The Short Version:
- Write an original article for us on this topic.
- Deadline to submit detailed outline: Oct 12th.
- Decision notification: Oct 19th.
- Deadline to submit first draft: Oct 26th.
- Payment via Paypal: Within 24 hrs of final draft.
- Payment per accepted article: $100 + links + a shot at the annual bonus.
- Articles will be published in: Nov/Dec/Jan
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 the interest and beyond grateful for the quality of the articles you’ve been sending me – thank you!
That said, I have to face up to 2 things – (a) it is becoming unscalable – I just don’t have the bandwidth to go through 100+ outlines each month and (b) it is 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. 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.
3. 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?
P.S.: I was fortunate to have a chat with the wonderful Susan Maccarelli of Beyond Your Blog about all things related to the editing process here at A Fine Parent. Give it a listen if you’re interested: How to Get Published on A Fine Parent [26:23 minutes]
4. 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.
5. 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 now. 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…
These topic for this round of submissions is “Raising Strong Kids”. We will run 1-2 holiday articles as well – please look at the last 2 suggestions on the list below if you are interested in these.
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 –
(At the risk of being very repetitive, for all the suggestions below, please remember to include:
- As many examples and personal anecdotes from your family and friends as possible
- Links to authoritative references that support your points, with at least one of them pointing to a respected research study or published book)
1) How to Raise Bully-Proof Kids
- You can either focus on “how to make sure your kids don’t get bullied” or “how to make sure your kids don’t grow up to be bullies”. If you can combine the two into one article and have a well-rounded intro about parental involvement and bullying behavior, followed by a section for each, that will be even better!
2) How to Raise Kids Who Want to Eat Healthy
- The focus of this article should be on motivating kids to want to eat healthy rather than sneaking in greens into pizza or something along those lines
- If you can expand on the article and make it about overall healthy lifestyle (ie, healthy eating, exercise, managing stress etc.) that’ll be even better!
3) How to Raise Emotionally Strong Kids
- We’ve run the theme “emotional intelligence” before, and it was very popular. Please take a look here to make sure that you don’t have a huge overlap (small overlaps are OK, as long as the article focus is different from something we’ve published already). You can pick any particular focus other than “bullying” for “emotionally strong kids” since I plan to have another article exclusively about bullying.
4) Teaching kids to deal with stress
- An intro about the kinds of stress our generation faced vs what the current generation of kids face
- Different ways to help kids learn to deal with stress
- This will preferably be a list post
- Also, focus on stress and not failure since I plan to have another article exclusively about “dealing with failure”.
5) Teaching kids to deal with failure
- I’ve published a similar article before in the context of “mindset”. Make sure your article doesn’t overlap with the previously published article
- Also, focus on failure and not stress since I plan to have another article exclusively about “kids and stress”.
6) Learning to get along with people
- An intro about why this is important
- You can either make this as a general article or model it as a “Lessons for Kids from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People”
- Another option might be to focus on communication skills and nuances
7) Raising brave children (or Raising open-minded children)
- You can go with any definition of “brave” or “open-minded” (or an equivalent trait)
- Explain why it is important, followed by a list-style how to
8) Raising kids with a positive attitude
- I plan to position this as “the secret for shielding your child from depression for life” – so please write the intro accordingly
- The more research studies you can include about positive thinking into this article, the better
- Will need to have a list-style “how to” that caters to encouraging positive attitude specifically in kids
9) Teaching kids about positive body language
- Intro about why/how body language matters
- How to teach this to kids (maybe broken down by age – example, simply encouraging younger kids to maintain eye contact, teaching polite interruption rules etc., followed by more complex body language tips for tweens and teens?)
- If you can make this into a long list post like this or this, it will be awesome!
10) Teaching your kids to handle awkward situations
- The title says it all
11) Raising your son to be a “Real Man” and your daughter to be a “Real Woman”
- This one’s deliberately open. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with
12) Gift ideas for the holidays
- Rather than a generic list, I want something with a spin – ex. “gifts that don’t cost money” or “The best educational toys” or “toys that encourage cooperation instead of competition”. So go ahead and pick something you are passionate about and hit me with it
- This has to be a long list of at least 50 items along the lines of this and this, preferably broken down by age like these as well
13) New year’s resolutions
- Again, rather than a generic list, I want something with a spin – ex. “best resolutions for positive parents” or “resolutions that the whole family can try together” or “resolutions for kids” etc.
- Again, this has to be a long list of at least 50 items along the lines of this and this, broken down by age if applicable