Mastodon The Writing Desk: Guest Post ~ A Kind of Mad Courage: Short Stories About Mothers, (S)mothers & Others

26 October 2015

Guest Post ~ A Kind of Mad Courage: Short Stories About Mothers, (S)mothers & Others

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Nineteen authors from around the world were given six weeks or less to produce “a story involving a mother somehow.” The result is a gorgeously eclectic collection of tales that will make you laugh, cry, and truly appreciate the “mad courage” of motherhood. 

Early in 2014, I saw a call for submissions to an anthology of short stories on the theme of motherhood. By chance I’d been working on something that I thought might fit, but I was fairly new to short story writing, so I ummed and ahhed as to whether I should submit it.

As I read further I discovered that the anthology would be raising money for the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation. They fund research into an autoimmune disease (NMO), looking for methods of prevention, treatment programmes and a potential cure (

I loved the idea of my writing contributing to such a good cause, but feared my story might not be good enough. The umming and ahhing continued. What was the worst that could happen? My story could be rejected, and I’d learn to cope with a bruised ego.

On reading the call for submissions again, I discovered that Francine LaSala (, the wonderful person organising the anthology, had lost her mother to an autoimmune disease and was putting the book together in her memory.

Feeling a strong wish to be part of something so personal, so heartfelt, I sent off my story.

A short while later, there was much dancing round the living room when an email arrived telling me that my story had been accepted. When I saw the calibre of the other authors involved, I felt proud and humbled to know that my little story was going to sit alongside those of authors who had already published a number of books. Many that I’d read and enjoyed.

I was in awe of how Francine, with the help of her editorial “partner in crime”, Samantha Stroh Bailey (, efficiently organised the editing and proofreading stages, gathered together blurbs, biographies and photos, and set up a website for the book ( Along with its super cover, the anthology was first published in April 2014 as an ebook and paperback. The result is a wonderfully eclectic collection of stories about motherhood. Some will make you laugh, others will make you cry.

Nineteen authors from different continents came together for this wonderful project. It was a privilege to be one of them. A Kind of Mad Courage is still available, raising money for its worthy cause, and can be purchased on Amazon.

Wendy Janes
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About the Author

Wendy Janes spends her time running her freelance proofreading business, writing novels and short stories, and volunteering for the National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service. She has recently published her first solo novel, What Jennifer Knows. You can connect with Wendy online and discover more about her writing via Twitter, her Facebook author page, and Amazon author pages (UK/US).

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