The Short Version:
- Write a kick-ass article about: “Lighten Up!” (click here for more details)
- Submit it between: October 13th – 17th, 2014
- If your article is published, get paid: $100 (+ a shot at the bonus)
(NOTE: This section is updated on the 1st of each month with a new topic and a new submission window. Please sign up here to be notified about the updates and publication decision.)
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 each month that can help us become better people and better parents. Each week on the blog I publish one in-depth article related to the monthly topic.
Initially, I wrote all the articles for this blog myself. However, after sharing a few readers stories and guest posts, I realized just how much we can all benefit from shared wisdom and diverse voices. Hence this call for writers.
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’ve ever been frustrated enough to pull all your hair out and just in the nick of time had an “Aha!” moment, if you see another parent and instantly feel an inexplicable sense of connection, AND if you happen to be a writer as well… boy, have we been waiting for you!
A few things to keep in mind as you write your article –
#1 Please remember that you are writing for busy parents.
- Please make sure that the article offers practical and actionable advice/tips/inspiration. Time is a very precious commodity for members of our community. So, please respect the time we spend reading the article by helping us walk away with something valuable.
- The article must be skimmable. We would like to read every single word, but honestly, most of the time it’s just not an option. So please, organize your thoughts in logical sections with descriptive sub heads. Keep paragraphs short. Use bullet points and lists. If possible, include illustrations like the one at the bottom of this article.
#2 Please remember that you are writing for smart parents.
- Include references to books, research or other sources if possible. Sometimes, we like going down little rabbit trails in our own quest for knowledge… so please share your sources.
- Don’t insult our intelligence. Please, no hand waving, opinions stated as facts, theories without solid backing, and such.
- Surprise us with something new. We really, really do NOT like rehashed articles.
- Or help us see something old from a fresh perspective. For instance, discipline is a very common concern for most parents and we love reading about this topic. If you can bring a different perspective to the topic or a fresh point of view that will help us see some the things more clearly or differently, we’d love for you to kick start a conversation.
#3 Please remember that you are writing for human beings.
- Include personal stories and anecdotes. Yes, we are smart and like our facts, but we are also parents who have too many things on our minds. If you just give us the list of facts, I’m afraid we don’t have much room in our overloaded brains for it. So, please, wrap up the wisdom in stories that will tug at our heartstrings and stick in our minds.
- The articles must be original. Please keep the trust and share something that you’ve personally written and is not published elsewhere.
#4 Finally, while we’re not married to it, there is a certain preferred style that we’re used to.
- Most articles on the blog are in the 1500 – 2500 words range.
- Most articles include references to research sources or books related to the topic.
- Most articles include a 2-minute action plan (contemplation/reflection questions) and a long-term action plan (a gentle nudge in the right direction) at the bottom of the article. (See this for example.)
- Contextual in-content links to other articles on this site, and to articles on your site, that can add value to the discussion is highly encouraged.
- Promotional links or links that are not directly related to the topic being discussed should be reserved to the bio.
- You are welcome to send in illustrations or personal photographs that I can include with your article if you wish. If you prefer that I use stock photos however, I’ll download them for you (please don’t send any creative commons images).
- And don’t forget to send in an interesting bio!
If you are not familiar with the blog, please spend some time on this page to get a feel for the themes and the related articles we’ve covered so far before you begin writing the article.
If you keep those points above in mind as you write, and pour your heart out, I’m sure you’ll have a kick-ass article to share.
But is it the kick-ass-est?
Let’s make this whole thing a little more fun. In addition to the $100 payment for the article, and the links within the content and the bio, here’s a chance for you to claim an extra bonus (and the bragging rights).
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? Pay off the Christmas bills sooner? Get a gym membership just in time for the New Year? Or will you use it to just beef up your rainy day fund?
The gauntlet has been thrown… it’s your choice to pick it up.
How to Submit
- Send your article as a word/rtf/txt document
- Send your article only during the submission window listed above
- Include the keywords “Kick-ass Article for AFP” in your email subject line
- Upload a cool photograph of yourself to gravatar.com and let me know the corresponding email address
- Send the email to sumitha @ afineparent . com (without the spaces)
NOTE: I’ve been at inbox zero for some time now and I rely heavily on email filters to keep things that way. Please honor the submission instructions or I may not get to see your article. Thanks in advance!
I will review the articles during the 2 weeks following the submission window and let you know by the end of the month if your article is selected for publication. I may request you for edits or additional information. I almost always end up making a few edits to the articles – most of it to the title, intro and the conclusion – so it fits with the culture and expectations of the broader AFP community. Also, 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, the author.
Please sign up here to be notified about the publication decision, if you haven’t already done so!
The topic for this month’s submission is “lighten up!” and we will focus on how not to get so caught up in the business of parenting that we forget to have fun along the way! Please include your family’s experiences and any related research throughout the articles you submit. Here are some suggestions to get you started, please feel free to come up with something else altogether as long as it still falls under the umbrella of “lighten up” -
- personal stories of how you realized you need to lighten up + takeaways for the readers
- playful parenting (how did the book help you + overview, insights and lessons)
- the art of roughhousing (here is a beautiful example of how you can write a thorough article on this simple topic!)
- role of humor in parenting
- an essay about the different parenting labels (“helicopter parent”, “tiger mom”, “free-range parent”, “Positive parent”, “Attachment parent” etc.) and how it is OK for us to be a little bit of each on any given day and why it is not an either/or prospect
- how to encourage kids to succeed (at school, sports etc.) without putting excessive pressure on them and stressing them out
- <X> ways to yell less and have more fun (ie, how to handle discipline without getting all worked up)
- 20+ ways to lighten up your family and build strong family ties (something along these lines but without overlap)
- how to make holidays less stressful and more fun (these articles will go up in November, so something along these lines will be very timely)
- an essay that encapsulates “Perfect is the enemy of good” and “good moms have sticky floors, dirty homes, messy kitchen, piles of laundry and happy kids”