The Short Version:
- Write an original article for us on this topic.
- Deadline to submit detailed outline: Apr 2nd.
- Decision notification: Apr 3rd.
- Deadline to submit first draft: Apr 10th.
- Payment via Paypal: Within 24 hrs of final draft.
- Payment per accepted article: $100 + links + a shot at the annual bonus.
NOTE: If the dates above are in the past, please check back this page for future call-for-articles or sign up here for notifications directly in your mailbox. Thanks for your interest!
The Long Version:
A Fine Parent is an online community for parents who believe that Great Parents are Made, Not Born.
We focus on one topic at a time that can help us become better people and better parents. Each week on the blog I publish one in-depth article related to our latest topic.
Initially, I wrote all the articles for this blog myself. After sharing a few readers stories and guest posts however, I realized just how much we can all benefit from shared wisdom and diverse voices. Hence this call for you to write for us.
If you are constantly working on becoming a better parent, if you have a few hard-earned nuggets of wisdom under your sleeve, if you see another parent struggling and instantly empathize/connect, AND you can write… boy, have we been waiting for you!
What We Look for In the Articles We Publish -
- the article MUST offer practical and actionable advice/tips
- the article MUST contain personal stories and anecdotes that connect with the other parents in our community
- the article MUST be written in web-format (well-organized; skimmable; short paragraphs; lists and bullets when possible; custom illustrations like the one at the bottom of this article when possible)
- the article MUST include references to books, research or other authoritative references (you can even link to articles on your own blog as long as it is relevant and offers value)
- the article MUST be original and not published anywhere else before
- the article MUST contain the mandatory “2-minute action plan” (contemplation/reflection questions) and the “long-term action plan” (specific action to take over the next week) sections at the bottom of the article (see the bottom of any article for samples)
- Most articles on the blog are in the 1,500 – 3,000 words range. I prefer to stick to that range, but will make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Articles selected for publication will be paid $100 via paypal.
By submitting the article you agree that if your article is published, I will retain the rights to republish or reuse the material in the future, of course with due credit to you.
If you’re not familiar with the blog, please spend some time on this page to get a feel for it first. You may even consider joining our community and just watching what gets posted for a bit before you start writing for us.
If you keep those points above in mind as you write for us, I’m sure you’ll have a kick-ass article to share.
But is it the kick-ass-est?
On December 31st, if your article is at the top of our popular articles list, you’ll be the winner of a special bonus of $200.
Do you have it in you to get to the top? What would you do with an extra $200?
The gauntlet has been thrown… it’s your choice to pick it up.
How to Submit
- Send me an email with the article outline before the deadline. Include as many details as possible to help me make an informed decision (for instance, mention any background stories that you plan to tie in, a list of the practical tips that will be included, references that will be used, any books that will be mentioned etc.)
- If you have published online before, please send me a few links so I can get a sense of your writing style.
- If your outline is accepted, send the completed article as a word document before the deadline.
- Include the keywords “Kick-ass Article for AFP” in ALL your email subject lines. (I get a LOT of mail, so this is extremely important to ensure that I can respond to your promptly – Thanks!)
- Send the emails to sumitha @ afineparent . com (without the spaces).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How often do you issue call-for-articles?
Until April 2015, it used to be once a month. Now it’s less often. Here’s the reason –
In the April call-for-articles I received 104 submissions, and that’s without counting the dozen or so that were completely out of scope for this blog. I am very humbled by all your interest and beyond grateful for the quality of the articles you’ve been sending me – thank you!
That said, I had to face up to 2 things – (a) it was becoming unscalable – I just don’t have the bandwidth to go through 100+ outlines each month and (b) it was becoming very difficult – I don’t have the stomach of a seasoned editor to turn down good articles, but it is something that I must do because I have just enough budget to pay for 1 article/week.
So, now I accept more than 1 month’s worth of articles from each round of call-for-articles. What does this mean to you? Well, (a) on the upside, you have a better chance of getting published (b) on the downside, we’ll have calls-for-articles only once every 2-3 months and the time between accepting the article and it getting published is longer. I hope you understand and will continue to send me your best work!
2. I missed the deadline for this round, or the current topic does not resonate with me. Do you by any chance have a list of the future topics?
Yes, sort of. A Fine Parent has been evolving into a true community blog and the topics we cover now are picked by our readers through a survey. Here is a link to the response from our latest survey that should give you an idea of what we will cover next (please look at the bottom of this page to see what has already been covered).
3. How do you notify me about the outline?
I do my best to notify everyone of (a) the receipt of the outline and (b) the final decision. It will help immensely if you include the keywords “Kick-ass Article for AFP” in ALL your email subject lines. I receive a lot of mails and those words are part of an email filter that marks your mails as important so I can respond in a timely manner.
4. What kind of articles are more likely to get selected?
We’ve been doing this for a few months now, and a pattern is beginning to emerge. The articles that I end up publishing are the ones where I see that you personally relate to the topic you’ve chosen to write about and hence will be able to connect more authentically and genuinely with the reader.
For instance, if you are writing about how to teach kids to be compassionate, then either you’ve had to deal with your child acting unexpectedly mean, or your child has been a victim of bullying. Also, the “lessons learned” / “what I’m trying to do” / “what is working for me now” parts of your article tend to be much more real and not a riff off of a few Google search results.
Think of it… You are a parent too. Which one of these would you rather read — a preachy list of things of what you must do in any given situation, or a real-life account of what another parent did in a very similar situation, their thought process, the obstacles they came up against and how they triumphed?
5. Can I submit more than one outline?
No. Please submit only one outline. See #3 above. I’d rather that the focus be on quality than on quantity, and you send me that one article about the topic that most resonates with you.
6. My outlines was not accepted this time. Can I resubmit the same outline next time?
We take on a different theme each time, and so unless you re-position the article significantly, it may not work for our next call-for-articles. Also, we do call-for-articles once every 2-3 months. Rather than hold the outline until then, here are a couple of great lists to find a new home for it –
- 50+ Websites That Pay for Parenting Articles
- Submission Opportunities for Family/Parenting Articles (via beyondyourblog.com)
Alright, moving on…
The topic for this round of submissions is “Building Character.”
NOTE: We have covered this topic before and it is back by demand. So please check this before you submit your article to make sure there are no major overlaps.
If you are a long-time member of our community and have a feel for what works, please feel free to run with your own ideas.
On the other hand, if this is your first submission please pick one of the suggestions below that resonates the most with you and you have personal experience with. Anecdotes, unique perspectives and lessons learnt are highly valued, while hashed up lists compiled using Google search generally don’t make the cut.
We would love any articles where you can bring professional advice from your day job and apply it in a clever and practical way to our current topic — those are some of the most highly prized articles we seek out!
OK, here we go –
1) What is [Grit or Resilience or Integrity or Accountability], Why it Might be the Best Thing you Teach your Kids and How to Teach it
- The title says it all
- Pick either grit, resilience, integrity, accountability or any other complex character trait and focus the article on it.
- Must be backed by research references
- Include current/historical real world examples of fiascoes to drive the point home (ex. the Enron or BP oil spill scandals for accountability) if possible
- Include any personal anecdotes from your immediate/extended family if possible
2) The Marshmallow Test: Why You Should Say “In a Minute” More Often
What is the Marshmallow Test and How Knowing About it Can Make You A Better Parent
- An article about delayed gratification, marshmallow test etc.
- One possible structure for the article – intro with personal story that illustrates what delayed gratification is, followed by discussion of the marshmallow test and related research, followed by a short list of how to teach/improve delayed gratification in our kids.
3) 30 of the Best Family Movies for Sneakily Teaching your Kids about Honesty, Grit, Courage and More
- Short intro about how much your family loves movies and how you can put this love for movies to work for you
- For each movie in the list include
- 1-2 line synopsis
- The character trait it espouses
- 30 is just a random number I picked. You are welcome to pick any number as long as the list is resourceful and substantial
4) 50 Age Appropriate Character Building Activities
- List post along these lines – http://afineparent.com/building-character/teaching-kids-responsibility.html
5) 20 Good Character Traits you Should Instill your Kids Before They Turn 20
- Expanded list post with a short intro that includes a personal story (or an interesting anecdote) + few lines of explanation following each of the character traits listed, similar to this article – http://afineparent.com/be-positive/how-to-say-no.html
6) 10 “Character Flaws” You Should Ignore In Your Kids When They Are Young
10 “Bad” Character Traits that Can Actually be Good for Your Kids
- Expanded list post with a short intro that includes a personal story + few lines of explanation pointing to research following each of the “character flaws” listed. The character flaws could be something like “not sharing” or “telling lies” or “being too self-absorbed” etc. Each of these can be backed by research which shows that parts of the brain responsible for these character traits are not developed until later.
- Alternately, instead of focusing on “young” kids, you can make it apply to all kids — something along the lines of this article — http://lifehacker.com/top-10-supposedly-bad-personality-traits-that-can-act-1644852692. If you go this route, please make sure that the new article is significantly different from this one – this is just to illustrate what I (and IMO the readers of AFP) will like.
7) How to Respond When you Spot Character Flaws in Your Children
- Please take this route if you can lead in with have a powerful, compelling personal story that other parents can relate to (eg: http://afineparent.com/building-character/mean-kids.html)
8) 50 Etiquette Rules Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids
- List post along these lines – http://afineparent.com/building-character/teaching-kids-responsibility.html