Writer Guidelines

Writer Guidelines
nola family is always interested in hearing from local, experienced, freelance writers. You do not need to be a parent to write for our publication. If you’re interested in writing for us, please read more for where to send, our style guidelines, and more.

Please send an introductory e-mail to our publisher, Ann Herren at ann at nolafamily dot com, detailing any relevant experience. Please include min. two writing clips. Most of our freelance articles are on a topic assigned by us; however, if you have a story idea that you think would be of great interest to our readers, please feel free to pitch us on it.

Our editorial calendar is set at least three months—and sometimes up to a year—in advance. Holiday- or seasonally themed article ideas should be submitted at least four months in advance.
Please note: we rarely accept first-person essays, and are not currently looking for any contributing columnists.All of our feature stories should include a local focus, and require, at a minimum, three interviews with local experts and/or parents (in person or over the phone; sometimes when working with complicated medical topics, email correspondence with doctors is acceptable). We have received the gold award for overall writing from the Parenting Publications of America, and take pride in our editorial content and style.

Payment is made upon submission and acceptance, and covers all online rights unless we arrive at another agreement. For pay ranges (by word count), please contact the editor.
We pay a kill fee of $25 for stories cut because they do not meet nola family’s standards will receive no compensation. Should a story not meet the editor’s satisfaction, though, she will do her best to work with you to make the story acceptable for inclusion.
Stories moved to online-only status due to space will receive their full payment. nola family buys one-time print rights and exclusive online rights for one year.

nola family pays $25 for reprints; however, authors willing to localize their reprints with interviews with local parents and experts can expect more.For more detailed information on our style, please read on.

At nola family magazine we strive to sound informative, but not authoritative (and certainly not lecturing!). We leave the "voice of authority" to the experts we interview for our various articles. We do like to strike a conversational tone at times:

  • The first-person plural ("we") is okay to use on occasion to keep things friendly and familiar;
  • The second person plural ("you") is fine to use as well;
  • Please do not use the first person singular ("I") in your article, ever, unless you are contributing a column (This is to protect you, as well the magazine, from being cited as an expert by a reader).
  • When quoting directly, please use the present tense. "We laughed all afternoon," says Sarah.

Unless otherwise noted, all articles should include:

  1. Quotes from at least one expert (i.e., Ob/Gyns or pediatricians for medical-related articles; financial planners for a financial planning article, etc);
  2. At least two moms, moms-to-be, or dads who have experience in what the article addresses.
  3. nola family magazine has relationships with local area doctors, and may opt to provide you with medical expert resources with your assignment. 
  4. This is to facilitate your work, as they have been vetted by us and have agreed to be available to our writers. If you have a particular doctor you’d like to use as a source, please run his or her name by us first.
  5. Sources must be provided, with names and contact information, at the bottom of your submitted piece as we may contact them for verification, fact-checking, or photos.

How to reference sources:

  • For the first reference of an expert, identify by full name, title, and hospital affiliation or private practice (i.e, Al Robichaux, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Ochsner Health System). After that, use proper prefix and last name (Dr. Robichaux).
  • For the first reference of moms, dads, etc., identify by full name, where in town they live (i.e, Uptown), and, if applicable, number of children and their ages. 
  • After that, just their first name is preferable to creating a comfortable voice with our readers, unless other sources have same name; then use first and last name again.

Abbreviations, tenses, & misc.
New Orleans: you can abbreviate as NO (no periods), NOLA, or as the City.

  • A note on hyphens: A one year old doesn’t get hyphenated. But a one-year-old child does.
  • Numbers: spell out one through nine; use numerals for 10 and up.
  • A common problem we have when editing submitted pieces is consistency with tense. Please do not switch from active to passive voice unless necessary. Use the active voice. In addition, present tense is always preferable- it engages the reader. (ex: says Sherry, not 'said Sherry') 
  • Pet peeve: the filler word, "actually." To quote David McCollough: "Please, please do what you can to cure the verbal virus that seems increasingly rampant."



Join Our Playdate

Get our parenting e-newsletter and they won’t run with scissors.

Latest NOLA family-friendly stuff

Special needs in NOLA