Share Your Story
SHARE YOUR STORY WITH THE CENTER FOR CHILD-SAFE DIVORCE
Are you a parent who is currently experiencing, or has gone through divorce and custody process? Perhaps you are a friend or grandparent and have great insights and tips on co-parenting success or horror stories? You may not even consider yourself a writer, but have something amazing to share that can change someone’s life. We love personal stories, and we’re always on the lookout for great ones. Really great essays share these qualities (see below for more explanation): 400-800 words, maximum. Include photos. Make it relevant, interesting, personal, and unique. If it wreaks of self-promotion, or SEO-related stuff, please don’t bother submitting.
Please email us the following if you’re ready to submit:
- Your full post with a working title. Please send this within the body of an email.
- Any relevant images for your post. (Please send as separate files, not pasted within a doc). Please only send images that you own.
- Your brief bio (less than 120 words) with links to your website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and/or Twitter pages. Please put any relevant links in brackets like this both in your bio, and in the piece: [http://facebook.com/LoveBeforeLaw].
- Please DO NOT hyperlink ever.
- A headshot or photo of you to use for your bio, preferably with a white background.
TIPS TO WRITE A GREAT PERSONAL ESSAY
- Stay focused.
Keep the spotlight on one time in your life. If you’re writing about when you in love, don’t mention all your relationships in this essay; stick to one important time in one relationship. And keep it on the shorter side. CCSD essays are about 400-800 words long.
- Include a perspective shift.
Great essays illuminate how you’ve changed in one area of your life. Usually this requires some growth in how you view the world, so let us see that transformation! If you begin at Point A, your essay should wind up at Point B.
- Don’t leave us wondering about your motivations.
Your choices are what make you interesting. Let us into your thought process.
- Be really specific.
It’s ironic, but the more specific you are about your life, the more your story will resonate with others. For example, it’s stronger to say “i remember the first argument we ever had. We were in a little corner Mexican restaurant, it was hot and…” than to say, “I remember our first argument.”
- Be, well … personal.
The more honest and vulnerable you can be about your struggles and victories,
Here’s what you need to know:
- Word count: No minimums but essays typically run 800 words. Posts longer 2,500 words will be considered, but must meet extraordinary quality and impact controls to be considered (it takes a lot for someone to read through 2,500 words!).
- Tone: Inclusive, accessible and generally positive.
- Original Content: We ask that posts submitted be unique and original to CCSD. We do not accept posts that have already been published or submitted elsewhere online (not even on your personal blog) or that you plan to distribute to other websites.
- We are not interested in SEO-driven submissions: If you work for a content farm or are writing articles for the sole purpose of linking up keywords in an effort to boost SEO or to plug a product or brand name in a post, we are not interested. If your submission or bio references or promotes a business or service that is not in line with our philosophy (e.g. a calmer, more beautiful way to go through divorce), then we are not interested.
- Bio and promotion: Since we do not compensate contributors for posts, we’re more than happy to include a byline and your brief bio containing links to your website, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts, which we will promote when your post goes live. Please keep your bio to just 2-3 sentences.
- Claims: If you mention a statistic or a study in your piece, please include a link to that source. If you’re claiming that a certain communication technique works for instance, tell us how you know. Ideally you’d link to peer-reviewed scientific papers, academic journals, and/or credible news outlets. This way, readers can follow your line of thinking and investigate further if they want to know more.
- We love connecting with new contributors. While we will cover an insane amount of ground, CCSD consists of just a few people. As such, sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to respond to all submissions. We can assure you, however, that we carefully read every single submission that we receive. If your post has been accepted, we will respond within 21 days.
- Please only submit one post at a time: You’re welcome to submit again with a different post after you’ve waited 21 days.
- By submitting to CCSD you acknowledge that give CCSD full permission to use your submission and you agree to our terms, and that you accept any form of editing that might occur on behalf of the CCSD editorial team.
- Click through below to find out more about our submission process, including contact information for submissions.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN SUBMISSIONS – Maximize the Chance of us Posting your work
- We love posts that help our readers grow and feel inspired. While there aren’t strict guidelines about the type of posts we feature, we find that motivational pieces, advice pieces, and personal essays about a major transformation do well. Advice pieces typically provide tips to improve happiness, relationships, parenting, co-parenting, communication, stress reduction, high-conflict diversion and divorce submissions do well. Pieces with specific lists of action steps also resonate with our readers.
- Photos: All contributors are encouraged to submit photos with their posts. These should be at least 850 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall (bigger in either direction, or both, is fine). We love photos that are interesting, bright, in natural light, and ideally with as few distractions in the background as possible.
- Photo guidelines: In an effort to keep our photos consistent in style, please keep in mind the following when submitting:
- Photos work best on our website in landscape format.
- We prefer photos taken in natural daylight.
- Neutral backgrounds work best.
WHY WRITE FOR CCSD?
Here are a few reasons why you should share your ideas at the Center for Child-Safe Divorce:
- You’ll change lives.
Our community is passionate about children! They’re eager to learn how to live their healthiest lives as parents, share tips with friends and clients, and discuss ideas here on the site. Writing for CCSD gives you a chance to be part of this discussion, and to shape the way divorce is perceived around the world.
- You’ll reach a global audience.
Once your piece has been accepted for publication, we’ll do our part to make sure it reaches as many people as possible. In addition to posting your work on our home page, we share most posts on Facebook, Twitter and put promotional dollars behind posts with Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, etc. Published pieces will also live in our library of parenting, co-parenting and divorce content.
- You’ll work with top-notch editors.
Our team of professional editors will work with you on your piece and give it a title to help it get seen by the largest audience possible. They’ll also choose the most high-quality photos to make your work look great!
4 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE SUBMITTING TO CCSD
1. Is my piece inspiring, informative, and/or educational?
Posts featured on CCSD are positive and informative. If your piece is snarky or sarcastic or angry it’s probably not for us.
2. Has this already been covered on the CCSD?
We will feature a wide range of topics on CCSD and we have a large library of great content. How can your essay add to what’s already there? Perhaps your submission can elaborate on one aspect that didn’t get a lot of attention or your personal experience gives a unique perspective.
3. What’s a great title?
Remember: our readers are busy. A good title has the potential to grab their attention and make them want to read your piece. If you’re stuck trying to create one, ask yourself: What problem does my article solve? How will reading this article make someone’s life better? How would I explain this to a friend?
4. Is my first paragraph succinct?
You only get one chance to make a first impression! Does your introductory sentence make the reader want to continue? Does your first paragraph tell the reader very clearly and succinctly what the article will be about?
4 TIPS TO WRITE A GREAT POST
Here are few pointers to keep in mind when writing for CCSD.
1. Write in your own voice.
Your essay is YOUR story. A great essay will sound like a real person wrote it, and it will have a distinctive voice. If you’re not sure what “voice” means in this context, think about it this way: how would you explain your idea to a good friend? Use that conversational tone when you write!
2. Keep it short.
These don’t need to be long posts! Just 800 words is great! If you’re going to offer tips, include a short introductory paragraph at the top of your post explaining why you’re offering this advice. Did you struggle to understand the issue and want to share your knowledge?
3. Delete needless words.
Sometimes people use several words when just one will do the trick (kind of like this page!). We recommend taking a look at your piece to make sure you’re only including words that are absolutely necessary. Then, take a second look and act like you are being charged $1000 for each word… is there a better word? Can you say it more succinctly?
4. Stick to plain English!
Many people who visit CCSD are new to the concept of divorce and co-parenting, so we prefer to use plain English when describing terms.