Special Episodes

Panel episodes focused on the most pressing issues of concern to today’s writer-mothers.


(March 28, 2023) A panel conversation to illuminate and complicate the issue of postpartum psychosis and depression. Panelists: Chaya Bhuvaneswar, a psychiatrist and author of White Dancing Elephants, who has treated postpartum patients in-hospital, including at a forensic psych ward for women awaiting trial for harming their children. Sharline Chiang, a writer, editor, book coach, publicist, and journalist who wrote, among many other articles, Don’t Call It Baby Blues HYPHEN, the only existing online magazine article on Asian American survivors of postpartum depression. Kathryn Gahl, author of The Yellow Toothbrush, a look at anxiety, depression, OCD, and paranoid thinking through the eyes of a mother whose daughter is experiencing a prison sentence after committing filicide. 


(May 26, 2022) This is a special episode on writing motherhood and sex with Tracey Livesay, Cat Sebastian, and Julie Tieu. Tracey Livesay’s latest release, Like Lovers Do, was named one of the 100 Best Fiction Books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews and one of the Top 10 Romances of 2020 by Entertainment Weekly. Cat Sebastian has written sixteen queer historical romances and her books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. Julie Tieu is a Chinese American contemporary romance author based in the Los Angeles area. Her debut novel, The Donut Trap, is loosely inspired by the years she spent working at her family’s donut shop.


(May 5, 2022) This is a special episode on poets writing motherhood with Emily Pérez and Nancy Reddy, co-editors of The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood (UGA, 2022). bell hooks said: “No woman has ever written enough.” This truth demands that we make space for the essential writing of mothers, too. Motherhood is an experience central to all our lives, and The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood features work from queer mothers, single mothers, adoptive and foster mothers, women whose experiences with motherhood include infertility and loss and childlessness and abortion, and more.

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writing, motherhood & gender identity

(March 31, 2022) This is a special episode on Writing, Mothering & Gender Identity with Stephanie Burt, Jennifer Chen, and Toni McLellan. We talked about writing and mothering nonbinary and trans children, and writing and mothering as trans and nonbinary mothers. It’s no accident that we held this conversation on International Transgender Day of Visibility, even as LGBTQ+ rights are being attacked throughout the US, from child welfare investigations targeting families of transgender children in Texas to the Florida Senate passing the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill to a bill that sought to repeal New Hampshire’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors.


(July 1, 2021) With Alicia Elliott, author of the thought-provoking essay collection A Mind Spread Out on the Ground; Liz Harmer, author of a memoir about wrestling with bipolar disorder, her hospitalization as a teenager, and postpartum depression; and Meg Leonard, a poet with a new collection, book of lullabies, that grapples with mental illness and new motherhood.

Writing motherhood & miscarriage

“When I read literature and stories, I want to be confronted with the truth, especially around pregnancy and birth and infant loss and women’s bodies.” 
(March 31, 2021) This special episode is devoted to an issue so many women struggle with, and so few people discuss. Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang, co-editors of What God Is Honored Here: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color, talk about why it’s important to give voice to this common pain.

creating community for writer-moms with Scribente maternum

“I’m for women being just a little bit selfish.”
(January 12, 2021) This special episode explores how to create community around motherhood and writing with the co-founders of Scribente Maternum, a community of writers that explores our emotions as mothers, provides space to recharge, facilitates connections with other writers, and inspires personal and collective action. Featuring Rachel Berg Scherer, Carla du Pree, Caytie Pohlen-LaClare, and Elizabeth Doerr.