room around the campfire

When I first came to Glow in the Woods, it was after months of feeling apart from the world. My daughter died. I fit nowhere. I didn't fit with the forums from the pregnancy sites I frequented. They were riddled with God's plan, angels, and a faith I just couldn't muster anymore.  Those words felt like walls, keeping me away. Then a link to Glow in the Woods fell into my inbox. I was suddenly reading words that could have come from my own brain if only I were eloquent enough, or funny enough, or strong enough. But it was about me. It was for me. I cried out of sheer relief. I suddenly felt a part of, rather than apart from the world. Glow in the Woods became my community. Glow in the Woods became my tribe. We are a people.

A year later I sent in my writing during an open call for regular contributors. I was afraid I wasn't talented enough or insightful enough, but I just told me story, the way I tell my story. I sidled up to the campfire, writing about my dead daughter, ritual, Buddhism, my grief, my love, and my anger. I felt warmed by the open flame and your support, a strange and intense heat after such a cold, lonely walk in the dark woods.  Later, when Kate stepped back as editor of this space, she asked me to step in to welcome newcomers to our woods, guide regular contributors, keeping the original vision of this space alive. I feel more than honored.

Voices of our regular contributors are heard here every month on our front page, and other voices from the tribe in the comments and incredible forums are the very lifeblood of this place. It is the ebb and flow of voices in this space that gives it a kind of vibrancy and life that seems surprising, given what we are writing about.  We are having a conversation. We ask questions. We gain insight. We share our perspectives. We cry together. We question everything. We learn more about our relationship to ourselves, to the world, to life, to death, and to grief. It is never just me sharing, or him, or her, it is all of us talking.

I am often asked how we chose regular contributors to share their voice monthly here. Regular contributors at Glow in the Woods have been selected through a variety of ways throughout the years--open calls for writers, favorite blog writers among the Medusas, or a writer being suggested by our readers. Julia was among the early writers at Glow in the Woods (She published the fourth post on this site). I was selected during an open call process in 2009, like Jess. Others were selected by recommendation, or connection, or popularity in the babylost blog world. Recently, we have been thinking about all the amazing writers in our community. We have consistently maintained seven regular writers at Glow in the Woods since its founding (give or take one). Recently, we have decided to add another regular contributor--you.

By that, I mean, we have decided to add guest writer position to appear once a month. We used to have nominations for awards at Glow in the Woods as a way to read the amazing posts in our community, but it became too much work. Again, we have traditionally chosen guest writers among the community of babylost bloggers whom we read on a daily basis. But there are too many blogs for us to read, too many amazing voices, too many strong writers without a blog, too many people who get overlooked not on purpose, but because we simply cannot keep up.  So twice a year, Spring and Autumn, we will be selecting six pieces by six different writers representing six different perspectives. These pieces will be published once a month for the Summer months (June through November), then again, after another call for writers, in the Winter months (December through May).

We ask that you follow our guidelines for submission and read through the work on this site to get an understanding of the kind of writing we publish here. Work must be submitted using our submission form. This submission form will remain active until April 27, 2012, when the open call for guest post submissions will be closed. If you have any questions, please comment on this post, or send me a private email here

You can submit your essay for consideration here.  And thank you for being part of this amazing, supportive community.