What we publish

At Motherwell, we publish four categories of writing:

Personal essays: We are looking for evocative first-person narratives that have a unique focus, or take a novel angle, on a slice of the parenting experience. We are open to a range of styles and tones: the only requirement is that the essay works on its own terms—be it lyrical, humorous, research-oriented, etc—and conveys something fundamental about its writer. Up to 1,200 words.

Opinion pieces: This is your take on a newsy, topical or controversial issue. We want tight, well-argued pieces that combine anecdote and analysis to make a strong case for a particular point of view. Examples include why you won’t let your daughter play with princesses or dress your twins the same. Up to 1,200 words.

Dialogues: This is our section dedicated to genuine conversation on the more controversial parenting topics. Our dialogues can take several forms: two or more contrasting opinions; two or more different perspectives on an open-ended question; a back and forth discussion; a Q&A. Here you can pitch ideas as well as full drafts, and we would love it if you came ready with a partner—another parent, your teenager, your spouse!—though it’s not necessary. Up to 1,000 words for each essay.

Dilemmas: This category allows you to raise a parenting quandary that solicits reader feedback. The nature of the dilemma should be set out clearly, with careful attention to the writer’s personal pros and cons, and any additional mitigating factors. The dilemma will then be polled and discussed in the comments section. Examples include whether to let your ten year old have an Instagram account or insist your friend’s children refer to you as Mr. or Mrs. Up to 800 words.

How to submit

Motherwell is a publication that tells all sides of the parenting story. We care deeply about our writers and our goal is to share your work in its most perfect form. To this end, we ask you to submit final drafts of only your best—most polished and incisive—writing. We are tireless editors and, if your essay is accepted, we will make sure the finished product is something you are proud of.

We pay for all pieces. We are looking for original submissions only and very rarely publish lists. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback.

For time-sensitive articles, email us directly at, with the word “timely” in the subject line.