Milda De Voe, author, mother of two and co-founder of Pen Parentis.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

Pen Parentis is a forum for writers who are parents, founded in 2008 by Milda De Voe and her friend, Arlaina Tibensky, both of them, mothers and writers, and both of them at their wit’s end “trying to keep creative having had children.”

“Both jobs are 24/7,” De Voe said. “If you get an idea at two in the morning, you’d better write it down or it’s gone. And if your kid gets up and has a fever when you have a meeting with your agent, you’d better take care of the kid. So there’s really a lot of conflict, over time, mostly, but also over your creativity, because, of course, your kids want you to be creative for them. If you spend your entire day being creative for your kids, then you’re tired when it’s time to work on your short story or your novel.”

De Voe’s children are now 11 and seven years old and things seem to have gotten easier in the time juggling department. De Voe continues to write and to publish her short stories. In addition, once a month between September and May, she is the impresario of a salon at which writers who are parents read excerpts from their work and talk about how they pulled it off.


The salons are held at the Andaz Hotel, 75 Wall St. The next one, entitled “Writers on the Verge,” is on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. with short story author and New York Fellow for the Arts, Sara Lippmann, Chicago writer Ben Tanzer, author of the novel “Orphans” and the essay collection “Lost in Space,” and Caeli Wolfson Widger, whose debut novel, “Real Happy Family.” came out in March. Julia Fierro, director of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshops and author of the forthcoming novel, “Cutting Teeth,” will co-host.

The readings are free. Drinks are half price. All are welcome. For more information about Pen Parentis, click here.

– Terese Loeb Kreuzer