Guest Blogger Guidelines

Do you know how valuable it is to guest blog? Here’s why you should guest blog:

  • you become the expert, especially when you blog for a big site
  • you’re practicing your writing skills and showcasing them
  • you gain a following if you’re a regular guest blogger
  • you get links to your site or blog

What We Are Looking For:

Original articles about anything to do with the business or craft of writing. It must be original because we don’t want to be penalized by Google––they do not like repurposed blog posts.

We prefer over 1,200 words, though also prefer you write well, rather than worry about your word count.

No affiliate links please.

Social Media

You know how some people use movie star faces or animation versions of themselves instead of their own? We want the real you. People like to relate to real people. If you send your picture, your avatar must be YOUR picture.

We take full rights to the article. We need to know that we can use the info in all forms.

At no time can you republish the material anywhere else.

Pitch Us!

Know what the site is about before you send us your work.

Email your idea (not the completed article) to learn@instituteforwriters.com and include a short description of what your post will be about and include 2 or 3 potential headlines. Include 2 links to previous ICL posts that you’ll reference in the article.

After We Accept You

If accepted, you’ll email us your draft. Please share as a Google doc or Word doc (the first is preferred).

Include a short 2-3 sentence bio with 2 text links to your homepage or book. 

It’s rare that anyone writes a perfect first draft, so please expect to make revisions. 

If we need to do any editing prior to publication, we will notify you.

 

After You’re Published on Our Site

  • Make sure to respond to all comments on your article.
  • We want your content to get out there, far and wide, so make sure to share it on all your social media channels.
  • If you mention anyone in your article, contact them and let them know! You may find yourself being promoted by them. It’s awesome to be mentioned in an article, and your content will be exponentially shared. Tag them on Facebook, tweet them, etc.

Style Guide

Here are the guidelines to follow if you do anything that is written that represents the schools. These aren't random, they're all based on errors we've seen coming in. We will add to the list but our hope is that we won't have to!

One thing–many of these errors are simply due to not reading what you've read aloud, seeing each word and punctuation. Typing "ii is" instead of "it is" or something similar. As you know, reading aloud catches these things.

  • When using dashes, use M dashes only, with no space between the word and each side of the M dash like, word–word, rather than word space dash. space word. On PCs in Word you create an M dash with alt0151. On Macs, option then click the dash key.
  • Submissions should be attached as a Word doc, double spaced.
  • There is one space after a period (not two).
  • Double check through spellcheck but also by re-reading, as spellcheck won't catch synonyms and other similar spelling errors.
  • Emphasized words should be italicized, not in caps.
  • Double check punctuation––no unnecessary commas, leaving periods, etc. outside quotation marks. If you're unsure, Google it or look on Grammar Girl.
  • Titles should always be italicized.
  • Be consistent in the punctuation of your subtitles if you're using one.
  • Stay current––if listing books as examples, use current ones (from the last five years) unless specifically referring to classics. 
  • Please use the Oxford (or serial) comma. An example would be in "there were instructions about commas, being up-to-date, and how to write numbers!"
  • Numbers under 10 are spelled out.
  • When two numbers are next to each other, it can be confusing. So instead of “ten 7-year-olds,” write one as a numeral, such as “ten 7-year-olds.” 
  • Hyphenate ages, such as "six-year-old."
  • Write ellipses like ... this. Not like...this.

Tips for Contacting People You Name in Your Post 

Feel free to use this as a template for your own words:

Dear (Name),

The Institute of Children’s Literature has guest bloggers, and I am one! My name is (YOUR NAME). I’m a big fan of your work, and in fact, I mentioned you in my guest post today, entitled (YOUR POST TITLE) all about (YOUR POST TOPIC).

If you want to check it out, it’s right here: (POST TITLE AS A TEXT LINK).

If you’d like to share with your followers, I created this tweet to make it easier for you:

Great post about (TOPIC) @YOURTWITTERHANDLE @institutekidlit SHORTENEDPOSTLINK #RELEVANTHASHTAG 

 

Best,

YOUR NAME

 

If you REALLY want to make it easy on the people you’re contacting, especially if they’re big-time and very busy, use Click to Tweet. It turns regular text into a link that tweets! You just enter the copy of the tweet you want them to share and Click to Tweet generates it for you. Like this: http://ctt.ec/fM18e

Check this out (then come back!) - my friend Dave’s post explaining all about guest blogging.


Great Read!

By Mara Kim Amazon review, Verified Purchase

"This is another great read from [ICL]... When I saw this particular one, I grabbed it immediately ... This book is a great addition to a writer's (whether published or not) shelf ... I highly recommend their writing courses. You receive feedback on your work from published authors. You will be encouraged but also pushed to make your story from good to great."