Meet all the Pen Parentis Staff Members

Pen Parentis is a federally recognized 501c3 nonprofit literary organization. At this time, everyone who works for Pen Parentis is a volunteer. We give our time freely because we have a passion for books, a passion for writing, and a passion for making the world better. Get to know us!

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Milda Motekaitis De Voe (author name M. M. De Voe) is the founder and executive director of Pen Parentis. Her 10+ years of experience co-hosting the monthly Pen Parentis Literary Salons are detailed in the new memoir/how-to: Book & Baby: The Complete Guide to Managing Chaos and Becoming a Wildly Successful Writer-parent (It also includes many stories from the Salons and Tricks and tips for productivity alongside the every-age child.) Five Pushcart nominations, two Editor's Prizes, a Shirley Jackson Award, a distinguished alumna award, a few arts grants, two children, and several publications later, De Voe continues to seek the balance between family and a successful writing career. She holds an MFA from Columbia, where she was a Writing Fellow under Michael Cunningham. She also was a fellow at the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia. Suppose you have an extra minute: like her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. See her author page at for links to writing and author events. Her debut story collection, A FLASH OF DARKNESS, was published by Borda Books in April 2023!

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Christina Chiu, has been curator and co-host of the Pen Parentis Literary Salons for more than five years. She is the author of Troublemaker and Other Saints, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2001, and the winner of the 2015 Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts (administered by the Asian American Arts Alliance). She has published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Tin House, Charlie Chan is Dead 2, Not the Only One, Washington Square, and Acorn. Her writing accolades include the Asian American Literary Award, the Robert Simpson Fellowship, the Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club; she won the New Stone Circle Fiction Contest, won second place in the Playboy Fiction Contest, and was nominated for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award. Chiu is one of the Founding members of the Asian American Writers' Workshop. She judged the 14th Annual Asian American Literary Award in 2001 and served as a fellowship panelist for the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2004. She received her MFA in writing from Columbia University and teaches at Hudson Valley Writers Center. If you know of an author who is also a parent whom you would like to suggest for our Salons, please email Christina at info(at) After winning the James Alan McPherson Award, her second novel, BEAUTY, was published in May 2020 and was listed by Kirkus as one of the best reads of 2020. Follow Christina's progress on her gorgeous author website.

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Jackie McDougall is our Communications Director. Jackie is an experienced IT Consultant and Manager with over 24 years of experience in IT and software testing. Currently engaged as Associate Director for QA and Agile Strategy with IQVIA, she has previously held senior roles in roles with Aegon, Sopra Steria, and Initiative Software. She has presented at the User Conference for Advanced Automated Testing (UCAAT) and EuroSTAR Testing Conferences throughout Europe and was a committee member of the Scottish Testing Group until moving to the US. She has published various articles on testing, business intelligence, and test data privacy. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and a Master of Science in Information Technology, both completed at Glasgow University. She grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, and is married with two boys. Now living in Princeton, New Jersey, she enjoys running, learning to play drums, drawing, cooking, and reading.

Mary Harpin

Many thanks to our former Director of Research Initiatives, Mary Harpin, who is also a poet and a freelance digital storyteller. Mary lives in Colorado with her husband and two daughters and took a year to interview many of our past writer-parents about their needs and means of coping. Find the interviews on this website and read her fabulous chapter summing up her findings about writer-parents and how they manage their resources in M. M. De Voe's book. We are so grateful for all of her help.

Need some content marketing strategy work or writing done? Check out her firm!

Want To Help:
PEN PARENTIS is a federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit arts service organization. Contributions to PEN PARENTIS are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


We are also looking for eight board members with the capacity to give both resources and knowledge to make Pen Parentis fully sustainable. Is this you? Contact Milda through this website or at mm (at)

No time? Please donate to keep the Pen Parentis Literary Salon alive. This one-of-a-kind reading series is run primarily on donations from readers like you. No amount is too large or too small. One-click (and a valid credit card) is all it takes.

Your donations help keep this unique literary project going strong. Please note that writers who are also parents who donate $150 or more (as monthly membership or as outright donations) may contact us and request we add their headshot and writing bio to our growing list of Pen Parentis Authors. Thank you for your support!