexts for motherhood that include heterosexual marriages, single parenting, committed partnership and gay marriage. Furthermore we recognize that the ability of a woman to have the option to be a working mother or a stay at home mother is frequently dependent on her socio-economic standing as demonstrated by her access to informational and financial resources, nearby, reliable and affordable child care and good fortune to work in a flexible work environment.

Furthermore, more women are consciously choosing not to have children and it is necessary to understand the remaining societal costs or the unexpected freedoms that are the consequence of choosing to remain childless. Lastly, every mother was someone before she had children. Therefore while motherhood is a significant life event, this book wants to examine how women develop other aspects of themselves alongside their identities as mothers, including their careers, friendships (particularly with other women), sexual personas, intimate relationships, familial and community bonds.

Many Gen-X women, although they were brought up and encouraged to "have it all" have a thorny relationship with feminism. Many understand that the freedoms that they take for granted, including the right to: work in nontraditional jobs; receive equal work for equal and; have reproductive choice were the result of feminist agitation. Nevertheless while many young women eagerly embrace the feminist label, far more equate feminism with angry, unattractive, affluent, man-hating, White women and do not believe that feminism represents their perspectives on religion, sexuality, culture, class or race. We are interested in ascertaining whether a woman choosing to become a mother or not is influenced by her identification with feminism (even if that identification is oppositional) and its perceived tenets, how does a woman’s acceptance (or rejection) of feminism or its principles inform her mothering or extend her focus on social and political issues such as parental leave, affordable childcare, court enforced child support, etc?.

We are seeking honest essays written in the first-person from Gen X/Hip Hop generation women of all classes, races, sexualities and religions. Submissions from emerging as well as established writers, activists, scholars and everyday women will be accepted. The personal narrative should record how your decision about motherhood empowered you and in some way made you reconsider a way of being, a personal truth, political ideology or cultural norm or community standard that you have never previously questioned. Additionally, we are interested in essays that explore how new definitions of motherhood and female empowerment are pushing women toward new thinking around social and political change. We welcome and will consider new ideas in addition to the topics suggested below.

the emotional and financial costs of motherhood

mothering and sexual identity

how becoming a mother changes your politics

daycare and childcare

single motherhood

lesbian or bisexual mothering

motherhood and marriage/committed partnership

gender and care of the children

health care and motherhood

motherhood and poverty

what does having it all really mean?

what makes a feminist mother different from others?

balancing motherhood and work

discrimination against mothers in the workplace

negotiating societal expectations about motherhood

race, class and motherhood

raising bi-racial children or children of a different race

childless because you do not want children

childless because you do not have a committed partner (and you do not want to be a single mom)

childless because you believe that having a child would adversely affect your career or finances


adoptive mothers/guardians/ foster parents

incarcerated mothers

DEADLINE: February 1, 2008

WORD COUNT/PAGE LIMITS: Personal Narratives - 20 pages/5000 words.

FORMAT: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page. No simultaneous submissions. Previously published essays will be considered if the writer owns the copyright. Essays will not be returned. Essays will not be published without the writer's consent.

SUBMITTING: Electronic submissions are preferred. Send essay electronically as a Word format file (with .doc extension) to Write "Motherhood Anthology" in the subject line. If email is not possible, mail two (2) copies of the essay to Yvonne Bynoe at PO Box 14068, Washington, DC 20044 attn: Motherhood Anthology. Please direct any inquiries to info@yvonnebynoe. com.

EDITOR: Yvonne Bynoe is a Senior Fellow at the Future Focus 2020 Center at Wake Forest University and the author of Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership and Hip Hop Culture and the Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture.

PUBLISHER: Soft Skull Press (New York)

REPLY: Please allow until March 1, 2008 for a response. If you have not received a response by then, please assume your essay has not been selected. It is not possible to reply to every submission personally.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Deadline Extended for the SORMAG Conference

The deadline has been extended for the Shades of Romance Magazine On-line conference! You now have until this Saturday to register. So hurry and register today!

The conference takes place during my first week of classes. So, I'm not sure I'll be able to participate this year. But the on-line conferences and other events that I have participated in with SORMAG have been top-notch. I highly recommend them for aspiring writers and seasoned writers as well. They're perfect for networking.

The conference takes place August 26th-September 1.

Learn more about the conference here:

SORMAG Online Conference

Check out Shades of Romance Magazine's blog here:

Shades of Romance Magazine

much love and peace,


Friday, August 17, 2007

New Book Club: Black Butterfly Review Book Club

There's a new book club in town:

Here's some info:

Black Butterfly Review is announcing the formation of the Black Butterfly Review Book Club. In this clubs our mission will be to read and celebrate the written word.

If you feel that this is something that might interest you, we invite you to join us at :

If you are an author and would like to have your book considered for our book club; please send an email to with a synopsis of your title.

You can join here:

Black Butterfly Review Book Club

Great Posts on the Writing Life…

Wendy Coakley-Thompson asks “Are We There Yet?” on Blogging In Black

Wendy Coakley-Thompson: Are We There Yet?

This is a thoughtful post that deals with the level of faith writers need to have as they pursue their careers and what happens when that faith is tested.

AcVernon Mechan explores the nuances of criticism in her post “Constructive Criticism.”

acVernon Menchan: Constructive Criticism

This great post looks at criticism in a variety of ways and really gets at the heart of the matter: how we take criticism depends both on the way it is given and our own willingness to receive it…

Farrah Rochon has some thoughts to share on the writing process in her post “Different Book, Different Process.”

Farrah Rochon: Different Book, Different Process

If you are one of those lucky people who has a tried and true writing and revising process that works every time, the same way for every book you write, then not only is this post not for you but I’m sticking out my tongue at you right now as I type. But if you’re like the rest of us poor folks who have to get in where we fit in and find new ways to work that muse each time, then check out what Farrah has to say. And don’t forget, Ms. Farrah Rochon will be our author for the month of September here on Gwyneth’s Blog.

Okay, what are you still reading this post for? Go Check out these blogs and comment over there. And then go write something… Me? I’m still celebrating my birthday… LOL.

Much love and peace,


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me... :-)

It's my birthday! It's time to party! Come on in and have some chocolate cake. I'm going to sing Happy Birthday to myself now...

old school style...

Happy birthday to me-ee. Happy birthday to me-ee. Happy birthday to me-eeee. Happy birthday to me-ee. How old am I now? (21) How old am I now? (29) How old am I n-ow? (Fine 37!) Happy Birthday to me-ee....

new school style...

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birth-day... Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birth-day....

hip-hop remix style...

Go, go, go me. It's my birthday. I'm gonna party like it's my birthday. I'm gonna drink mojitos like it's my birthday. And you know I don't give a wha- 'cause it's my birthday....

Okay, I'm off to celebrate. Have some cake. Have a mojito. I'll catch you all on Sunday night or Monday morning... :-)

much love and peace,


Friday, August 10, 2007

Talk about incentive...

... to buy a Kanye West CD

50 Cent said he would stop making solo albums if Kanye West out-sells him when they both release on September 11th.

"Let's raise the stakes," the 31-year-old rapper told hip-hop Web site in an interview posted Friday. "If Kanye West sells more records than 50 Cent on September 11, I'll no longer write music. I'll write music and work with my other artists, but I won't put out anymore solo albums."

Promises... Promises... I don't know about y'all. But I'm buying as many Kanye West CDs as my budget can handle. I'm talking about, family and loved ones might be getting them for birthday gifts and Christmas. Both 50 and Kanye are pretty annoying in an man-child kind of way... I mean instead of having a contest for who can sell the most CDs, they could have a contest for who can through the biggest tantrum. I wouldn't even know who to put my money on for that one... But I actually like Kanye's music. And if there is a chance he can help get rid of 50, hey... why not? If only 50 said he would shut up and disappear forever if Kanye outsold him. Boy, I'd really buy a lot of those Kanye West CDs then...

Buy Kanye West's CD and let's see if 50 disappears... LOL.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Two New Paranormal Reads For You! Because I care... ;-)

We have two new paranormal romances that are doing innovative things with the genre. Tired of vampires and werewolves you say? Not so keen on adventures in outer space but you’d like some speculative elements and magical realism in your romance? Well award winning author A. C. Arthur and debut author Stefanie Worth have novels to fit the bill. And me being the bookaholic enabler of other bookaholics that I am, well, I just had to pass the information along to the rest of you...

I love everything sci-fi, speculative, paranormal, etc… Okay, maybe not everything, but I took a moment of me-time/reading time before diving into my revisions. And I decided I’d read a couple of new paranormals since I’m not writing my own paranormal at the moment. And since I always have to share when I read a good book, I figured I'd let you know about these...

A. C. Arthur’s Heart of the Phoenix was truly amazing. She takes Greek mythology, the intrigue and suspense she is known for, as well as the heat she is known for, and really delivers on this one. Normally my pick for shape-shifter books is always werewolves. Nalini Singh’s books have me considering putting the big cats in the mix since I have really enjoyed her two paranormals. But mostly I'm a werewolf gal. However, A. C. has me thinking about a phoenix… This hero is part phoenix and part god… And lawd have mercy, I see I’m going to have to add a bird shape-shifter to my list… I love the way Arthur weaved the Greek mythology into the novel. It reminded me of my first reading love. I spent a lot of time reading Greek myths as a kid. I highly recommend this one for folks who enjoy paranormals but want something different and more refreshing.

Here’s the blurb:

From the ashes he was born and in the thunderous flames he will soon die. But not before branding her heart. Tayla Hampton thought she had escaped her past. She was wrong. It’s caught up with her. Luckily she has a guardian angel…or something like that.

Thaddeus Delos is not you’re ordinary protector. His mythical DNA is proof of that. Still he hungers like a hot-blooded man, loves fiercely and will protect Tayla with his life. Only that life isn’t promised to him for much longer.

The next book comes from newcomer Stefanie Worth. Where Souls Collide is nothing short of a stunning debut. I loved this book and I was still thinking about it when I closed the pages. It is such a refreshing twist on soul mates. Refreshing and innovative and thrilling, those are words that come to mind as I try to think about how to describe this book. And the speculative elements and magical realism are done so well that it really pulls you into several worlds seamlessly. It really is a novel that you have to experience. I can’t really put into words all the things that are great about this book. As a writer, I appreciated the risks Worth took with the story telling, the rules of romance certainly get twisted all around in this one. And as a reader, I loved the voice and the draw of this novel. It pulled me in and refused to let me go. I highly recommend this one as well.

Here’s the blurb:

Detroit journalist Nevena Larimore thought her romance with NBA star Maxwell McKnight would last forever, but forever came to an abrupt end fifteen years ago, leaving her brokenhearted. Now Maxwell is back in her life as the owner and editor of her newspaper, and Navena's turbulent feelings have come rushing back.

Navena cannot find peace at home, either. Her boyfriend wants more of a commitment than she can give and she's haunted by prophetic dreams of murder.

It is up to Navena to figure out her psychic legacy and prevent the murder...but not alone. After struggling with doubt, Maxwell realizes that Navena's visions are authentic, and it is she who might need saving. Navena may have extraordinary powers, but together they discover that real love is a force of its own.

What about you all? Have you read any good books lately? Go ahead, add a few books to my to-be-read pile... I won't mind... :-)

Much love and peace,


Monday, August 06, 2007

How Bad is Too Bad for the Romance Heroine?

Most romance heroines are syrupy sweet. There's like a romance rule and everything... Thou shall not have a mean or bitchy or otherwise unworthy romance heroine for she does not deserve the love of a HOT, sexy hero. Well, when I wrote my first romance novel, I had no idea that there was a rule. And my first heroine was really bitchy until my editor (I love you Deatri) told me that I had to tone her down and make her likable. So I did (I hope). And that's when I realized that as much as I embrace my inner bitch and encourage others to do the same, I can't have a true bitch... a real bitch... a-sho-nuff-take-no-stuff-bitch as the heroine in my romance novels. Bummer... So no more bitches...

But what about bad girls? Now, I know I could get away with naughty girls in an erotic romance. But I'm talking about bad girls. I'm talking about a chick that might have done wrong in the past and she's a little sorry for it... or at least sorry she got caught. LOL. Or a girl who might break the rules, for a good cause or a good reason of course, but she's a rule breaker nonetheless. She might lie or steal, you know... She's just not the perfect sweet little heroine we're used to seeing in romance. Would this ever work in a romance novel? I'm thinking only if it was a part of her past. What do you all think?

I realized after I finished the first novel in my Hightower series that two of my heroines, the two that will fall in love with my cops, are what some would consider bad girls... Their stories are so much fun to write. Their histories are so rich and they bring all kinds of emotions to the story. I love emotional writing almost as much as I love emotional reading. And after reading countless books where the hero is the one doing the big apology at the end, it is so cool to think that I could flip the script on all that with the right bad girl...

But how bad is too bad? What are the limits? What would turn you off in a heroine? Do you like your heroines a little naughty? Is syrupy sweet more your style? Who are some of your favorite bad girls in fiction? What about real life? I have to say, I enjoyed writing about my first true bad girl. The heroine in Protect and Serve had me on edge. My editor might make me tone her down by the time readers see her... but she was something else for a minute... I just hope readers will still like her... we'll see... What do you all think about bad girls in romance?

much love and peace,


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August Interview with acVernon Menchan

GB: Well hello acVernon Menchan also known as my girl Angelia. Thanks so much for blessing my blog with an interview. I know that you’re busy on your grind writing wonderful books, insightful blog posts, selling your books all over the place, meeting with book clubs, reviewing books for APOOO, being a wife and mother, and giving back to the community by mentoring young sistahs. Whew! I know your time is very valuable, so I appreciate you taking time away to chat. Your busy schedule leads me to my first question. How? How do you do it all and do it all so well? Do tell…

AM: I guess what has made it relatively easy is that I waited until I had time to do the things I wanted to do. My husband spent twenty-two years as a soldier and we traveled the world, I also have two sons who are now twenty-seven and twenty-two, so I guess it is my turn to do what feeds my soul. Writing and reviewing and talking to my girls really doesn’t feel like work, it is a soul experience, Not only that but when a sister is tired she will get her rest. I have always known that taking care of me shores me up to take care of the rest.

GB: A soul experience… I like that. Okay, you have done what many authors dream of doing. You’ve taken care of your own business and self-published your three books. Having control of your own destiny must be a beautiful thing… Kudos! What made you decide to just go ahead and do it yourself? What has the journey been like as a self-published author? Would you ever consider going with a traditional publisher in the future?

AM: As someone who has spent a couple of decades working for the government I knew that if I really wanted to color outside the lines I would have to own myself. So as with most things I just did it. My first work wasn’t truly self-published, I worked with a vanity press because that first book was written on a lark, was just going to be something for friends and family to talk about. Little did I know about how people would react to my work. Thank God! I am open to anything but in the mean time I will continue to do what I am doing.

GB: Now you know I have to talk about your novels, Black’s Obsession , Cinnamon’s Universe and the forthcoming (soon I hope) Brown’s Possession . These novels are part of a trilogy that you call “Black’s Trilogy” and they give three sides of tantalizing love triangle. I really love the idea of getting three sides of the story and found myself eagerly turning the pages as I read Black’s and Cinnamon’s stories and now waiting not so patiently for Brown’s piece of the puzzle (no rush… but err… hurry up...). Anyway, what was your inspiration for this trilogy?

AM: I am a short story writer at heart. I was working on a series of short stories and one was entitled ‘Whose Baby’. The premise was a guy would call his friend on the eve of his wedding to confess his feelings for her. It was eighteen pages, but that story wouldn’t let me go and became this three book series. Also, I wanted and needed to write about brothers as I knew them to be. Loving, complicated and diverse beings, not just fodder for the six o’clock news. Thus, Black. There are many Malcolm Blacks in our community.

GB: We have something in common. (smile) Many years ago when I was working on my MA in Creative Writing I just knew I was going to be a short story writer and my thesis was going to be a collection of short stories, until one short story refused to end. It is so funny the way a piece of writing will do that to a writer. It really does tell you when it is supposed to end if the writer is listening. I still want to write that collection of short fiction one day… Anyway… In Love Stories of Some People I’ve Known , you give the reader a glimpse of so many different kinds of love. It was a nicely done, very nuanced look at love. So, what made you want to take on love in these shorter vignettes? Can readers expect more of this kind of short story collection from you in the future?

AM: Short stories are my first love when it comes to writing. I can have a conversation or see a situation and rush home to write about it. People fascinate me and have a tendency to tell me the most amazing stories. I will then fictionalize them so they no longer recognize themselves. (giggling). I have a short story on Amazon entitled, “If I Didn’t Know Better,” that story was based on a Luther Vandross song. I heard it, went back home and two hours later I had a story. I have hundreds of those.

GB: Speaking of your shorter pieces… You know I just adore your blog. And I think you have the one of the most wonderful, real and provocative voices out there in the blogosphere. I love the way you make it plain time and time again and bring home such thought-provoking truths in such few words. When I read what you can do with short pieces of prose, it reminds me of how I feel sometimes when I read short stories and poetry by Alice Walker or short stories by J. California Cooper. Okay, I promise there is a question in here and not just me gushing. (Smile) So, let me see… how do you bring all that down home wisdom out in so few words? What inspires you?

AM: Gushing is good… he he… Thanks Gwyneth, you are so kind. I write the way I think and speak. I have been blessed with an ability to say what is in my heart and I seem unable not to do. Some love it, others might not. That is too funny, Ms. Cooper is my absolute favorite short story writer. I love her. I just say it as I see it. When one speaks truth as they know it, not many words are needed. I am inspired by people, my love for people and the love I get back. I am blessed.

GB: I love Cooper too! She’s amazing. So, have you always known that you wanted to be a writer?

AM: Yes indeed, I have been writing in journals all my life. My books are an extension of that.

GB: Has your writing changed over the years? What kinds of changes have you seen in your work?

AM: Oh my God, yes. My first book was a hot mess in terms of the way it was written. And for a hot minute, when people in the know mentioned my mistakes I thought okay I am done. But, you know what, readers had a different take, they wanted to hear what I was saying, so I tightened up my game. I am still very much a work in progress, very much!!

GB: You also review books for APOOO Book Club. How did you get started reviewing books? Do you think that book reviewing helps you in your own writing?

AM: Yasmin Coleman, owner and moderator of APOOO, my sister-friend, sent out a call for reviewers and I raised my hand. It has been one of the best experiences. APOOO reviews with integrity and I love being a part of it. Reviewing has helped tremendously in my writing.

GB: What’s next on the horizon for you? Tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects and give us a sneak peek at some of the things you have in the works.

AM: I am now working on a series of books for young adults. The first one is tentatively titled, What Part of No Is Not Clear to You? My heroine is sixteen and knows her own mind. My kind of girl.

GB: Sounds like my kind of girl too. The novel sounds wonderful! You’re going to have me reading young adult books. LOL. So, who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?

AM: My all time favorites are James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Colin Channer, Pearl Cleage, Diane Mckinney Whetstone…there are so many. I have a new favorite, Kwame Dawes, that brother can write. I love your writing also Ms. Bolton. I am reading, Selah’s Bed by Jenoyne Adams and reviewing a couple of books.

GB: Thank you. (Smile) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers about the publishing business? Do you have any specific advice for writers thinking about going the self-publishing route?

AM: I would have to say first and foremost, hone your craft and have faith in your abilities. I don’t know anything about traditional publishing. I am probably one of the few who haven’t even tried. If you are going to self-publish make sure you do your research and are willing to get your hustle on. Writing is the easy part, selling yourself is work.

GB: “Writing is the easy part, selling yourself is work.” Girl, you ain’t never lied. Someone needs to put that quote on a bumper sticker. It needs to be a mantra or something. LOL. Okay, so, thanks so much for the interview and blessing us with your time. I appreciate it. How can readers best contact you?

AM: Thanks so much Lady Gwyneth. I have enjoyed this. You are my sister and a true ‘Write or Die Chick’. I can be reached at or my email or my blog,