Pre-1940 women’s stories sought

HADLEY — A grant from Saratoga Arts is enabling a local author to publish an anthology that will bring forth women’s voices from the past. Approximately 15 stories written by women living in New York State about their foremothers will be selected for a book titled “Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting.”

There’s an interesting twist: The stories are to be written as if told by the women themselves — first person, present tense.

As the editor of this anthology, Patricia A. Nugent, author of the book They Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad, is seeking interesting true stories in a foremother’s voice about a certain time in her life before she becomes a wife and mother. Submissions should showcase how she asserts herself at a time when women’s voices are often silenced, her success against the odds, or her disappointment over unrealized aspirations.

Having had many of her own creative nonfiction stories published, Nugent believes using the foremother’s voice in present tense will give these stories a sense of timelessness and immediacy. “I imagine they’ll read much like diary entries where the woman recounts a watershed moment in her life. Our focus is on women born before 1940, between the first two waves of feminism. They suffered much disappointment, but some achieved significant accomplishments that often went unacknowledged. This anthology is intended to increase awareness of our foremothers’ journeys as they blazed trails for us to follow.”

All submissions meeting the guidelines will be blindly reviewed by an 8-person editorial board. Authors chosen will be invited to participate in a creative writing seminar and a book launch party in Saratoga Springs before the end of the year. They will also receive a copy of the published book.

All submissions are due by May 31. More specific guidelines should be reviewed at

This project is made possible by Saratoga Arts with an Individual Artist Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, email