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Education & Outreach


Birthmother’s Day: Call for Submissions

From the Heart: Honoring Birthmothers, a Birthmother's Day 2021 Celebration

As part of our Birthmother’s Day event on Saturday, May 8th, we are putting together a video of poetry/ spoken word works written by birthmothers, and we are now open for submissions! This means you – if you are a birthmother, we would love to feature your writing in our Birthmother’s Day video. Poems can be either in written or video form – whichever format works for you is fine –  and should be submitted by April 30th.  

Does it matter which format I send it in?

No! Videos are great, but you can also send us a written poem, which we can incorporate into the video presentation in the form of slides, combining your words with beautiful graphics. It’s great for us to have a mix of both formats, so whatever works for you, works for us!

I’ve never shared my writing before. Any advice?

You will be sharing your writing with the most supportive group of women you can imagine, and each one of them understands your journey and is there to honor and support you. There is no buzzer; this is not a competition. It’s just a (virtual) room full of women who believe in you and want to hear what is in your heart.

I’ve never written a poem before. Where do I start?

No worries – our Associate Case Manager Shanyce Henley has you covered! If the idea of writing a longer poem seems daunting, watch her video about how to write a Haiku. Just 17 syllables and you have a whole poem! Despite their small size, Haikus are an immensely powerful art form, and a very fun form to play with, if you aren't sure where to start. Shanyce shares two of her Haiku in her video, and with just a few words, paints evocative and moving experiences for the listener. 

But it doesn’t have to be Haiku. And poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, or have complex structure to it, or sound like Shakespeare wrote it. Poetry is great because there's no one way to write it, and there is no ‘right way’ to do it. Sometimes there's punctuation, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes it's structured, sometimes it's free verse. Sometimes there are complete thoughts, sometimes it's full of run-on sentences.  Your feelings, your rules. If it comes from your heart, it’s going to be great.

Any guidelines for submitting a video?

Yes! We have three simple rules:

  1. Record your video using a horizontal/landscape format (hold your phone sideways).
  2. Position yourself in a well-lit area with the light directed at you and from above. Avoid having light behind you.
  3. Be someplace quiet.

We cannot wait to see what you create, and to show you your work as part of our Birthmother’s Day video. Select poems may also be published in our upcoming birthmom journal. Please submit by April 30th, 2021, and don’t forget to check out our event page, which has all the registration details, including a place to register to receive (or give) our limited edition Birthmother’s Day 2021 Bracelets. Whether or not you submit your writing, if you are a birthmother, please join us on May 8th.

Thank you for recognizing the importance of post-placement support: