Write for Us: Contributor Guidelines
Thanks for your interest in writing for The Write Life!
The Write Life seeks practical, actionable advice on writing — pieces that will help writers on their own writing journey.
Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about submitting a blog post for consideration to The Write Life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I write about?
To get a sense for the type of work we publish, read our site!
As you can see, our posts cover all areas of the writing life, including: freelancing, marketing, blogging, publishing and the craft of writing.
Here are some topics we’d love to publish more about:
- How to earn money writing — our best posts include the author’s experience and advice or feature another writer who has been successful
- Advanced tips for freelance writers, including strategies for earning a living as a freelancer
- Ideas for running and growing your own blog — unique ideas we haven’t heard before are best
- List posts a la “34 Travel Magazines and Websites That Pay Freelance Writers” and “15 of the Best YouTube Channels for Writers”
- Advice from people who work in the writing world: editors, literary agents, publishers, illustrators, etc. If that’s you, we’d love to hear what you have to say!
- Tips and tricks for traditional book publishing and self-publishing
- Stories of writers who have seen success… a la “This Writer Used X to Earn X This Year”
- Personal essays on writing like this post: “How Anne Lamott Helped This Woman Beat Writer’s Block”
Should I pitch you my idea before writing the post?
Sure! Pitch your idea by emailing our managing editor Jessica Lawlor at email@example.com. (Note that we can’t guarantee publication though until we review a completed submission. We’re happy to evaluate your pitch though before you get to writing!)
We also consider fully-drafted pieces.
When will I hear back from you after I send my pitch?
Please allow up to two weeks for our managing editor to respond to your pitch.
Have any tips for ensuring my piece is a fit for The Write Life?
- Please write in the “you” voice as much as possible, then support your advice with personal experience or stories.
- Posts should be written in blog style, with short paragraphs, numbered lists, bullets and lots of white space.
- Including a few sub-headings is much appreciated (we love to use H2!)
- Only one space between sentences, please!
- We know the Oxford comma is a hotly-debated topic in the writing world, but we follow AP Style and therefore ask that you don’t use the Oxford comma in your submission.
How should I submit my post?
Please submit your post as a Google document.
We use Google Docs because it allows us to easily collaborate with several people without passing around new versions of a Word Doc. If you’ve never shared a Google Doc before, here are easy instructions. (Don’t forget to give us editing power.)
Tip: It’s best to create your post as a Google Doc, rather than uploading a Word Doc to Google. Sometimes if you take the latter route, we can’t edit even if you tell the doc to allow us to do so.
How long should my posts be?
Aim for 800-1,000 words.
Do you pay?
First-time contributors to The Write Life are provided a link to their website or portfolio in lieu of payment. Repeat contributors may elect a payment of $75 or a link in their bio. We see about 450,000 page views each month and have 40,000 email subscribers.
Should I include links within the piece?
Yes. Please include links that will be helpful and relevant for the reader – they can be to an appropriate post on your site or on any other news site or blog. We ask that you include at least two links within your post to other posts on The Write Life.
Insert links in your copy via anchor text or keywords, for example, like this if you’re writing about networking. No HTML, please!
Should I write a headline?
That’d be great! We reserve the right to tweak it for SEO, style or just to make it more attention-grabbing.
Did you know? We actually write approximately 10-15 headlines before choosing one for a post. If you want to suggest one or two potential headlines, that makes our job easier!
Will you edit my post?
Yes, we’ll edit for content and clarity, doing our best to preserve your voice. You’ll be able to see our changes in your Google Doc and we’ll often work with you a few weeks ahead of your publishing date on edits.
Can I repost my submission on my blog?
No. If we run your post on The Write Life, we retain the rights to that content. We don’t allow republishing on your own blog or any other website. (Did you know reposting content can hurt SEO traffic results for everyone involved? We try to keep it tidy around here.)
Are you definitely going to publish my piece?
We reserve the right to not publish your post if we decide it’s not a strong fit for The Write Life. You are then free to publish it elsewhere.
Should I include a photo?
No need. We’ll add one.
What about my headshot?
Our system uses your email to grab your headshot from Gravatar, so make sure your photo is uploaded there.
What should I do after I submit my post?
When it runs, we hope you’ll be active in the comments, responding to readers’ questions or thoughts. We also hope you’ll share your post on social media!
We look forward to your contribution!
Ready to pitch your idea or submit your post?
Jessica Lawlor, Managing Editor
Before you submit, please run through this checklist. Did you…
- Add your name, email, website, and Twitter handle to the top of your post?
- Include your one-sentence bio at the top of your post? (HTML, please, if you know how!)
- Add at least two links within your post to other posts on The Write Life? (Use relevant keyword anchors like this.)
- Turn your post into an editable Google Doc? (Because Google can be finicky, that means creating your post as a Google Doc — cutting and pasting if you’ve written it in Word — rather than uploading a Word Doc to Drive.)
If so, you’re ready to submit!
Please share your Google Doc or send your pitch to our managing editor Jessica Lawlor at firstname.lastname@example.org.