Call for Submissions for the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series 2018
Opening the Frontiers of the Unsayable: The Children’s Book That Showed You the Way


My mother often signed her letters, “That’s all from Cowboy Small.” The final line of Lois Lenski’s book of the same title, my mother read the book to us as kids. After reading one of her handwritten letters, I had this image of a tiny cowboy with his ten-gallon hat, a wavin’ and a hollerin’ to me at the end of the page. I loved it. I love it to this day, how she kept that semaphore of happiness going for so long.





Marilynne Robinson, in “When I Was a Child I Read Books,” wrote,

“The frontiers of the unsayable, and the avenues of approach to those frontiers, have been opened for me by every book I have ever read that was in any degree ambitious, earnest, or imaginative…”

Books open us to unforgettable frontiers. They mark us; mark our language, and the communal language of family. Whether by the books you were read to or the books you read night after night, something of that potent medicine remains. For the past 5 years Out of the Mouths of Babes has collected work by women from inside motherhood. This year, we invite you to create from those literary frontiers.
What books carved in to you as a child or as a mother? What remains in you, what do you refer to, what serves as a code for certain understanding with you and your children, or your partner?

  • Here are the standards:
    • Submit writing 300-1200 words in length to with “Out of the Mouths of Babes” in the email subject line.
    • Writing should be clean and well edited, in a Word document.
    • Include author bio, links and photograph, and illustrations in jpg format.
    • Any other work may be delivered in the best digital format you have access to. Images in jpg. Video in a YouTube or Vimeo format.
    • You retain all rights to your work. If your work is published elsewhere, please indicate it was originally published in the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series.
    • Once your work is published, please share the post to your social media networks, to your family, to your readership-wherever they may roam.
  • Here is what I will do:
    • I retain the right to decide to publish your submission. I will let you know via email.
    • I will keep the Out of the Mouths of Babes posting schedule to at least 2 a month.
    • I will promote the post on all of my social media platforms, to the readership of my website, and various groups to which I belong, and continue to promote this blog series in the work I do in the world.

Questions? Please email me with Out of the Mouths of Babes in the subject line. Initial publication on my website is February 1, 2018. Rolling submissions of new work may be made until August 1, 2018.  Posts will be published through August.