Friday, June 10, 2011

Writer Guidelines: Today’s Parent (Canadian Authors)

Today's Parent seeks Mom and Parenting Articles of National Scope – Send a Query today!

Update February 2014

Todays Parent, Changes Writer Guidelines!

When checking the links on Writer Pressed, I discovered Todays Parent had changed their Writer's Guidelines drastically. Now there is very little specified as to writers guidelines on the Today's Parent Website. You can see what I mean here: The previous Writers Guidelines were very specific, and prescriptive, so if you do not hear back from Today's Parent after sending in a submission, you may find the former Today's Parent Guidelines may help you craft a wining pitch:

Today's Parent - Previous Writers Guidelines

Today’s Parent wants Samples of Previously Published Work

Audience: Parents in Canada with children up to the age of 14.
Tone:  Positive and supportive, yet realistic.  Informative without being dictatorial.Invite parents to adopt suggestions that may work for their families.

The magazine embraces a gentle, nurturing parenting style that respects each child's unique personality. We understand the normal developmental needs and limitations shared by all children as they grow. rely on parent’s anecdotes and experiences as sources of wisdom in our  for change around social issues that affect the quality of family life.
Departments Assigned to Freelancers
Your Turn (every issue): a first–person forum for parents to share their experiences. Please note that we prefer to reserve this column for our readers rather than professional writers. (700 words; $200)
Mom Time (every issue): recognizes that mothers are women, too, and deals with topics not directly related to parenting, including health, fitness, wellness, relationships, beauty and fashion. (Word length varies – usually 500-700 words)
Education (every issue, except possibly July and August): tackles both straightforward subjects – helping with homework, field trips – and controversial or complex topics such as French immersion or phonics vs. whole language. The writer should avoid taking an academic or politicized approach. Education issues (e.g. standardized testing, public vs. private schools) are also occasionally covered in feature articles. (Word length varies – usually 500-700 words)
Health (every issue): deals with common health issues affecting children – how to take a temperature, common baby ailments, ear infections – but also includes some investigative topics (e.g. are parents overusing the hospital ER?) The tone should be helpful, not alarmist. Health issues (including controversial ones) are also occasionally covered in feature articles. (Word length varies – usually 500-700 words)
Behaviour (every issue): focuses on child development and discipline. Again, experiences or problems common to many families are preferable to extreme cases. We're looking for a supportive, constructive tone that acknowledges a variety of parenting styles. (Word length varies – usually 500-700 words)
Money (every issue): covers family finance issues, such as banking, budgeting, saving and investing, as well as how to spend smarter. (Word length: 500 words)
Today's Parent runs features of varying lengths in each issue, with a balance between the practical and the reflective, the light–hearted and the investigative. All articles should be grounded in the reality of Canadian family life. Without claiming to know all the answers, we try to leave the reader with a sense of positive direction.
Feature topics can include such diverse stories as the evolving role of fathers, choosing the discipline technique that's right for your child, dealing with picky eaters, postpartum depression, returning to work, sex after childbirth, birthday party ideas, surrogate motherhood and child poverty. With some topics, the writer's personal experience as a parent adds a rich layer to the storytelling.
Word length and fees vary depending on the length complexity of the story – usually 1,500 to 2,500 words.
How to Submit Queries
Send a detailed proposal by e-mail, or mail rather than a completed manuscript (except for Your Turn). If it's your first contact with us, enclose samples of previously published work.
Queries should have a specific hook, not just a subject area (e.g. the pros and cons of the family bed, not just "kids' sleep") and should have wide appeal for a national audience (camping in New Brunswick is too local; coping with cystic fibrosis too specialized). Please indicate the word length you consider appropriate for the story.
Please note that if we are interested in your story idea, we will contact you within six weeks. Mailed queries should include a stamped, self–addressed envelope.Today's Parent accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material.
Because we promote ourselves as a Canadian magazine, we favour Canadian writers.
Writers new to Today's Parent may be asked to write their first article on spec, especially if they have limited experience writing for consumer magazines.

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