Family Matters — Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you need to know about being a writer for Family Matters.
- How do I become a writer for Family Matters?
- Why can I only submit unpublished drafts?
- Why was my article not a fit for Family Matters?
- What tags should I use?
- I’m not a parent. Can I write for Family Matters?
- I’m new to Medium. I don’t understand how to format the layout of my article correctly. What do I do?
- What do you mean by a “specific title”?
- Can I post articles that have been published elsewhere to Family Matters?
- Can I post my Family Matters articles elsewhere?
- You published my article and I didn’t receive many reads. Why is that?
How do I become a writer for Family Matters?
Refer to our submission guidelines. Read them carefully and send an unpublished medium draft to the email address provided.
To send an unpublished draft, go into your unpublished article, select the three dots in the top right-hand corner, and then select “share draft link”.
If your article is a good fit for the publication, you no longer have to send unpublished drafts via email. In future, you can submit straight to Family Matters To do this, go into your draft, select the three dots in the top right-hand corner, select “add to publication”, then select Family Matters.
Why can I only submit unpublished drafts?
You can only submit unpublished drafts for the following reasons:
- If your piece isn’t new, it won’t appear on the homepage. So if your piece was published in May, for example, and you add it to Family Matters in July the date of the piece won’t change. This means it is less likely to do well.
- When people are added as writers without a new piece to offer the publication, what tends to happen is they sit in the publication as a writer for a long time and never submit anything. We don’t want this as we want people to publish new content regularly.
Why was my article not a fit for Family Matters?
Sometimes people submit articles that are not in line with our publication. This does not necessarily mean it is a reflection of the writer’s ability. We also try to give feedback but submissions are most likely to be declined for the following reasons:
- Your piece reads like a diary entry with nothing to offer the reader. It’s okay to tell a story about your experiences, but the reader needs to be able to take something away from it.
- There is a judgemental tone in your writing. Many of our readers are parents and we don’t want anyone to feel shamed for their parenting choices.
- Your piece is great but would better fit a different publication. For example, pieces that are purely about education and aren’t coming from a parenting/family perspective would be a better fit for publications such as Every Child Matters.
- You are making a lot of assertions in your piece and not providing sources. If you make statements such as “reading to children helps their development” you need to link to sources to back up your points.
What tags should I use?
When you submit your work, you have the option to use five tags. We recommend you use up all five of your tags in order to reach as many readers as possible.
We stipulate in the submission guidelines that your work needs to be tagged with parenting and/or family. You can also tag it with one or more of the following so it appears in the relevant tabs on our homepage:
- Mental Health
- Special Needs
Please note that your piece will not be accepted if it is tagged with mental health, special needs, or education if it is not written from a parenting or family angle.
If your piece fits only one or two of these tags, there are other popular tags you can use too. Here are some we recommend:
- This Happened To Me
- Life Lessons
- Parenting Advice
I’m not a parent. Can I write for Family Matters?
Of course you can!
Although Family Matters tends to attract parent writers and readers, we understand that all families are different. And we want to hear about your experiences!
We have stories from people who write about their hopes for the future when they become parents. Some people write about their experiences within their families as children, aunts, uncles, step-parents, grandparents, etc. We also have writers who have a lot of experience with children but are not parents themselves.
I’m new to Medium. I don’t understand how to format the layout of my article correctly. What do I do?
There are plenty of articles on Medium with tips on this. We understand that searching for the right information can be difficult as when we say there are plenty of articles on this subject, we mean PLENTY.
We find that these are the most common pointers we give to new writers who have submitted a draft:
- The title needs to be at the top of your piece. To format the title correctly, highlight your text and select the larger T.
- The subtitle needs to be under the title. To format the subtitle correctly, highlight your text and select the smaller T.
- A stock image or an image you own needs to be under the subtitle. You can find free images on sites such as Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, Canva, or Rawpixel. For pictures of famous people, you can use Wikimedia Commons.
- Always credit the image in the caption, even if you own the image. If it’s a photo you have taken yourself, put “Image by Author” in the caption.
- Make sure your paragraphs aren’t too long. Most of our readers use the mobile app so long paragraphs look even longer on a phone screen.
- If you want to use subtitles in text, format it the same as you would for the subtitle under the title by highlighting and selecting the small T.
- To create bullet points, type in a dash, and press space. It will turn into a bullet point.
- To format quotes correctly, highlight your text and select the quotation marks.
- To add sources to your piece, we recommend linking them in the text rather than having a reference list at the bottom of your article. To do this, highlight the text and press the link icon. A bar will appear and you can paste in the URL from the website you are referencing.
What do you mean by “specific title”?
The most common feedback we give to writers is to change the title. This is optional and we are not trying to tell you what to do. We want our writers to stand the best chance of 1) attracting readers and 2) Medium choosing their piece for further distribution. This means vague titles don’t do well on Medium.
Always write with the reader in mind. The same goes for when you are choosing a title. Are you more likely to click on a piece called “Heartbreak” or a piece called “The Heartbreak You Feel When Your Child is In Hospital”? If your title is specific, it is more likely to spark the reader’s interest.
Can I submit articles that have been published elsewhere to Family Matters?
Yes. As long as they have been published outside of Medium and you link to the original website at the end of your article.
If your piece was published on someone else’s website, make sure you have permission to republish it on Medium.
Can I publish my Family Matters articles elsewhere?
Yes. You own the rights to your work. Sometimes websites outside of Medium may ask if they can republish one of your Medium articles too. You do not need to ask for our permission, but we would be grateful if you could link back to Family Matters as that is where your piece was originally published.
You published my article and I didn’t receive many reads. Why is that?
Increasing your readership on Medium is difficult, especially if you are new. Family Matters will try to help promote your pieces by giving you an opportunity to share them in our Facebook Group and we will also share them on Twitter. However, it is your responsibility to promote your own work. You can do this in a variety of ways using social media, most notably in Facebook Groups. I have written a guide on promoting your articles on Facebook here.
We hope this has helped answer any questions you have. If there is anything else you would like to ask, you can leave a comment.