Introducing: The Pen Parentis Cycle of Writing Support


Have you lost your creative self?

Buried in the guilt of spending family time with your writing — or spending writing time with your kids? Impediments abound once you become a parent.

We want to get you writing again!

You can always discuss your needs online on the Pen Parentis Behind Closed Doors Facebook Group with the other parent-writers who have joined our community. This is a free service we offer to the community – the more active you are, the more responsive the group will be because Facebook will make your posts more visible if you post more often (it’s a weird Facebook thing, it’s not us!) The group is private – there is no one in the group who is not a writer/parent and no one can see your posts outside of the group.

However, if you would prefer to talk privately with a professional who has been there – who actively balances a writing career with an active family life — consider mentorship from one of our award-winning authors….all of whom are parents.

Face it: most mentors will chat with you and then be done. We do it differently at Pen Parentis. First: we read your work (up to 25 pages) and help you edit it into a polished gorgeous publishable piece (or advise you to take a class if we identify a problem that can’t be solved with line edits!) — we are honest and we don’t mess around. You will email us the submission, we will send it back with line-edits and after you look it over, only THEN do we sit down for a phone call or a face-to-face. We will talk you through the edits, your hopes & fears & try to point you in the right direction.

Currently, both of the key players involved in Pen Parentis Literary Salons are available as mentors. Each is a parent, has workshop experience in addition to their Columbia University MFAs and has won multiple awards. (Click on our names for our full bios):

  • M. M. De Voe (Founder of Pen Parentis, fields of expertise include: experimental fiction, literary fiction, genre fiction, flash, writing communities, ran the online workshop department of Our Stories Literary Journal for five years.)
  • Christina Chiu (Curator of Pen Parentis, fields of expertise include literary fiction, essays, flash, curatorial skills. Was an editor at Tin House!)

We offer three levels of advice:

Full mentorship: up to 25 pages of your novel or your best short story with 2 revisions – back and forth over email –  followed by a two-hour conference in person (if possible) or by phone/Skype to be completed within one calendar year, with ability to continue the relationship over email – $499 ($399 for all levels of Title Membership in good standing)

Moment with a mentor:  A single one-hour conference via phone/Skype after reading 25 pages of your work, no editing – $299 ($199 for Title Members)

Just some good advice: First five pages manuscript critique via email: $199 ($99 for Title Members)

We want to see you writing with purpose.

If you are interested in a real writing relationship with a mentor, give us a try. Click here to request a mentor. 

All Pen Parentis Mentors have won at least one writing award (scholarships/fellowships/grants/prizes etc) and all mentors have at least one successful publication in their field/genre written since becoming a parent

Or is it a knowledgeable writer community you seek?

Maybe you just need a small group of fellow writer-friends who champion your writing and know what it’s like to try to keep a writing career going while balancing family obligations?

Can’t afford a one-on-one, yet desperately need accountability? Your Title Membership includes unlimited meetups!

Find a weekly MEETUP with other writer-parents – these groups really work! (link coming soon – right now you have to go on Facebook Events to find one)

We currently host meetups in Manhattan on Friday Mornings from 10am-12 and in Brooklyn on Tuesdays from 12-1. We are looking into a meetup in the Maplewood area of New Jersey. If you live in a place where you would like to host a regular meetup and you can find ONE other writer-parent (kids can be any age, just someone who has done it or is doing it now who is willing to lead the group with you) we are happy to train you on how we run these groups–and help you promote the group to find your local community! These Leadership roles are only available to people who have shown their commitment to the Pen Parentis mission through Title Membership – but Basic Members can drop in at any meetup with a $10 donation per session (and can convert to Title Membership by simply signing up here!)

We are here to help you find your writer-self, to help you decide what you want from your writing career, and hopefully, to inspire you to get back on track towards achieving those goals.

Contact us via this link and let us know what you need and that you’re ready to do the work to get that writing career back on track!