Pen Parentis, Ltd
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Pen Parentis is a new nonprofit that provides critical resources to writers to help them stay on a creative track after starting a family. Headquartered in New York City, our reach is global through our networking website which features unique parenting-and-writing resources and through a growing list of cities that host Pen Parentis Literary Salons. We envision a global arts community that values the hard work and dedication required to balance a creative career with raising a family, thereby enabling writer-parents to thrive in their creative careers with the full support of the arts industry at large. Our Salons (currently in NYC and LA) celebrate the success of diverse writers who are also parents while building communities of writer-parents to encourage the production of quality written work. Our annual Writing Fellowship awards a prize, publication, and a year of mentoring support to a writer-parent of merit. On the horizon is a Research Project that will culminate in a data-driven book on best practices of writer-parents. Our core values are: COMMUNITY (writer-parents network to form and join communities to workshop or safely discuss the issues that affect them) PROFESSIONALISM (producing new creative works and literary events of the highest standard) BALANCE (supporting quality of life for every creative writer who is a parent) and INCLUSION (serving diverse writers of all levels and genres while embracing all manners of family).
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Fighting against a damaging stereotype (“Sins of the Father: do great novelists make bad parents?” by James Wood, The New Yorker, July 22, 2013), Pen Parentis Literary Salons strive to re-examine the idea of writer-parent. Salons are held at convivial locations and feature trios of readings, lively roundtable discussions moderated by pairs of parent-authors, mingling and book signings. Events are free and open to the public: Monthly in NYC at the glamorous Andaz Wall Street (which provides complimentary refreshments including wine) and biannually at the famous Last Bookstore in LA. We plan expansion to other cities soon! Authors present readings in curated groups. Discussions center around time management and craft. We strive for parent/authors who break stereotype. They do not necessarily write about parenting. They are great writers who also have children, such as: Kelly Link, Jennifer Egan, Darin Strauss, Victor LaValle, Emily Raboteau, Lev Grossman, Mahogany Brown, Jessica Hagedorn, Ed Lin, Arthur Phillips, Whitney Terrell, Sarah Langan, Austin Ratner, Elissa Schappell, Cara Hoffman, and more than 300 others. Salons offer mainly literary fiction, but occasional themed events feature poetry, historical fiction, horror, memoir, or other genres. We also partner with nonprofits that promote high caliber writing such as Tin House, PEN/America, Brain/Child Magazine, and Vermont Studio Center. All are welcome at our Salons.
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We are excited about our project, and we hope you are too. Any suggestions, partnership proposals, or other comments you'd like to share with us are more than welcome. We look forward to hearing from you!
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