S169. Write Like a Mother*: Parenting as a Second Act for Women Writers

Gold Salon 4, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor
Saturday, April 2, 2016
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


The mother figure looms large in literature, but does becoming a mother have equal sway over the established writer’s work? These panelists discuss how becoming a mother after establishing their careers has affected their creative process, writing, teaching, and the reception of their work. Does motherhood make one’s writing more or less empathetic, creative, or critically viable? Texts about writing and motherhood that have inspired (or horrified) these writers are also discussed.



Elyssa East is the author of Dogtown: Death & Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, Nonfiction winner of the 2010 PEN New England/LL Winship award. Her work appears in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Al Jazeera America, the Oxford American, and elsewhere. She teaches at NYU Gallatin.

Lizzie Skurnick is the author of That Should Be a Word, a collection of neologisms based on her New York Times Magazine column of the same name. She's also the author of Shelf Discovery, a paean to the books of her youth. Her YA imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, reissues classics both old and new.

Robin Beth Schaer’s first book of poetry, Shipbreaking, received the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize. She has been a fellow at Yaddo, Djerassi, Saltonstall, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bomb, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in NYC.

Jennifer Gilmore’s novel The Mothers is being adapted into a film starring Rachel Weisz. She is also the author of Golden Country, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and National Jewish Book Award, and Something Red, a New York Times Notable Book. She teaches at Harvard University.

Irina Reyn is the author of the novel, What Happened to Anna K and the anthology, Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden State. Her second novel, The Imperial Wife, is forthcoming. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center