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Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  76 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
USE YOUR WORDS introduces the art of creative nonfiction to women who want to give written expression to their lives as mothers. Written by award-winning teacher and writer, Kate Hopper, this book will help women find the heart of their writing, learn to use motherhood as a lens through which to write the world, and turn their motherhood stories into art. Each chapter of U ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Viva Editions
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Literary Mama
Use Your Words is directly addressed to writers who hope to tell their motherhood stories in ways that are resonant and meaningful. Hopper herself is aware that writing about motherhood may be, as she says, “an uphill battle to get it taken seriously,” one she has struggled against. In her own writing life, Hopper faced down that struggle by continuing to write herself and by encouraging her own writing students – often mothers – to craft these stories themselves. What emerged from those session ...more
Alison Lee
Apr 05, 2013 Alison Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For every mother who wants to write, a must-read. I know I will go back again and again to Kate Hopper's wonderful book, full of useful advice and writing exercises and prompts.
May 07, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2012-list

I got this book through the Amazon Vine program, though I've stopped getting as many books (or even really looking at the books available) because, well, I am buried in books. (I'm not complaining, mind you.) Plus there are tons of other cool things I can get through Amazon Vine, so why add to the books I can't get to yet?

This book, though, caught my eye and I broke down and ordered it. I'm a writer, after all, and a mother! This book looked like it was for me! was. I'll admit, I was a
Apr 30, 2012 Damla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So you’re ready to tell the world a story. Your plan is a gifted, cunning, picturesque chronicle of the comedy and drama called ‘life as a Mom’. Before you start, you might want to check out a book called “Use Your Words” by Kate Hopper. This bestselling author is much like a director, as she escorts and guides you through assignments to make you a better writer. Sadly, writing about motherhood and children is sometimes looked at as a lackluster genre. Kate Hopper shows how to give your memoir c ...more
Kate Vogl
May 15, 2012 Kate Vogl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been recommending this to all the mothers I know who write. Kate knows how to bring forth a writer's sense of humor and empathy and how to encourage a writer all along the way. A must have for any mother writer's book shelf.
Sep 27, 2014 Carin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Kate Hopper's "use your words" is a great guide for mothers getting (back) into creative non-fiction.

Kate shows the budding mama writer how to write a compelling story. Each tip/ chapter is backed up with examples and writing exercises, with additional prompts at the end of the book. Being a busy mother herself, she also dispels some of the common writing rules in favour of more mama-friendly ones.

I loved this book. Like many mothers I feel compelled to remember/ write down the stories of pregn
Jun 11, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 40-for-2012, writing
Well, I finished reading—now to get writing. Actually, the book already got me writing with Kate Hopper's online book tour. I've flagged a bunch of exercises for days when I don't know where to start or when I need something different.

The book reminded of the lesson I've already learned about what you are writing about and your real subject and made me think about voice differently.

Aside from the writing advice, I loved a lot of the pieces she used as examples.
This is a good guide for a beginning writer, particularly those who want to transform their own musings on motherhood into more polished prose. Based on Hopper's classes she has taught at the Loft Literary Center, this would be a good book to give to those who might not have access to her in person.
Stephanie Friant
Feb 19, 2014 Stephanie Friant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: Addie Zierman
Just love this writing workshop/mothers' group in the form of a transportable, go-at-your-own-pace book. For any mother interested in writing about being a mother - even grandmother's/guardians/aunts/Dad's? - this is a must read.
Mar 06, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was only pages into this book when I felt like I had come home. I dreamed of writing about my mothering experiences and Kate's book, followed by her online course have led me to do it.
The book is filled with inspiring examples from mother writers and stimulating exercises.
Mar 15, 2013 Marisha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I want to learn how to be a good writer and "use my words" well...and for the glory of God. Sadly, the swearing and taking the Lord's name in vain in many of the memoir excerpts repelled me. I only made it half way through when I decided that I'd had enough.
Sep 24, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I found this book to be very helpful. It gave me many new ideas and tips to try when working on my writing. While I'm not sure that I will ever be a true writer, I feel that if I did choose that path this book would definitely be a helpful tool.
Emily Cook
Oct 31, 2014 Emily Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
This book is impossible to finish- I cannot read a chapter without being inspired to write, write, and write some more!

This book now has a permanent home on my writing shelf, and I will refer to it often. I highly recommend it!
Karla Archer
Apr 22, 2013 Karla Archer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing, faith
I've enjoyed working through this book. I've never had great recall of details (more the overall feeling of the experience), so it's been really challenging to get through some of it, but I needed the challenge!
Karna Converse
Feb 14, 2013 Karna Converse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great resource for writers who are first, and foremost moms. Filled with tips and exercises for both getting started and for polishing drafts into something that's publishable.
Audrey Lawrence
Oct 26, 2012 Audrey Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very inspiring for moms wanting to tell their story for personal or professional work. A must for bloggers, especially for the mom-tots blogs.
Oct 03, 2012 Ami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
While I enjoy Kate Hopper's writing, I do not think I enjoyed this book as much as everyone else did.
Matt Rydeen
Sep 27, 2015 Matt Rydeen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful. Very human and relatable.
Kathryn Whitlatch
Sep 25, 2012 Kathryn Whitlatch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great inspiration.
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Kate Hopper is the author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers. Kate holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, and a Sustainable Arts Grant. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including Brevity, Literar ...more
More about Kate Hopper...

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“Motherhood is exactly the kind of “special circumstance” that lends itself to memoir. It is a time of transition and sometimes a period of intense identity struggle: Who am I if I spend all day shirtless, trying to nurse a colicky baby? What happened to my former life, my former self? How do I balance my own needs with those of my family? I am drawn to all kinds of motherhood memoirs because I am interested in the different ways that women process the challenges and joys of motherhood, and how they write about life in general through their mother eyes.” 0 likes
“When you say you’re writing about “motherhood” some people assume that the story—if indeed there is any story at all—will consist only of sleepless nights, diaper changes, nursing debacles, and tantruming toddlers. They assume if they opened your book they would be sucked into the minutiae of daily life with children.” 0 likes
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