Women Helping Women
Call for Submissions
Anthology about life, love and change in our 40s
By: Molly Rosen
On the morning of my 40th birthday, I got up early and had a rare hour of reflection by myself. I wrote out all the major events of my 20s, listing my early jobs, my education, the various places where I lived, getting married and starting my career. I labeled that decade “20s: Discovering.” Then I did the same for my 30s: having kids, building my career, etc., and labeled it “30s: Building.” Then I wrote “40s: ?” What was this going to be about?
I thought I’d check out what other women had written on the topic, so I did an Amazon search for women in their 40s and came up fairly empty. I wanted to connect with other women like me, to learn their answers to the questions percolating in my mind: Is turning 40 really a rite of passage for women? Is it different for women than for men? Is 40 really the new 30, and if so, is that a good thing? What else was going to be significant about turning 40 other than starting annual mammograms and worrying about perimenopause?
I first went to my own inspirational group of women. Now I’m expanding the search to women across the country who want to be part of this important project. We are publishing an anthology of personal essays, currently called Laugh Lines, by women from a variety of backgrounds. In this book, 40-something women tell it straight about what it means to be in your 40s. They talk openly and honestly about work and family, sex and divorce, new confidences and lingering doubts. This anthology will consist of 25 to 30 personal essays combined into one print title for publication in fall 2008.
This book is not preachy, and it’s not trying to advance an agenda. It’s about talking about what’s real, what we’re feeling, what we’re experiencing in this amazing decade of our lives. The hope is that, as women, we can learn from each other, gain insights into our lives based on others’ experiences and develop a better understanding of others through these candid stories.
Money from book sales will first be used to recoup expenses, including a launch party for the contributors to promote connection among this fabulous network of women. Net proceeds will be donated to a not-for-profit organization that supports finding a cure for breast cancer and access to care during breast cancer treatment.
How to Contribute
We are looking for help in two ways:
- Developing a fantastic title. Please send us ideas if you’re a creative type. We’ll make sure to credit you as the inspiration!
- Getting the word out for submissions (see below).
The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2008, and we will announce the final acceptances by June 1, 2008. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please put “Laugh Lines Submission” in the subject line.
All essays should be written in the first person, with an honest, informal tone. Each will be 1600 to 2000 words (four to five pages, double-spaced). Each contributor will title her own essay and submit a short (one paragraph) bio about herself.