NEMLA 2021: Women of a Certain Age Writing About Women of a Certain Age

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Betina Entzminger/Bloomsburg University
contact email: 

Older women's contributions to art and intellectual pursuits are often under-valued in western culture. Many contemporary women writers challenge our perception of their abilities and worth by continuing to produce award-winning fiction about aging women as they themselves age. Writers such as Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates and Isabel Allende have all continued to write well into their sixties and seventies, and their focus on complex older female characters creates a counter-narrative to the popular conception that they are no longer relevant. This panel invites proposals that examine the literary contributions of contemporary women writers over sixty who focus on similarly-aged female characters. How do they portray aging women in ways that surprise and engage us? How do they help us see this demographic differently? Please submit a 200-300 word abstract of your essay to NEMLA portal: Questions may be sent to Tina Entzminger at