Contributor Guidelines

Code Name: Mama is looking for writers who have stories to share related to natural parenting, toddler/preschooler activities, the “Joys of Breastfeeding Toddlers” series, and the “Gentle Parenting” series.

Please click on each topic to see more:

What Is/Is Not Accepted: Content

Formatting and Editing Requirements

Contributor Expectations

Accepted Topics

Natural Parenting Guest Post Exchange

Traditional Guest Posts

The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler Series

Gentle Parenting Successes and Suggestions Series

Published Guest Posts on Code Name: Mama

What Is/Is Not Accepted: Content

  • Posts should be previously unpublished and on topic (see below for examples of acceptable topics). Issues related to parenting  are often rife with strong emotions, and I encourage your authentic and passionate words. At the same time, I hope that Code Name: Mama will be a place where people who are investigating natural parenting principles can learn something new and perhaps even adopt some of the practices. With this in mind, your post should be written in a positive light. I will not host posts that criticize other parenting practices or cast judgment on those that parent differently. I believe that we can respect each other (even where we don’t agree with another’s choices), and that we can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • While contributors to Code Name: Mama maintain the copyright to all their work, I ask that you not post your submission anywhere else (including your own blog, whether paid or unpaid) for 90 days after publication on Code Name: Mama. This exclusivity adds value for my readers without me asking you to give me copyright on your work.
  • I am not accepting advertising-related posts at this time. If you wish to inquire about advertising with Code Name: Mama, please read my Advertising page.

Formatting and Editing Requirements

  • Posts are typically in the 300-600 word range, but that is a general guideline. Take as many (or as few) words as you need to tell your story, but consider breaking a really long post into multiple posts or even a “part 1” and “part 2” to keep readers coming back for more.
  • Use shorter paragraphs (3-6 sentences each); your post will be easier to read.
  • Organize your thoughts; use headings or lists when possible; be clear, concise, and straightforward.
  • Proofread. Proofread twice. Now proofread one more time. Your post will be edited, but I reserve the right to send it back to you for further proofreading if it has a large number of spelling/grammatical errors. Please check out Copyblogger’s great resource on editing your own work.
  • All posts must be accompanied by a mini-bio (about 2 sentences, you can link to your personal site) and a picture. The picture cannot be more than 500px in width, and you must either own or have permission to use the picture. If it is a stock/free image, please provide a name/link to the owner. Feel free to write anonymously, but I still require something for a bio and picture.
  • I reserve the right to edit (and veto) all submissions (but I will never make a substantive change without discussing it with you first).

Contributor Expectations

  • Writers are expected to visit/subscribe to the post to check on any comments, timely respond to comments, etc. If the writer has any questions or problems with a comment, please let me know as soon as possible. All comments (including the writers’) should adhere to the comment policy.

Accepted Topics(The following lists are not exclusive, if you have an idea that is not listed, let me know)

Natural Parenting

*Intactivism/No Circumcision
*Co-Sleeping/Family Bed
*Gentle Discipline
*Consensual Living
*Cloth Diapers
*Green/Eco-Conscious Living
*No/Delayed/Selective Vaccinations

Your post can focus on any age range, but most of my readers are mamas with younger children (babies – age 10).

Consensual Living

Eclectic Learning

*Learning at Home or Away
*Unique Learning Methods

Compassionate Advocacy

*Lactivism (Full-term/Extended Breastfeeding, etc.)

General Topics

*Blogging Tips (especially as they relate to women/mama bloggers)
*Family Relationships (whether you are single, in a relationship, living in a non-traditional household, etc.)

Natural Parenting Guest Post Exchange

The Carnival of Natural Parenting that I co-host every month has been such a blessing. It has given me the opportunity to meet and interact with many wonderful like-minded bloggers and read great content. It has also challenged me to be a better writer.

To strengthen the bonds forged through the Carnival as well as in the many natural parenting discussions available on Twitter, Mothering, and more, I have created a Natural Parenting Guest Post Exchange.

For each post exchange, I collaborate with another writer/blogger on a topic that is loosely related to natural parenting. The two posts can be as creative as our imaginations allow: they can compare/contrast two NP topics; they can be stand alone posts or two parts of a whole; they can be picture montages, videos, interviews, articles, etc. (All posts are subject to the contributor guidelines above; let me know if you have any questions about or concerns with the guidelines.)

We will post our articles on two different days, mutually promote and comment on the posts, and follow up as needed.

I will link to your site not only on the post, but also on a permanent page on Code Name: Mama. I will also promote our collaboration on social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook.

Please contact me if you are interested in an exchange.

Traditional Guest Posts

If you do not have your own site, or if you are simply not interested in exchanging guest posts, you are still encouraged to submit a guest post for inclusion on Code Name: Mama.

If your guest post meets the contributor guidelines, send me an email and include your submission in the body of the email. I will email you within two weeks to let you know whether I am able to publish it on Code Name: Mama. If it does not fit well with my site, please don’t be offended! I will try to think of another site or two that might be a better fit for you, or you could start your own blog: Scribbit’s free Blogging in Pink ebook is a very helpful and down-to-earth guide for beginners on up.

The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler Series

Breastfeeding a toddler is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship.

But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a toddler (or have in the past), please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire.

You can see past examples of these posts by searching under the category “Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler.” All submissions must follow the contributor guidelines listed above.

Gentle Parenting Successes and Suggestions Series

There are two resources that have been the most helpful to me in my own gentle parenting journey. First, reading about others’ experiences: real-life examples of challenges met with respect and compassion can be both educational and inspirational. Second, when I face a challenge of my own, I have always been able to turn to my local AP group for a fresh perspective and creative ideas.

I’d like to provide a resource like that here at Code Name: Mama, so I’ve introduced a series that will feature your stories and questions. In particular, I’d love to feature stories that build on consensual living principles or the techniques and ideas discussed in books like Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids; Playful Parenting; Unconditional Parenting; and Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves.

I am not looking for stories about parenting techniques such as time-outs, negative consequences, coercion, or punishment.

Your submission should either be:

1) Gentle Parenting Suggestions: Don’t let the name fool you – what I’d really like are your parenting questions. Could you use gentle parenting advice for a specific “challenge”? Please provide a concise explanation of the situation/behavior, including the child’s age and any other details that might be helpful (i.e., when the situation usually occurs, any factors that might contribute, etc.); or

2) Gentle Parenting Successes: Do you have concrete examples of a situation where gentle/respectful parenting helped you build a better relationship with your child? For example: a time where sitting down to connect lovingly with a child who “misbehaved” gave you insight into the behavior that you would not otherwise have known. Or a playful parenting encounter that turned a potential tantrum into a positive experience.

If you have a question about whether your story would fit in this series, please contact me. All submissions should adhere to the contributor guidelines.

Thanks to Sarah at one starry night for having an excellent guest post policy that I modified for this page.

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