ASJA Direct: Writing About Parenthood With Purpose

Writing About Parenthood With Purpose

Books about parenting are a booming market. This podcast explored authors’ paths to publication and options for publicity during a pandemic. An agent and podcast host weigh in. 

The podcast covered:

  • Each author’s path to publication
  • What it’s like publishing a book on parenting during a pandemic
  • Publicity options for authors
  • An agent’s viewpoint

Click here to access the recording

Estelle Erasmus an award-winning journalist and writing coach, has written forThe New York TimesThe Washington PostTheWeek, InsiderNewsweek, and more. She hosts/curates the podcast, ASJA Direct: Inside Intel on Getting Published and Paid Well, is an adjunct writing professor at New York University (NYU) and an ongoing guest editor forNarrativelyShe also teaches forWriter's Digest and writes a column for Forbes. Estellecan be found on her website,on Twitter, and Instagram.

Leila Campoli began her publishing career at Palgrave Macmillan, where she was an editor on the Business, Economics and Finance list, after graduating with a BA in English Literature from Boston University. She joined Stonesong as an agent in 2015 and was listed as a PW Star Watch 2017 Honoree. Primarily focused on adult nonfiction, Leila is committed to championing new and minority perspectives, counterintuitive ideas, and unique style. She handles writers of science, business, memoir, lifestyle, self-improvement, history, current events, and pop culture. She’s particularly interested in books that offer a window into remarkable lives and little known operations. Many of her clients are published in multiple territories.

Amy Klein is the author of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind (Penguin/Random House, April 2020), which is in part based on her New York Times "Fertility Diary" column about her three-year journey through IVF and to have a baby. Her writing has also appeared in Modern Love (2x), Draft, The Washington Post, Slate, Newsweek, The Forward, Contently and more.

Sarah Menkedick's second book, Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America, is forthcoming from Pantheon in April. Her first book, Homing Instincts (Pantheon, 2017) was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her work has been featured in Harper's, Pacific Standard, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Guernica, Oxford American, Gay Magazine, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review Daily, Aeon, Buzzfeed and elsewhere.

Julianna Miner is the author of Raising a Screen Smart Kid: Embrace the Good and Avoid the Bad in the Digital Age.She’s also an adjunct professor of Public Health at George Mason University and the writer behind the award-winning humor blog Rants from Mommyland. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, ParentsMagazine, The Today Showand many other places. She lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her three kids, two dogs and one husband.

Zibby Owens is the creator and host of award-winning literary podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”She hosts frequent author events including book fairs and salons. A mother of four and a writer herself, Zibby has contributed to Redbook, Marie Claire, Parents, Huff Post, the New York Times online, What’s Up Moms, Kveller, Shape, SELF,and many other publications. She has been called “NYC’s Most Powerful Book-fluencer”by Her podcast was selected as one of Oprah Magazine’stop 21 book podcastsin 2019. She has appeared on CBS This Morning, ABC-7, Good Day LA and NY1. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, she previously worked at Unilever, idealab! and other start-ups. She currently lives in New York with her husband, Kyle Owens of Morning Moon Productions, and her four children, ages 5-12.

Jen Malia, Associate Professor of English at Norfolk State University, is author of the children's picture book, Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism, (Albert Whitman, April 2020), illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. She has written essays for the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Woman’s Day, Glamour, SELF and others. Find her on Twitter at @jenmaliabooksor visit her website at

Read 26 Tips from Editors (from ASJA Direct)
Follow Estelle Erasmus on TwitterFacebookInstagram and on her website for publishing advice and editor interviews
Register for Writing Parenthood at New York University (Summer 2020)
Read Estelle’s ASJA-award winning article In The New York Times (How to Bullyproof Your Child)
Follow Estelle on Her colum: The steps and stories of side hustles and second careers.

Register for Estelle’s Writer’s Digest Classes:

Bootcamp Pitching course  
Writing the Personal Essay
Getting Started in Writing

Leila Campoli

Literary Agent, Stonesong
Twitter: @Lwcampoli
Instagram: StonesongNYC

Amy Klein

The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind (Penguin/Random House)

Find her on: Instagram Twitter Facebook

Jen Malia

Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism
The New York Times Understanding Autism 

Sarah Menkedick

Link for Ordinary Insanity
Instagram is @familiasantiago
Twitter handle is @sarahmenkedick
Website is

Julianna Miner

Author, Raising a Screen Smart Kid (2019), Tarcher Perigee/Penguin Books

Blogger, Parents Magazine’s funniest blog, Rants from Mommyland


Zibby Owens

Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books With Zibby Owens

Twitter: Zibby Owens
Instagram: Zibby Owens
Storefront on to raise awareness for all the books that released in March and April.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson