Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in writing for Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DC. This website is built to serve families and the health and wellness community in Metro DC and to increase the visibility of holistic living.

We are committed to helping natural-minded parents find the information they need to be happy and healthy. We want our readers to learn, to find their way to local connections, to be entertained, and, in most cases, to feel uplifted by what they read here.

Update December 2017:

This past summer, we featured several guests posts from authors who answered this call. Guest submissions were then closed.

Parents in DC, Maryland or Virginia may inquire about sharing a unique perspective that is not connected to a business, or about covering events or doing interviews on behalf of Mindful Healthy Life.

Local professionals in the health, wellness and parenting industries seeking guest posts and local or national brands that want exposure in the form of a blog post written about them should consult our Work With Me page where you’ll find information on rates for Sponsored Posts, Expert Guest Posts and Event Promotion.

**Other than posts by local parents and sponsored posts, guest posts are not currently being considered. Please refrain from writing to inquire unless you have some kind of service to offer the site or if you are seeking to pay for exposure.**

Learn about our past Partnership Opportunities and inquire about avenues for collaboration by emailing jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com.

For those needing guidance with writing and publishing, Mindful Healthy Life publisher Jessica Claire Haney offers a variety of services, including writing, editing, and consulting. Details can be found here.

For anyone interested in an apprenticeship-type arrangement, we would consider offering mentoring in exchange for receiving volunteer assistance with the site.

The information below is provided so you know our general policies. Please do not send email inquiries other than inquiries for paid collaboration or for summer guest posts of specific interest to DC-area families.

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Archival detail for reference only – no submissions accepted at this time

We consider one-time blog posts by local parents who are not affiliated with a business or organization. The ideas must be specific and relevant to our readers, and they must come with personalized queries to jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com. However, our lead time to consider guest blog posts is at three weeks, and we cannot publish everything that is pitched to us. If you are able to format your own post in WordPress and if you can offer some kind of assistance to the site, be sure to let us know at the time of your query.

Our website can also provide a platform for those seeking a wider audience. Writers who own a local business, work with a natural-minded company, or who represent an organization may write guest posts

Partnership levels are described in detail here. Email jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com for more information on collaboration.

For professionals who would like to be considered for a regular column, please see the Work With Me page.

For guest blog posts, we get a high volume of inquiries and cannot respond to all emails. You have the best chance of getting a response if the following criteria are met:

  • Content is very clearly directed to our audience of holistic-minded parents.
  • You live in the Metro DC area or can tailor your content to our local audience in some way
  • Mindful Healthy Life is mentioned by name and you show a clear understanding of our site. This means it is obvious you have actually read posts on this site and can tell us how yours will fit in.
  • Your writing has NO grammatical or spelling errors
  • You sign your full name and include links to your own sites and/or publications and your social media handles.

Email inquiries will be IGNORED if they

  • are not relevant to natural-minded parents in Metro DC
  • have grammatical and/or spelling errors
  • make no mention of Mindful Healthy Life and its Metro DC-area audience
  • do not include a full name and affiliation (if applicable) and a link to something relevant to identifying you. The link might be your website, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile or another piece you’ve published elsewhere.

By submitting a query or a proposed blog post to Mindful Healthy Life, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Please also keep in mind the following guidelines for submissions.

Submission Guidelines at a glance:

Length: 400-900 words

Deadline: Rolling. Guest posts should be submitted at least one full month before they need to go live.  Update November 2016 – no submissions currently being considered. See above.

Requirements: All posts must include strong and engaging links to any words or phrases with which readers might not be familiar. No need to hyperlink upon submission — just paste in the URL after the word or phrase to be linked.

All posts should have some connection to parenting even if the main focus is general health/wellbeing.

Posts with strong images provided will in most cases get posted sooner than submissions requiring stock images.

In your introduction, please state any timeline requirements. If you have a class or appearance coming up that your piece can promote, let us know up front.

Please include all links to social media presences you would like included in the piece. We expect that once the piece is published, you will share it with your networks.

Topics: Most anything related to health & wellness (with a focus on family, child or parents), mindful parenting, education (with a focus on health and/or eco-friendly initiatives), and indoor/outdoor environment (with an eye toward natural living)

Format: Open to many types of posts including

  • Top Five/Top Ten lists and other lists
  • personal narratives and testimonials/healing or finding-balance stories
  • profiles of people, businesses, and organizations
  • interviews and Q&As with people in health, wellness, education or eco-friendly living
  • tell-alls: behind-the-scenes/how-does-she-do-it or how-did-I-get-into-this-and-sustain-it-while-raising-a-family pieces
  • descriptions of a modality or activity and its benefits for parents, children, or families
  • event promotions
  • reviews of places, services, products, events
    • Disclose any affiliations or compensation from outside parties.
    • Promotions and giveaway tie-ins are welcome.

Images: If your piece is accepted, we will need at least two high-quality images, including one horizontal 600 x 391 dpi for the featured image. Stock images may be provided if necessary but are not preferred; we want to show a connection to place — a sense of being part of the DC-area community.

Compensation & Fees: No compensation. For those who do sponsored posts or who write as part of a partnership, Mindful Healthy Life provides promotion and exposure as described on those pages.

How to submit: Email connect (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com. Include your submission or query in the body of the email – no attachments until we ask for them. Queries should be short and with explanation of what you want to write, why you are the best person to write it, and why this is a good time for this post. You may also pitch a completed piece provided it has not run elsewhere or would be reworked for a local or current angle.

Want to know more about submitting? Read on for detailed guidance!

Submissions Detailed FAQ

Q: How long should my post be?

Between 400 and 900 words. Longer posts will be considered if they have bullet points or subheadings. Additional images help long posts. List are great e.g.“Top Ten Ways to …” “Five Reasons Not To …” “How to do xyz in 5 simple steps”

Q: What can I write about?

We are looking for posts on anything related to health & wellness (with a focus on family, child or parents), mindful parenting, balanced family living, education (with a focus on health and/or eco-friendly initiatives), and indoor/outdoor environment (with an eye toward natural living) See our site map for a list of categories.

Q: When can I submit? Do you have deadlines?

We consider submissions on a rolling basis, for anything timely, such as relating to an upcoming event, please reach out at least one month before the event. This site is managed by a busy mom, and “evergreen” posts may take several weeks and possibly months to be reviewed, accepted and formatted.

Q: Will you edit my work?

We’ll edit for clarity, and we may work on more substantive editing for flow and online readability. We want anyone to feel comfortable submitting regardless of experience or ease with the written word, but we do value good writing and will ensure that the piece is ready for prime time before it goes live.

Q: Do I need to know anything special about writing for a blog?

Consider the keywords people might search for when seeking a piece like yours and make sure those are in both your headline and your first line. Avoid cute, cryptic headlines or opening lines that will have no meaning out of the context of the site, or away from your piece.

Q: What do you mean about including links?

Readers want to know where else to go for information like yours and about the topics you’re discussing. Rather than assume that they know what you mean by the word “alkaline” — or send them off to Google the term themselves and find themselves at a site with less-than-great information — instead please do the work for them and send them to your favorite trusted source! Providing links to products, protocols, organizations, etc. is a key part of the service you are providing by writing something that will help people. Don’t strand your reader! Hold her hand and lead her to great sources of info that will change her life!

Q: Do I have to put on a happy face in my piece?

We do ask that you strike a positive tone. If you can’t say something mostly nice, don’t say anything, or at least not as your final word. You can certainly be funny and share frustrations, but that has to serve a bigger purpose of something that will be of value toward helping other parents.

If you’re writing about a healing story, it’s fine to talk about the rough place you were in, (or that a client was in, with permission). We just ask that you make it clear early on that the piece will show how you got to a better place. Things don’t need to be perfect, just better, and more informed. Bring the hope!

Q: What about sharing the names of businesses or organizations that helped my family?

A: We want people to find the resources they need, so please share and link! If you want to glow about how someone helped you, we encourage you to reach out to those people and see if they would like to tag on a giveaway or promotion to your piece.

We are not a review site. People can also seek out in-person conversations by connecting with people in person through Holistic Moms Network chapters or other moms’ groups, or they can reach out to individuals through the other family-oriented sites or the email lists we will include on our Around DC page.

We want to put positive energy out into the world through powerful narratives and information. We ask that you not name any businesses with which you were unhappy and that you don’t dwell on this aspect of your journey except to explain how a not-so-great experience helped you find what you did need somewhere else.

Q: Do I have to provide an image?

A: Please! We cannot consider posts that lack images. We like our posts to reflect a sense of place and connection to DC whenever possible. The author must own the rights to any images we use.

If your post relates to children, please do not share any images of children’s faces without permission from the parents (or the children if they are of age to notice and care!). Sure, there is no replacement for a toothy smile or look of wonder, but we want to respect parents’ desires for privacy. If you are not in a hurry, take the time to snap some shots of children engaged in an activity from behind, from above or in profile.

You might consider whether or not you want to share images of your own children. Many bloggers do, and many of us freely share photos on Facebook, but it’s worth considering if you might want to keep those images private when posting on a site that hopes to have broad reach to lots of strangers. We will not be able to honor requests to remove photos at a later time.

Q: Okay, now you’ve got me freaked out. Should I not write about something we did at my child’s school?

A: Really, it’s whatever you’re comfortable with. We feel we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that once you tell the world where your child goes to school, that information is out there. We will not be able to accommodate requests to change or delete information once a piece is posted.

If any of this gives you pause, it’s easy enough to just posit yourself as a local reporter-type sharing something of interest. Or use the past tense. Even if your children still go to a certain school, it’s not inaccurate to say they “went” there!

Q: Do I have to be local to DC to submit?

A: Our site is especially interested in profiling local DC-area businesses in the health and wellness communities and in the areas of parenting, education, and outdoor exploration. One of our main goals is to help people find what they need in this community.

However, our readers are also interested in knowing about the highest quality products and about healing modalities that have no geographic boundaries. Our readers like to support small businesses and are happy to learn about hand-crafted unique items, especially those made by moms or family businesses. Behind-the-scenes pieces about family businesses are welcome.

If we get a great narrative or healing post from someone outside of DC, we will probably try to work in a local tie-in.

Q: Can I write about something I did that is not in DC?

We love to hear about day trips, especially if they help us appreciate nature or get healthy.

If you did something far from DC, you can write a personal narrative that shares how this experience has had an impact on you as a parent back home. If there are similar local resources, please share them, or let readers know of any ways to advocate for creation of them.


Q: Do you work with businesses and brands?

A: Yes! We love to share details about great products and businesses with our readers and to collaborate with anyone who seeks to raise the profile of family wellness.. See our partnership opportunities page for more information or email jessica (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com

Q: How will I know my submission is going to be published?

A: We’re a small operation and will do our best to keep in touch with you throughout the submission process, but we appreciate your patience. We’ll let you know when your piece has been accepted and will tell you at least 3 days (if not a week or more) before your piece will be going live. After all, we want you to plan to do some social networking that day! The more traffic you drive to our site, the more people are likely to share the post, which in turn will bring our site more readers for the future to come back and find your piece. That, in turn, helps you and your business, blog or brand, and it helps more parents find the resources they need, which is what we’re all about.

Thanks for reading this far. We hope that about covers it. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Want to be further involved in Mindful Healthy Life?

Click here for information on supporting the Mindful Healthy Life team. We are currently seeking interns to get real-world experience by helping our site grow.

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