Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print

Writers' Guidelines

Want to Write for Us?

New Jersey Family is always looking for experienced freelance writers and bloggers to contribute to the magazine, ancillary publications, and website. Our mission is to help New Jersey parents (of babies through teens) be the best parents they can be; we strive for a good mix of fun and substantive stories. If you have any questions, contact New Jersey Family’s editorial department.

About Our Publications

New Jersey Family Magazine (monthly)

Readership 300,000

Feature Articles: 600 to 1,200 words
  • Health (including physical, developmental, and behavioral)
  • Education (including schools, tests, homework, enrichment)
  • Kids’ Programs (afterschool activities, sports programs, music, dance, drama, art, and more)
  • Parenting File (universal parenting concerns or information relevant to New Jersey parents)
  • Fun Stuff (crafts, recipes, games, science experiments)
  • Around & About (where to go and what to do for NJ families)
  • The Jersey Shore

Raising Teens, NJBaby, njfamily.com

  • NJ Baby is an annual magazine about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborns; 250 to 300 words only (bullet points preferred)
  • Raising Teens is a bi-annual publication about health, education, parenting, and good times for teens; 250 to 1,000 words
  • njfamily.com is our online presence and an extension of our print publications, including a comprehensive calendar of events, articles from our magazine, giveaways, web extras, and online-only articles or blogs; no word limits

Payment

  • Features 600–1,000 words: variable, but approx. 10 cents per word
  • Reprints: $25–$50 depending on length
  • Web-only articles/blogs: $5 to $15 per post

We pay on publication. Checks and a tear sheet are usually sent out the last week of the month prior to publication date.

With the exception of reprints, we purchase First North American Serial Rights (FNASR). All assigned articles may be posted on our website, njfamily.com. Posting of reprints is negotiable.

Article Pitches

We welcome queries and pasted submissions, especially from New Jersey freelancers. Email pitches to the editorial department

  • Make it local. We're looking for stories and sources that reflect the experience of living with children in New Jersey. We are especially interested in coverage of Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Bergen, and Passaic counties.
  • Pitch early. New Jersey Family plans editorial content three to six months prior to publication. This is particularly important for seasonal stories.
  • Simultaneous submissions are OK. Make sure they are marked as such, and please notify us if the submission has been accepted by another publication.
  • We may not respond. Because of the high volume of submissions and queries we receive, it’s not always possible to respond to everyone. We often keep articles and queries in our files for potential use in the future. Feel free to contact us again if you haven’t heard back from us.

Article Requirements

We expect freelancers to submit articles at the assigned word count, using good journalism techniques and solid writing skills. Specifically:

  • Multiple sources. A minimum of two sources. A 1,000-word feature should have no fewer than three sources. Please do not source or quote for-profit businesses unless the source is a bona fide authority. Please do quote educators, representatives of professional organizations, authors, experts, nonprofits, parents, etc.
  • Geographic representation. New Jersey Family magazine has a broad circulation throughout north central New Jersey. We have distribution in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Bergen, and Passaic counties, so it's important to us that our sources reflect our readership territory. Freelancers don't have to hit every county we cover, but they should have sources from more than one county. Ask us if you need help finding sources.
  • Sidebars. Any story 800 words or more should have a sidebar. It may be an info box with local contact information, tips related to the text, or website/book resources.
  • Style. We generally follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Occasionally we deviate from this style, and we will make the necessary edits.
  • Websites. If you make reference to a source for more information, please include the correct website address.

Article Formatting

  • Your finished story should be single-spaced with a hard return at each new paragraph. Do not indent for new paragraphs. Please include only one space after punctuation marks.
  • Include your byline plus a preferred short bio (e.g., Jillian Green is a freelance writer and mom to two children who love to do arts and crafts.) Bios should be a maximum of 25 words.
  • Include a suggested punchy or clever headline and dek.
    • Subheads (i.e., within the body copy) are strongly encouraged for articles 600 words or more. We also like bulleted or numbered lists to break up copy.
    • Articles must be submitted electronically. We prefer that your article is pasted into the body of an email; we may not open attachments.
    • Please include your name, address, phone number, and email address with your submission.

In-House Preferences

  • Our publications are more like local versions of national parenting magazines than newspapers. We do not summarize an event that has already happened, but if a child-oriented event provides inspiration for parents to take action in the future, a tie-in could be appropriate.
  • New Jersey Family has a long-standing policy regarding editorial submissions from advertisers and for-profit businesses: if you would like to submit a query or a manuscript for consideration, we welcome your expertise. However, if we accept your manuscript for publication, we will not accept your ad for publication in the same issue, and we will not promote your business in the text of your article. We will use the same criteria to judge your submission that we use for all freelance writers. Your bio credit at the end of your article would not mention your business name. If you would like to promote your business, please contact our ad sales department or call 908-277-1919 x110.
  • If we agree to look at your manuscript based on a query, it does not mean we will accept it for publication.
  • Please put Reprint, Submission, or Query in your subject line when emailing. Here’s an example of a subject line that clearly explains what’s inside the email: Submission: How to Throw a Neighborhood Block Party from Jillian Green.