Motherhood & Words

Thanks to all of you for your kind birthday wishes for my grandpa. He’s had two lovely parties so far and one more tomorrow. (It makes me tired to think about three parties. Imagine doing it when you’re 102.)

I’m pleased to announce that I have Kris Woll here at Mother Words today. Kris is a local Minneapolis writer and mother. She writes the blog A Little Practice, and is about to re-launch Parents with Pens, a local writing group for parents.

KH: Can you talk a little about Parents with Pens?

KW: Parents with Pens is a free writing group for parents who write and/or writers who tackle parenthood as their subject. It is casual and meant to be very supportive — the kind of place where you can read something your are working on and gather a little feedback, float a few ideas, ponder where you might go with what you are working on. It is also a place to read and discuss some of the great work that is out there on the topic of parenthood. And I hope it’s a place where a group of writers can really connect and get to know each other.

Parents with Pens is one of the Open Writing Groups that The Loft Literary Center hosts each month. The Loft kindly provides a space — their cozy book club room — where interested writers to gather and talk and read and support each other. Like all the Open Writing Groups, Parents with Pens is free and convened by a volunteer facilitator. And really it’s low commitment — once a month, 90 minutes.

KH: What was the impetus for starting this group?

KW: I first created Parents with Pens in 2009. Then I was still relatively new to Minneapolis, just emerging from the fog of early parenthood, and really eager to connect with other parents and other writers. In PWP’s first incarnation, a small group of us met through most of that year sharing our works-in-progress, but for a number of reasons (you know them — no time, too much work, stuff to take care of at home, general craziness of life) the group took a break for most of 2010.

This fall I took a writing/reading course at the University of Minnesota, and it was so nice to meet with other writers to read and discuss. As it came to a close it occurred to me that it was very worthwhile to get the PWP group started again. And here we are, about to get started …

KH: How do interested parents get involved?

KW: The group kicks off on Monday, January 24 at 7pm. For more info, including how to sign up (for this group and others) visit The Loft.

And hopefully, Kate, you might agree to be a special guest at one of our meetings!

KH: I’d be delighted, Kris! Thanks for being at Mother Words today! Head over to The Loft if you’d like to sign up for Parents with Pens.

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Emma on January 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    This sounds very cool! I just started a little writing group this winter, and I have already found it so rewarding. I will help spread the word.

  2. K. Woll on January 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks, Kate and Emma, for your help getting the word out!