Volunteer Writers/Submission Guidelines (Updated July 4, 2015)
RECENT CHANGES MADE TO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
- IT’S A “SUBMIT YOUR STORY” FREE FOR ALL – No more rules! Just tell us why you care about a cause or share your story of inspiration in northeast Ohio! Everyone has a story to tell, and we really want to hear yours!
- 7/4/16 CONTEST DEADLINE EXTENDED: Our non-profit story submission contest deadline has been expanded and extended to August 15th, 2016. Contest updates and submission details will be available soon via newsletter, social media and website. (PT)
- 6/14/16 DONATION LINKS: The donation link will not be activated on feature articles (to allow reader donations to non-profits) until our email subscription base has grown enough to support this feature. We want to ensure that our first non-profit partners are not short-changed, while we focus on developing a strong online presence and following to support all the great working being done in our community. (PT)
Thank you for your interest in contributing to the Good Cause Blog, a newsletter and website dedicated to connecting good people and good causes in northeast Ohio. Our mission is to amplify the social good in Cleveland and build a community of support for the people and organizations who are committed to making our city (and the world) a better place. We also publish general uplifting, inspirational “Stories for Good” that will help contribute to happiness and well-being in our community.
Share your story. Any story about good people and good causes in northeast Ohio! Please
review our submission guidelines below carefully BEFORE completing use this online form to share your story! Not sure where to start? Review our newsletter, check out other posts on our site, and read this post on the Keys to Brilliant Storytelling – our mission is to create a good news community for northeast Ohio!
Who can submit to the Good Cause Blog?
What topics should I write about?
A list of things we will probably not publish
How long should my post be?
Who gets credit for my writing?
Will you edit my writing?
Anyone can submit! Our readers love to hear first-hand accounts, personal testimony, success stories and positive approaches to issues of social justice, diversity, faith, thoughtful parenting and taking care of ourselves, each other, our city and the world.
Nonprofit organizations that submit a qualifying article (following submission guidelines below) prior to August 15, 2016 will be entered to win a FREE, 30-second “Call to Action Video” customized for their organization. One grand-prize winner will be selected by an editorial committee through a blind voting process, and the winner will be announced on September 1, 2016.
Writers/Bloggers/Good Cause Crusaders should submit original posts that will start conversations and open minds about an issue or good cause that is relevant to our community using the online submission form.
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What topics should I write about?
At this time we are primarily seeking Cleveland-based, local stories but are willing to consider wider issues that have a local relevance. National and global issues should mirror something in our community or teach us something important about the issue and its local impact. If you’re unsure, we encourage you to submit an outline, with an explanation of how it connects back to Cleveland and northeast Ohio.
Categories we are interested in publishing include:
Social Justice: Posts can explore work that is being done to decrease inequalities in the distribution of wealth, opportunities and privilege in society. How are these issues impacting people who live in northeast Ohio? Do you know someone in our community who is at the center of an innovative program or can you suggest ways for readers to get involved? Relevant communities and causes would include:
- Civil rights
- Equal access to health care
- Housing inequity, neighborhood challenges
- Mental health services, wait lists, cost of meds
- Education, testing, diversity in schools, equity in education
- Access to clean water and nutritious food
- Inequality in the financial and legal systems
- Women’s rights
Diversity: Posts should provide a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges of diversity. Tell us how to bridge gaps between communities and foster connections between unlikely groups of people. We welcome honest stories of personal growth that will help us move beyond our fear of differences.
- Acknowledging cultural and racial differences, overcoming racism
- Reflecting on national issues from a Cleveland perspective
- LGBTQ issues
- Muslims and xenophobia
- Aging and intergenerational programs
- Tale of Two Cities – reflections on segregation, gentrification
- Fast thinking bias, hidden judgments about others
Thoughtful Parenting: This section explores how issues of social justice, diversity and social conscience impact our parenting. Our readers care about the world. They think about how their actions impact other people. They want to raise children who are committed to making the world a better place – now how does that play out in family life?
- What challenges do you have as a parent in today’s world and how do you overcome them?
- Maybe your kids have made you a better person – tell us how.
- Examples of how parents and families can turn ideas into action and turn challenges into learning opportunities.
- We especially love learning about ways to give back and have fun at the same time!
- How to talk with kids about issues of social justice, etc.
All Kinds of Faith: What do you believe in and why? What do you see in the world and other people who inspires you to help make the world a better place? This section is a place for exploration into all faith backgrounds and an honest discussion about the struggle to maintain faith in the face of tragedy or adversity. Compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity . . .
- Do you find comfort in nature, music, prayer, art, relationships?
- What examples of extraordinary faith have you witnessed, and how does that fit into your own belief system?
- Tell us about a person who embodies kindness, generosity, compassion and gratitude – or discuss your efforts to cultivate this in your life.
Living Well: (Health & Wellness, Mind & Body) We want to hear about people who are overcoming health challenges or fighting against health care inequality. Self-care and mental health are important parts of this conversation.
- personal growth
- mental health
- disability, special needs
- cost of health care, access to health care
- fighting for a cure
- grief and loss
- nutrition, meditation, yoga, exercise and physical fitness
- How do we take care of ourselves and each other through self-care, supportive services and equal access to health care?
One Earth: Help our readers learn about, celebrate and preserve our natural resources in northeast Ohio.
- Water conservation
- Protecting natural resources
- Composting, recycling, gardening, farming
- Transportation, bicycling
- We are particularly interested in local movements that have global impact and finding ways to easily incorporate “green choices” into our daily lives.
What DON’T we publish on the Good Cause Blog? Self-promotion, annual reports, boring statistics, marketing pieces or inflammatory language and offensive content. As much as we sincerely LOVE people and organizations who are serving 60,000 meals a month to hungry people in greater-Cleveland that’s not the story we want to tell. Instead of telling us the statistics of what you do – tell us the WHO and WHY – the human side of what you do.
How long should my post be? Make your article as long as it needs to be. Suggested length for featured articles is 500-800 words, but we don’t edit for length. Our mission is to tell powerful and compelling stories that our readers will want to share with everyone they know! It doesn’t matter to us whether that happens in more or less than 500 words.
Who gets credit for my post or article? Contributors will be asked to provide a photo and brief bio to accompany their post, and we will be happy to link back to your website or blog. We do accept previously published blog posts. But whenever possible the Good Cause Blog requests first-exclusive, full electronic publishing rights to your article or post, including the nonexclusive right to keep your piece available permanently in our archives. Writers maintain copyright and are encouraged to share their work in other settings after it is published on the Good Cause Blog. Linking back with credit to the original post will help spread the word about our community and build an audience to benefit all good causes in northeast Ohio!
Will you edit my post? For the sake of time, we cannot accept or publish submissions that require extensive editing. If we are interested in your story and time allows, we may offer feedback or suggestions for a rewrite. We may also fix a typo or change the title or a sentence – but our goal is to accept submissions in “ready to publish” format. However, all editing decisions are at the discretion of the Good Cause Blog editorial team and management.
Thank you again for your interest in contributing to the Good Cause Blog. This community began as a leap of faith, and we are so excited to have you on the journey with us! All terms and conditions are subject to change, but please feel free to contact us with any questions.