Next up in our Spring 2022 Preview series is Good Mom on Paper: Writers on Creativity and Motherhood edited by Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee! This collection of twenty essays goes beyond the clichés to explore the fraught, beautiful, and complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity.
Good Mom on Paper discloses the often-invisible challenges of a literary life with little ones: the manuscript written with a baby sleeping in a carrier, missing a book launch for a bedtime, crafting a promotional tour around child care. But they also celebrate the systems that nurture writers who are mothers; the successes; the intricate, interconnected joys of these roles. Honest and intimate, critical and hopeful, this collection offers solace and joy to creative mothers and asks how we can better support their work.
With contributions by Heather O’Neill, Lee Maracle, Jael Richardson, Carrie Snyder, Alison Pick, Meaghan Strimas, Sofia Mostaghimi, Rachel Giese, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Erin Wunker, Jónína Kirton, Jennifer Whiteford, Teresa Wong, Nikkya Hargrove, S. Lesley Buxton, Amber Riaz, Adelle Purdham, Harriet Alida Lye, and Kellee Ngan.
A portion of each sale will be donated to the Mothers Matter Centre: a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering isolated, at-risk mothers.
We are delighted to share an introductory video from Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee. Enjoy!
And check out an excerpt below, featuring a section from the Introduction which captures something of the essential ethos of this anthology. Good Mom on Paper: Writers on Creativity and Motherhood will be released on May 3, 2022, and is available now for pre-order now from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore.
Good Mom on Paper is grown from the knowledge that mothers are each other’s most valuable resource, whether providing a safe, non-judgmental place to complain, or a playbook on how to get things done. We wanted to pull together a collection that could offer creative mothers and mothers-to-be solace through their struggles, comfort through their fears, and a realistic picture of what it means to be passionate about our work, while taking care of the small people in our lives.We understand that motherhood is not a monolith, and that experiences vary. This is not a book about “having it all” or being a “mom boss.” Instead, it’s a thoughtful collection of honest and varied reflections on how challenging, beautiful, confusing, and messy it can be to raise good people while also being good to ourselves. Good Mom on Paper showcases the sacrifices (there are many) and the successes (they’re both small and large), and gets beyond clichés and acceptable answers to the question of what motherhood means to creators. It examines how children have the potential to both open up a whole new realm of inspiration, and to kill a career in progress. It goes deep into the conflict between fulfilling our dreams and providing support to the people we love the most. It critiques the very systems, beliefs, and institutions that make all these choices so very hard in the first place.
Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning journalist, essayist, and author of four books. Her bylines include the Globe and Mail, The National Post, Reader’s Digest, Elle Canada, Toronto Life, The Walrus, BuzzFeed, Vice, Hazlitt, Quill and Quire, and others. Her most recent book, Baseball Life Advice, was published in spring 2017, was a national bestseller, and was selected by the Globe and Mail and Maisonneuve as a best book of the year. A former columnist at the Globe and Mail, she currently writes the Book Therapy column for Open Book Ontario. Fowles lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter, where she is working on a children’s book and her fourth novel.
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.