“Hear me as a woman/Have me as your sister/On purpled battlefield breaking day, /So I might say our victory is just beginning, /See me as change, /Say I am movement, /That I am the year/And I am the era/ Of the women.”
This writer is not usually thrilled by the idea of one–month-a-year dedicated to women. Yet, I recognize the value of stories told about persistent, brave, creative women. Their stories, and the stories we tell each other during this time, can encourage us through the remaining eleven months of the year!
The 2023 theme for Women’s History Month is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” How perfect! Here is theNational Women’s History Alliance description of the theme—
“From the earliest storytellers through pioneering journalists, our experiences have been captured by a wide variety of artists and teachers. These include authors, songwriters, scholars, playwrights, performers, and grandmothers . . . Women have long been instrumental in passing on our heritage in word and in print to communicate the lessons of those who came before us. Women’s stories, and the larger human story, expand our understanding and strengthen our connections with each other.”
We at Women Who Write tell stories, true and imagined, in poetry and prose. Each of us contributes unique life perspectives to now and future generations. We make connections by sharing bits about our writing lives with each other. By sharing our early drafts of poems and stories. By trusting our peers to provide helpful comments that will encourage us to continue writing.
Much of our fiction, essay, memoir, and poetry features female protagonists, points-of-view, the obstacles faced, and resilience gained. So, this year’s theme of Women History Month sense!
We enjoyed thoroughly our February workshop with poet, Lynnell Edwards, who introduced us to the writing of US Poet Laureate Ada Limón. Limón’s poetry is visual, evocative, and often witty (As illustrated by her essay in Bon Appetit, “The Taco Truck that Saved My Marriage”). With Limon’s poems as examples, Lynnell taught us about patterns and images and themes and structures. And each of us began at least one poem. We were surprised to find that some poets begin their work in the same way prose writers begin. Write quickly and let the ideas flow. Be visual. Don’t judge yourself. Avoid editing until you’ve made a mess of words on the page. Let yourself discover the gems you’ve composed. This memoir writer chose two of the offered prompts—a memory with a sibling I titled “Schadenfreude,” and a pleasure discovered during COVID isolation, which is titled, “Because of COVID, I Discovered Birds.”
Our instructor Lynnell is herself an accomplished poet. Enjoy this PBS video of a poem by Lynnell, “All I Know About Love”— . All I can say is “Wow!”
Our March meeting features the author Erin Keane, who is a storyteller, a working journalist, and a published poet.
Erin will read and discuss her hybrid memoir, Runaway, named one of the best books of the year by NPR. Interviewing Erin will be our membership coordinator, Janet L. Boyd, who wrote a column for LEO titled “Don’t Get Me Started”.
We are sorry to say, there will be no Zoom option for this meeting. We want to give full attention to our guest speaker without our clumsy efforts to operate technology!
To enhance your experience in this conversation with Erin, consider buying Runaway through Belt Publishing for a discounted price of $12. It is also available at Carmichael’s Bookstore at the original price— https://beltpublishing.com/products/runaway-notes-on-the-myths-that-made-me
THE WRITING PROMPT
“It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target
you didn’t even know you were aiming for.”
Lois McMaster Bujold
This month’s writing prompt will honor women writers who have meant something to us. Dead or alive, of all genres, of all ethnicities, published or unpublished. We will write fiction, personal essay, or poetry. We will remember, imagine, describe, ponder.
Perhaps you want to tell the story of a gifted oral storyteller. Or you want to imagine meeting a famous author. Or you might remember an experience with a woman writer, as Janet L. Boyd remembers in her WWW blog post about Betty Friedan, here.
Write what comes to you. Ask yourself open-ended questions. Let your monkey mind take you where it wants to go. Stay loose. Enjoy the process!
WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR WRITING LIFE!
Consider joining a caravan of WWW members and friends for The Southern Kentucky Book Festival (SOKY) in Bowling Green on March 25, 2023, from 9 AM to 3 PM (Central Time). The festival features several author keynotes, a book sale, and small workshops—all free! Learn more here
Another upcoming conference is the Bluegrass Writers’ Conference, by the Bluegrass Writers’ Coalition on April 29, 2023 (Eastern Time) from 9 AM to 4 PM in Frankfort, Kentucky. Cost is $85. This is the second annual conference. Learn more and register here—
Submit to the Women Who Write web blog! Members, please submit essay, poem, or fiction (no more than 2,000 words). We’ll read your work in advance and offer revision suggestions if needed. Publishing on our blog will expand your writing platform since you can share the blog link on social networks. And you’ll help WWW show off the variety of talents within our writing community! Browse our web blog now! http://womenwhowrite.com/our-blog/. Write to and tell us about your story, poem, or essay—the one you’ve written or the one you want to write!
Poets and Writers magazine has an extensive list of literary magazines to which you can submit. Learn more here.
Sky Island Journal is online journal that publishes emerging and established writers. Prefers flash fiction and creative nonfiction (less than 1,000 words) and poetry. Rolling submissions. Inquire here.
About Place Journal “addresses the causes of spirit, earth, and society; to protect the earth; and to build a more just and interconnected world.” Their next issue is about rivers. Currently accepting submissions of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art about rivers! Deadline April 15. Learn more here.
Halfway Down the Stairs publishes quarterly themed issues of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and book reviews. The June 2023 issue will be themed Resistance. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2023. Learn more here
Split Rock Review is accepting submissions through March 31, 2023— poetry, short creative nonfiction and fiction, comics, hybrids, visual poetry, interviews, book reviews, photography, and art that explore place, environment, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. Learn more and submit here.
Consider writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Some upcoming themes— The Power of Positive Thinking, Angels, Dogs, Cats, and Make Me Laugh! Learn more here
Consider submitting to this online magazine of personal essays—Dorothy Parker’s Ashes has as its tag line, “Brazen words by witty dames. Everything true. More or less.” The next themed submissions are Libido (deadline March 15); Endings (deadline April 15). https://www.dorothyparkersashes.com/the-writing-life
Consider submitting to this new literary magazine, Third Street Review, accepting all prose, poetry, and visual art. They like experimental, flash, and innovative forms but will publish more traditional pieces as well. https://www.thirdstreetwriters.org/
Mulberry Literary believes in “the power of sharing, regardless of genre or style. We are a literary magazine without a niche, without a theme, just a simple goal to showcase your work.” Accepting submissions from March 1 to May 1, 2023.
Thimble Literary is “based on the belief that poetry is like armor. Like a thimble, it may be small and seem insignificant, but it will protect us when we are most vulnerable.” The online journal publishes quarterly. Find out more here!
Maudlin House publishes fiction, short fiction, and poetry, as well as columns and book reviews. The online literary mag describes itself as “a bridge between new form fiction and experimental lit that takes on mainstream pop culture through the lens of 21st-century indie art” https://maudlinhouse.net/about/
The Fictional Café is a unique literary venue inviting fiction and poetry. This international platform does require membership (looks like it’s free) to submit. They describe themselves as a Coffee Club, and their editors and staff as baristas. Here is their invitation— “Want to submit a short story or poetry? A chapter from a novel-in-progress?”
HerStry literary essay/memoir blog seeks to empower women through their writing. They offer $20 for published work—both general and themed. The next two themes are Women at Work (due March 1) and Motherhood (due April 1).
The Persimmon Tree’s mission is to “bring the creativity and talent of women over sixty to a wide audience of readers of all ages.” They are “looking for work that reveals rich experience and a variety of perspectives.”
The Blue Mountain Review publishes poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, on a rolling basis, for publication in this quarterly print journal. “Blue Mountain Review is a Southern publication, but it draws no boundaries or borders on that interpretation. It seeks pieces that boldly create something new.”
Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers publishes prose that “treats motherhood as a subject worthy of literature.” This online journal is now part of Creative Nonfiction journal. Find out how to submit here.
The Keeping Room is an online magazine for women writers, poets, and artists, interested in “Women’s Wisdom, Lessons Learned, Self-care, Bodies, Relationships, and Community.” Find out how to submit here.
The Quartet Journal features poetry by women fifty and over. Find out how to submit here.
SUPPORT OUR WRITING COMMUNITY!
Become a member (or re-member)—As a community, WWW strives to nurture your writing life. We hope you choose to join or renew as a member and participate in our monthly meetings, author talks, retreats, and workshops. Our membership chair will notify persons when they are due to renew. Regular annual membership is $50. Student annual membership is $25. Membership entitles you to discounts on workshops and retreats.
Attend our monthly member meetings on the second Tuesday of each month for a brief program, peer critiques and conversations about the writing life. Not currently a member? You can attend two meetings before deciding to join. We prefer you attend in-person, though we offer a Zoom option primarily for our out-of-town membership.
Visit our web page WomenWhoWrite.com. Also, visit our Facebook Page and stay awhile—@womenwhowriteky. Don’t forget to like us and follow us. Answer polls. See video interviews of WWW meetings with visiting writers.
Participate! Members, please send us links to your published writing. We will include these links on our Facebook page!
We wish you a joyful writing life.
Be safe. Be strong. Be peace.
Love your writing life!
The Leadership Team
Kim, Megan, Alisa, Janet, Irene, Ashley, and Katie