Guest Article Submission Guidelines

Most of DIY MFA material is created by a roster of talented, motivated columnists. However, we do on occasion consider guest post pitches from writers outside our team.

Consider Guest Posting for Us

Every writer must start somewhere. Guest blogging at DIY MFA is a chance to get some writing experience under your belt and some online publication credits to your name. This is also an opportunity to practice pitching and submitting your work in a an online environment that is supportive and wants to help you succeed.

Since we want to help you put your best foot forward, our web editor may suggest changes to your pitch or to the article itself once you’ve submitted it. Also, on rare occasions, we may ask you to rework a piece after reading the submission in full, but only if we see big, fundamental issues or we feel that the piece has deviated too far from your original pitch.

If you’d like to see your writing featured at DIY MFA, here are a few insider tips.

  1. The best place to “break in” is through our #5onFri column. Every Friday we post a roundup of tips, tools, or book recommendations, and while some of these posts come from members of the DIY MFA team, many also come from unsolicited pitches (i.e. the virtual “slush pile”). #5onFri is a great place to get your feet wet and work those guest blogging chops. Many of our regular columnists started out writing #5onFri guest posts.
  2. Get to know the DIY MFA audience. Don’t know if your proposed article is a good fit? Read some articles on our site. Also, consider the three main DIY MFA topics: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose and Build Your Community. If your article doesn’t fit into one of these categories, then we’re probably not the right website for that particular pitch.
  3. Keep in mind that we have an editorial calendar. As a general rule, columnist pieces appear on Mondays, podcast show notes air on Wednesdays, and Fridays are reserved for our #5onFri column. Other guest posts air on Tuesdays or Thursdays, and get slotted into the schedule depending on availability. If we’re looking for guest posts about a particular theme or topic, we usually announce it via our email list, so make sure you subscribe for updates.
  4. Understand the editing process. If there are substantive changes that we would like you to make, we’ll let you know and give you as much guidance as possible on how to edit accordingly. In many cases, however, we may also go ahead and tweak wording in the text, headline or subheads after your piece has been accepted. These sentence-level changes are usually for marketing or SEO (search engine optimization) purposes and we will make them on our side after you have submitted your finished article. If you notice any of these subtle changes after your piece goes live, don’t panic, and don’t think of it as a criticism of your writing. This type of editing is totally normal and is part of the process when you post articles online.

How to Pitch

Email our amazingly awesome, Web Editor, Bess Cozby, at bess [at] DIYMFA [dot] com with a short pitch. Your pitch should include:

  1. Two or three topics for articles that you think would be a good fit for our site.
  2. Links to 2 examples of your best published work.

If we are interested in seeing more, we will contact you.

How to Submit

Once Bess gives you the OK on your pitch, you need to send us three things:

  1. The article, saved as an attached text (.txt) file or pasted into the body of the email. Word Count: Shoot for around 800 words.
  2. Your author photo (1MB or smaller, please).
  3. Your author bio (2-3 sentences maximum). Include a link to your website or an email address in case our readers want to see more of your work. If you’re on Twitter (or other social media) include that info as well so we can tag you in our social media updates.

Bess will let you know when we need the article. Depending on where it fits in the Editorial Calendar, you may have anywhere from a few days to several weeks to turn it around. Don’t worry, we’ll give you a clear deadline. Once we receive your materials, we will confirm the publication date for your article.

Optional:

You can also include an image to use as our “Featured Image” (the big image that pops up on the homepage). To provide a “Featured Image” send it as a JPEG (.jpg) file. It must be at least 500px.

You must own the rights to the Featured Image (do not submit an image for which you don’t own the rights). By providing the Featured Image, you are granting DIY MFA the right to use that image in this article and any subsequent free products that spring from your article.

The Legal Stuff

Guest articles must be the original work of the guest author.

DIY MFA rarely accepts reprints or previously-published articles.

DIY MFA does not make revenue from website advertising so we do not pay for guest posts. However, if we decide we want to include your article in a paid product, we will contact you with a work-for-hire agreement for that reprint.

DIY MFA retains First Electronic Rights for all guest content for one month after article the agreed-upon publication date for your article. Once that month has expired, you are free to reprint or resubmit the piece. DIY MFA also retains the right to republish the article on the site or in print, such as workbooks, eBooks or other free products.

At DIY MFA we believe in working with authors to help them build experience and improve their skills. To that end, we will do our best to work with you on an article so that it can be the best piece possible. However, on rare occasions, DIY MFA may have to decline an article after we have read it in full. We will only do this as a last resort, if we feel that the delivered article is not in line with the piece originally pitched by the author.

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