Metro Parent Writers Guidelines

Are you an organized, experienced freelance writer who wants to cover the parenting scene in southeast Michigan? Metro Parent is always looking for strong journalists who can report swiftly and accurately and write engaging, informative content – all on deadline.

Get familiar with our products and style, first. Grab a copy of our print magazine and browse From there, email our editors with links to 2-3 examples of your published reported work, plus your resume. Pitches are also welcome, as long as they’re specific and clear. Always check our website first to ensure it isn’t something we’ve already covered.

On this page, find an overview of print articles and web posts we need, along with payment rates. Scroll down a bit further to see our writers FAQs.

Metro Parent magazine

Drops monthly in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Pay rates vary based on length, level of reporting and writer’s experience.

  • Features: The big ones. Two to three per issue. Styles range from traditional narrative to highly “pieced.” 1,200-2,500 words with two to four local sources. $200-plus.
  • Pulse: The short ones. Tight spotlights on local family people, places, trends and tips. 150-400 words, plus creative info boxes and photo wrangling. $40-plus.
  • Why: Informative child-development pieces on how kids tick (babies, toddlers, school-agers, tweens, teens). One to two local professional sources. 600 words. $50.
  • Voice: Strong POV/personal perspective essay from a local parent. You pitch us the topic; must be specific and sussed out. 600 words. $75-plus.
  • Profiles: Colorful pieces on a local parent (or someone who works with families or kids) who rocks. One to two sources. 800 words plus a “5 things” sidebar. $75-plus.
  • My Obsession: A 50-word blurb on something your family loves (toy, product, app, book, website, etc.). Supply a large photo. Any parent can submit. $25.
  • Tips & Tricks: A 50-word blurb on a clever hack or idea that’s been a lifesaver for your family. Any parent can submit. $25.

Fresh parenting content constantly for southeast Michigan and beyond.

  • General Posts: Sturdy evergreen tips/advice pieces. Topics include family fun, parenting, pregnancy, food, home, education, camps, classes and health. One to two sources. 600-800 words. $35-plus.
  • Breaking Posts: Swift reporting on a local story or localization of a major national news story that affects parents in our area. One source. 600-800 words. $35-plus.
  • Resource Roundups: Compiling or updating our roundups of venue, event and resource listings. 15-50 listings each. $35-plus (varies by length and work volume).

Ancillary magazines

Accurate, detail-attuned writers assist in updating listings and writing content for our five annual print guides.

  • Fun Guide: TBD in 2020. Events, theme/water parks, zoos, stage shows, nature centers, museums and fun centers. $75-plus.
  • Big Book of Schools: TBD in 2020. Regional public, private and charter schools. $125-plus.
  • Pink + Blue: Assigned in June; drops in August. Pregnancy, baby and toddler resources. $50-plus.
  • Guide to College Planning: Assigned in July; drops in September.Choosing, preparing for, affording, applying for and attending college. $50-plus.
  • Guide to Helping Your Aging Parents: Assigned in September/October; drops in November/December. Housing, health, finances and estate planning and leading an active lifestyle. $50-plus.

Writer FAQs

What is ‘southeast Michigan?’ What areas do you cover?We focus on Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties — i.e., metro Detroit and greater Ann Arbor. Within a single story, be mindful of using sources from various counties. Sometimes neighboring southeast Michigan counties are considered. Travel/vacation pieces often venture further. Our website also has content devoted to Michigan at large.

When should I pitch/reach out?The earlier the better. For print, aim for 2-3 months before the magazine issue (i.e. month) you’re pitching. For web, unless it’s a breaking story, aim for 2 weeks before it publishes.

Do you have style or formatting preferences? What should my final story include?Metro Parent adheres tightly to AP Style and Webster’s Dictionary, the journalistic standards. File your story as a Word doc attachment. Single spaces after paragraphs and punctuation. Left justify. No indents. Always include your byline. For print features and POV pieces, include a short tagline (i.e., Fran Smith is a mother of two from Clinton Township). Provide a suggested headline and dek. And, for most pieces longer than 600 words, be mindful of including 2-3 subheads to break up copy.

How do I charge for my work?File the invoice to the editor you’re working with as soon as you file your story. Email it as a Word doc. It can be plain or formatted. But it must have submission date, your full legal name, address, phone number, SSN, story title/publication and payment amount. You can “batch” together multiple assignments into one invoice if they were assigned as a group; otherwise, file one invoice per assignment. This ensures quickest payment.

When do I get paid?We issue freelance payments twice a month. Expenses submitted by the 10th of the month are paid out by the 15th; those submitted by the 25th are paid out by the 30th (adjusted for weekends and holidays).

What are your topics/what is your editorial calendar?Here’s a list of what we focus on in print, by month. Note that our content is fluid. Some topics are covered in multiple months or, conversely, might not always be covered in the “scheduled” month. And keep in mind any obvious seasonal anchors.

  • January: Self-Improvement, Winter Fun
  • February: Education
  • March: Camps, Parenting Month
  • April: Special Needs, Money, Sports
  • May: Pets, House & Home
  • June: Summer Fun, Parties
  • July: Travel, Health & Wellness
  • August: Back to School
  • September: Arts & Entertainment, Enrichment Classes
  • October: Special Needs, Babies
  • November: Food, Educational Help
  • December: Holiday Planning

Do you accept reprints or corporate/free ‘guest blogger’ posts?No. We only print/web-publish original content specific to southeast Michigan parents. If you send us a generic reprint query, you won’t receive a response.

Can I pitch a web or print story to you that I’m also ‘shopping’ to another publication?“Simultaneous submissions” are OK — just make sure they are marked as such, and notify us if the submission has been accepted by another publication. We won’t publish duplicate content that has run in another publication, whether in print or online.

What if you don’t respond? Can I follow up?If interested, we’ll respond. Follow-up queries don’t increase your odds of hearing from us. If we don’t reply within a month of your submission, it’s safe to assume that we’ve opted to pass.