OUR VISION:

Every writer should be encouraged to thrive and should be able to find a supportive arts community to help them stay on creative track. We hope to see a world in which all writers are are afforded an equal chance – a world where parenthood is not regarded as a handicap to one’s artistic career, and where the special needs of parents are accepted and addressed as a matter of course.

 

OUR MISSION:

Pen Parentis provides critical resources to working writers to keep them on creative track after they start a family. We build and support in-person and online communities of authors who are also parents to encourage production of new, high-quality written work, and offer individual aid to writers whenever possible. We believe in extending our reach through partnerships with organizations who host activities that support creative writing.

We are headquartered in New York City but our reach is global through our networking website and social media channels, all of which feature unique parenting-and-writing resources.

WHAT ARE WE?

PEN PARENTIS is a federally recognized 501c3 non-profit literary organization registered in the State of New York.

HISTORY:

Since 2009, Pen Parentis has been providing audience-building performance opportunities and other resources to working writers who are also parents. The organization evolved from the intimate literary community created by the Pen Parentis Literary Salons in Lower Manhattan — a free open arts event in active programming since January 2009 targeted to middle-class residents and workers of TriBeCa, Battery Park City, Brooklyn, and the Financial District. The Salon series is a vibrant professional platform promoting the vast diversity of high-quality creative work produced by authors who also happen to be parents. Click here for an article in Columbia Magazine (circulation 270,000) about our history.
Established in 2010 and endowed in 2016, the annual Michael Allen Writing Fellowship for New Parents intends to inspire parents at a critical stage to continue to create new written works of fiction—and presents support to that end in the form of a one-time grant to give an incentive to the parents of young children to continue pursuing their creative writing careers and open access to our salons and staff for marketing, promotion, and mentoring purposes throughout the fellowship year.
Incorporating Pen Parentis as a federally-recognized nonprofit in 2013 was the next step in our journey — conceived as a safe place for authors across the country who have kids to meet and build community with like minded peers — we hope you find something of value here. New York City does – our wonderful public radio stations WQXR/WNYC gave us STAR recognition in April 2014. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions. You may also find Pen Parentis on Facebook and if you are a writer who is also a parent, you can join the online community on our private FB group, Pen Parentis Behind Closed Doors. Please join our community – writing is a lonely calling and we understand how hard it is to stay connected once you become a parent. Membership information here.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of Pen Parentis is to provide resources to working artists in the literary field who are also parents:

  • to encourage the production of creative written work of professional standard by authors who are also parents
  • to foster supportive communities of authors who are also parents, both locally and online,  and through outreach activities,
  • to provide educational, creative, and professional support in this discipline to members of these communities so that authors who are also parents will continue to actively pursue their creative goals.

Our networking website featuring parenting and writing resources including an annual fellowship, mentoring opportunities, and online and in-person networking opportunties, Pen Parentis plans in the future to offer community building workshops, parenting workshops for artists, creativity workshops for new parents, and ultimately, a writing center that partners with child care or educational programs.

There are inherent prejudices against artists that are parents. The visual arts community has already begun to address these prejudices. The theater world has also begun to realize that parent-artists have unique needs.

We hope to see the end of these stereotypes for writers as well.

To this end, we have already begun to partner with wonderful New York City-based nonprofits including Church Street School for Music and Art, HRP Mamas, Trinity Church’s community center Charlotte’s Place, PEN America, the Concert Artists Guild, and the former 92Y/Tribeca. If you are a member of a NYC writing organization and would like to discuss partnering with us, please contact us.

Want To Help?

PEN PARENTIS is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit arts service organization. Contributions to PEN PARENTIS are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Your donations particularly keep the Pen Parentis Literary Salon alive. This one-of-a-kind reading series is run primarily on donations from readers like you. No amount is too large or too small. One click (and a valid credit card) is all it takes.

Writers that are also parents that pledge recurring donations (see list here) may ask to be included in our roster of Pen Parentis Featured Authors (aka Pen Parentis Title Members). We will request a bio and headshot and links to your creative works and in return, we pledge to help you publicize your forthcoming works, any writing classes you may teach, etc. Becoming a Pen Parentis Title Member also makes you eligible to become a Pen Parentis Mentor. We are always delighted to promote the creative work of authors who are also parents!

Pen Parentis Literary Salons are made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. They are also funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. with public funds from The New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and by a generous one-time grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation in California. We thank our sponsors and urge you to support the arts!

Major Contributors:

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Amazon Literary Partners
Amazon Smile Foundation
The Sustainable Arts Foundation
Poets&Writers
New York State Council on the Arts

Bronius Motekaitis of BCSWebstudio
Emily Ann Pulley

With special support from:

Michael C. Allen & Co., CPAs PLLC 
The John A Hartford Foundation
Loretta Shapiro
Jackie Quon
Sarah Langan
Leigh Newman
Maria Granovsky
Allison Scollar
Dr. Lewis Gross
Ellen Tepfer
Carolyn Harrington

Pen Parentis logo design by: Melissa Guion

Thank You, Valuable Volunteers:

  • Gabija Blauzdziunas
  • Jurgita Raskeviciute
  • Kaitlin Sansoucie
  • Rose Cirrincione
  • Betsy Mair
  • Kristin Rath
  • Gail Renner