Who We Are
Who is the Scribente Maternum community?
"Caring for myself is not an act of self-indulgence, it is self preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." -- Audre Lorde
This is the type of self-care we create within Scribente Maternum: powerful, revolutionary, necessary self-care.
Because when we restore ourselves, we also take responsibility for each others' emotional health and support one another in that revolutionary process. We recognize that all mothers are in need of self-care inside a real, supportive community.
In a time where revolution is happening all around us, we are also trying to parent and work and cope and create change. This calls for collective care.
We are proud of the change our events and experiences bring to mothers' lives. Our retreats allow us to rest and restore and give us the headspace to create. Our conversations on craft give us the tools to attack that writing once we have the headspace to do so.
Our online community serves as a platform to let us stay connected between our live sessions. There, we find writing inspiration and connect with other writers throughout. Our online community also includes affinity groups based on lived experiences, identities, and interests (such as Black motherhood, Indigenous motherhood, LGBTQ+ parenthood, antiracism in parenting, mothers of color, grandparents, non-traditional maternal roles...). We know that motherhood and writing never happen on a schedule or when you're ready. This space is waiting for you when inspiration strikes.
What does a Scribente Maternum event look like?
Large group gatherings, small group support
Large groups with renowned authors, artists, and other creatives lift up your spirit and inspire your creativity. Small groups offer you the space to dive deeper into your writing.
Tone and space to create the head space for writing
One of the major challenges we as parents face is finding the "head space" to write. We not only help create that space, but we also empower each other to find it at home.
Time to write
You can't have a writing community without...writing. Because every writer comes to us with a different writing goal, your writing time will be tailored to what you hope to gain from the experience. But we are not a writing workshop. You do not need to share what you create, unless you choose to.
Movement and self-care
We recognize the mind-body connection to our writing practice and our self-care. This includes yoga, meditation, or meditative walks.
Other creative disciplines
Our retreats also involve other creative arts as a source of inspiration, such as music, visual arts, or cooking.
Connection to place
In-person retreats ensure that the place in which the retreat is held is an intrinsic part of the experience. And we especially recognize and honor the Native lands on which we retreat and restore ourselves.
Experienced facilitators and presenters
Facilitators and presenters with both subject-matter expertise and lived experience share wisdom. Each retreat offers something new, so come back each time knowing that you'll get something fresh from the experience.
Both virtual and in-person retreats are sure to create strong connections: between you and other writers and between you and your writing. It's a launching point to create a life-long community of support.
Justice and equity
These themes are a central aspect to Scribente Maternum, both through our retreats and within our community. We seek to amplify and connect with writers and creators of color, both to center their wisdom, expertise and joy, and also to recognize the unique and imbalanced set of burdens those mothers carry.
In an attempt to elevate all voices, we offer You-Deserve-to-Be-Here funding packages for those in the global majority, people with disabilities, and anyone experiencing financial hardship. Please tell us your story.
If you or your organization would like to contribute toward a You-Deserve-to-Be-Here opportunity and be featured among our sponsors, please contact us.
Scribente Maternum Co-Founders
In 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic and racial reckoning, a few moms went looking for some time away with a bit of creative inspiration. They were searching for uninterrupted time to write. Time to regroup. Time away from children (and grandchildren!) so they could be inspired by them again. When they saw that nothing like that existed, they created it.
Now, Scribente Maternum gives strong writer-moms like Rachel, Carla, and Elizabeth the space they need to tap back into their most beautiful creative selves.
Carla Du Pree
Carla Du Pree (she/her/hers) is a fiction writer, a Maryland state arts ambassador, and the executive director of CityLit Project, a nonprofit that creates enthusiasm for literature with three signature events: an award-winning day-long festival, the multi-day CityLit Stage at the Baltimore Book Festival, and a writer-to-writer exchange, CityLit Studio. She’s a recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, Rhode Island Writers Colony for Writers of Color, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She’s won a Rubys Artist Grant and an MSAC Individual Artist Award for her fiction. Excerpts from her novel have been published in The Pierian Literary Journal, Callaloo, Potomac Review, and two anthologies. She’s spoken on national platforms with Furious Flower Poetry Center, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, National Women’s Studies Association, Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and as a literary consultant for the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Carla was awarded NASAA’s 2020 inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the state of Maryland. She is the Maryland State Department of Education’s Arts Leader for April 2020, and holds a Master's in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She is the mother of three twenty-something-year-olds and the grandma of a beautiful grandson. Carla lives in Baltimore, home of the Nanticoke-Lenape and Piscataway Conoy tribes.
Elizabeth Doerr (she/her/hers) is a freelance writer who helps justice and equity-focused professionals and brands tell their stories. When she's able to carve out personal writing time, Elizabeth writes about food, travel, coffee, parenting, community resiliency, and social justice. She won a Maryland/Delaware/DC Press Association award for her 2015 Baltimore City Paper story about street harassment, "Stop Calling Me 'Baby." You can find her work in CityLab, Portland Monthly, and Baltimore City Paper among other publications.
Since her son, Finch, was born, she's dedicated approximately two hours (give or take a few) to sit down and write for herself. Elizabeth worked in higher education in the realm of experiential and social justice education for over a decade and she has frequently put her organizational and spreadsheet skills to work through event management. She has a few degrees, one of which is a Master's in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Elizabeth lives on the ancestral land of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Chinook, Molalla and the many other tribes whose traditional communities were along the Columbia River (currently known as Portland, OR) with her husband and son. Learn more at www.elizabethdoerr.com.
Rachel Berg Scherer
Raised by an English teacher, Rachel (she/her/hers) swore she would never, ever set foot inside a classroom. But after years working in public relations and communications, everywhere from from Capitol Hill to an order of nuns, Rachel found herself teaching tenth grade English and coaching Speech in Baltimore County.
When her oldest child was born in2012, Rachel turned her passion for writing (along with a sometimes-annoying ability to spot grammatical mistakes) into a career. She founded Midwest Writing and Editing in part to ward off the doldrums of full-time life with an infant, but also to tap into her life-long love of teaching, writing, and learning.
Rachel has gone on to write high school textbooks for courses such as Advanced Placement European History and Microeconomics, and she writes teaching materials for middle grade history and social studies. She writes a regular Feminist Parenting column for Rebellious Magazine for Women and has been featured in Solstice Literary Magazine and Minnesota Parent magazine. Rachel is also the creator of The Write House, which coaches writers of all levels to create better content in less time.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing and history from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and a Master in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She and her husband and two children live in her home state of Minnesota, the ancestral land of the Wahpekute, or Lakota people.