Blog Contributor Guidelines
We’re so glad that you want to become a contributor to the PFLAG Spartanburg website! In order to publish quality content that will be useful and entertaining to our readers, we ask that you read and comply with these guidelines each time you submit a piece.
Our audience obviously consists of lots of different readers. You will be writing for people who identify as LGBTQ+, people who are allies, people seeking support and education and possibly some who don’t understand the LGBTQ experience at all.
Readers might be adults or might attend middle or high school. While PFLAG Spartanburg doesn’t want to censor content, we ask that you keep our younger readers in mind when creating your piece. We may tag / rate especially graphic or sensitive content as “Adult Only” or with a “Trigger Warning” as a precaution.
When you’re writing, try and focus your writing for one or two of these readers. You can’t possibly write for everyone. For example, if you are a cis-gender female who identifies as lesbian you might write your piece from that perspective, but as if you’re talking to one of those specific readers. After all, we don’t just write for ourselves.
Original Content Requirements
If you have your own blog or contribute to another blog where you want to post a piece you submit to us, we ask that you wait between 4 and 6 weeks and that you change the headline of the piece. We also ask that you use a rel=”canonical” tag to define the original post and avoid duplicate content flags on search engines. (Google hates duplicate content).
If you don’t know how to implement a rel=”canonical” tag on your blog you can contact our admin or the admin for the blog you’re submitting to.
What’s the point?
PFLAG Spartanburg wants to expand beyond just providing support groups. We want to use our website to showcase local writing and other art as well as bring to light the unique perspectives and experiences of our LGBTQ+ community. We know that there are many talented individuals out there that might be struggling to find their voice or who feel invisible in their community. The goal of this blog is to give a voice to all of those individuals and to expand our own message of advocacy and education across the Upstate and beyond.
Voice, tone and style
At PFLAG we always want to use an authentic voice. There’s no need to sound like anyone other than yourself. With that in mind, we also want to create a safe space for any individual who finds these writings. Please write from a place of peace and patience. As we ask those who might not understand to be patient and tolerant in their journey, we should also follow that path. We encourage lighthearted humor and brutal honesty as long as it is tempered with a patient and tolerant voice.
PFLAG Spartanburg will not tolerate anything including hate speech against another group. We reserve the right to judge each piece on its own merit and deny any piece that we feel might qualify as hate speech.
Word count and formatting requirements
We ask that each piece include a headline, be at least 300 words in length and uses appropriate sub-headings. You may include one image to be featured with your piece and that it be sized to 900X600 pixels at a resolution of at least 72 dpi.
Final formatting will be defined by PFLAG Spartanburg’s website styles and we reserve the right to adjust formatting as necessary.
Topics our blog covers
We want our blog to be eclectic and cover a wide range of topics. That said, we are specifically concerned with the LGBTQ+ experience and so, all pieces should be written from that perspective.
All final submissions will be expected to use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. The more our editor must edit your piece, the less likely it is that it will be accepted.
Images and media expectations
If you choose to submit an image with your piece we ask that it be in color and be sized to 900X600 pixels with a resolution of at least 72 dpi. It can be stock photography or a photo you took yourself. The image must be in focus and be relevant to your piece. We will not accept images that contain explicit nudity or inappropriate content.
If you do not submit an image with your piece our editor will choose a relevant image to be featured. PFLAG Spartanburg is not required to seek approval from the author on choice of image.
Links and author bio
Each author bio will be allowed one link. This might be a link to a social media profile or your personal website / blog. It could be a link to another blog that you contribute to. It may not be an affiliate link (a link that you get paid for). PFLAG Spartanburg reserves the right to review any links submitted before publication.
Author bios are not required, but we do need an author name. You may choose to use a pen-name if you want to keep your identity private.
We do require each author submit an avatar (small photo to represents the author). However, this does not have to be a photo of you.
Whom to contact
We may not be able to respond to each submission right away. Typically, you will hear back within 1-2 weeks if your submission is accepted. Our editor will try and respond to those who are not accepted with tips on improvement but may not be able to respond to all requests. If you haven’t heard back from our editor within 3 weeks, then your piece isn’t going to be accepted.
PFLAG Spartanburg’s editor reserves the right to edit any content they see fit before publication. Edits will typically consist of spelling or grammar and might include some content edits if we deem the content especially sensitive or not appropriate for most audiences. An edited version of the piece will be sent to the author for review before publication. The author will have 48 hours to appeal those edits before the piece is published. If there is no response from the author after 48 hours then the edited piece will be published.
How to submit
Please send your piece as a Word attachment and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our authors are not required to respond to comments on their posts, although you are always welcome to engage in discussion in the comments section. PFLAG Spartanburg will try to moderate comments ourselves and we ask that our authors always interact in a way that is respectful and tolerant. If you see any comments that are hateful or abusive we ask that you please NOT respond to them, but contact our editor to have those comments removed and to decide whether the user should be banned from the website.