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Writers' Guide

Dear Writers,

We are currently accepting most submissions on spec; in other words, we generally need to see a finished (or nearly-finished) piece before agreeing to publication. Stories with the following qualities are particularly attractive to our publication:

LOCAL
We look for stories with quotes from experts or parents in the Greater Sacramento region, or even a sidebar with local resources or related/upcoming event(s). Click here to see our calendar

TIMELY 
Remember when… the vaccines-and-autism debate was all over the news? Hazardous toys were turning up in every store aisle? Research came out on the effects of BPA? The Sacramento Children’s Museum announced it would open in 2010? (The list goes on.) Sac Parent offered coverage and local resources to our readers on all these topics and more, oftenweeks or months before many larger publications had answers. And we continue to strive toward serving up all kinds of stories to help parents—particularly moms—make sense of the latest issues, for themselves, their families and their communities.

ENTERTAINING or COMPELLING
Pretend you’re a smart, hip mom with a great sense of humor, a sensitive side, and way too much to do most days. (96% of our readers are women, and over 80% of them are college-educated.) You’re probably sleep-deprived and uber-busy. Ask yourself: would I have to read this? What would compel me? And what would I get out of it?

Answers to your FAQs:

LEAD TIME
Our editorial is planned around two to three months in advance. Issues are generally "put to bed" by the first of the month prior to publication (i.e., we finish up selections for the June issue in April, the October issue in August, etc.).

LENGTH
• 300-500 words for short articles
• 600-900 words for medium-length articles
• 1000+ words for long features (usually only allotted for narrative or in-depth stories)

PHOTOS
Able to provide great photos along with your words? You rock! If we can use them (i.e., they're attractive, hi-res and BIG enough), we generally offer additional payment, and, of course, photo credit.

PAYMENT
We have a limited monthly budget, and our rates vary (from $25 to $45 for reprints to around $50 to $200 for original articles) depending on the fit for our publication, and the amount of journalism, research, or travel, etc. required by a story. Not to mention how much additional work it needs before it's ready for layout. Whenever possible, we are happy to help new and emerging writers build their skills and portfolios, and we can offer pointers on picking up reprint fees in the parenting publications market. (Note: If you’re submitting with an asking price, please include online rights fees.)

EXCLUSIVITY 
We require regional exclusivity (usually 6 months-1 year). If you submit a piece to multiple publications within the Greater Sacramento region, please ensure that it does not run in parallel publications within that time frame. We will notify you of intent to publish well in advance; if you agree, and you have submitted the piece to other local publications, please retract it from those other guys.

Note: Editorial staff has the right to edit copy and make final decisions on page layout. We are not able to provide writers with final drafts before printing.

 

Thank you so much for your time, hard work and talents, 
and for your interest in contributing to Sacramento Parent magazine!

Shelly Bokman

Editor-in-Chief

Sacramento Parent,
Dandelion & The Source Book
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