Writer's Guidelines
12/5/2011

About the magazine

Family Tree Magazine is a special-interest consumer magazine that helps readers discover, preserve and celebrate their family's history. We cover genealogy, ethnic heritage, personal history, genealogy websites and software, photography and photo preservation, and other ways that families connect with their past.

Articles are beginner-friendly but never talk down to the audience. Readers may be experts in one area of our coverage, yet novices in another. We emphasize sidebars, tips and other reader-friendly "packaging," and each article aims to provide the resources necessary to take the next step in the quest for one's personal past.

Writing for Family Tree Magazine

  • We accept queries by e-mail and postal mail only. When querying by mail, always include an SASE. If we've never worked with you before, please include writing samples (published clips preferred) with your query. Please don't call with queries or to check on the status of your query. Allow six to eight weeks for a response.
  • The ideal Family Tree Magazine writer is both a writer—able to explain complex topics in clear, friendly, easy-to-read articles and sidebars—and an expert (or interested amateur) in one of our coverage areas. Your query should indicate both why you're right for this topic and why you're able to write it.
  • Please query with a specific story idea. In general, we're looking for stories that are right for our magazine, not for writers to assign articles to. Please do not submit finished articles (except for our Everything's Relative section; see below) or articles previously published in other genealogical magazines. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
  • Issues are planned well in advance. Though our lead time is technically about six months, we'll have a plan for the December issue by January of that year. Better to look too far ahead than to miss the boat. And we do like to be timely—scheduling a story on wedding records in June, for example.
  • Our style is bright, breezy, helpful and encouraging. We're NOT an academic journal or a genealogy-research journal.
  • Articles need to be broad enough in scope to appeal to a general audience, yet narrow enough to support specific, useful information. "Getting Started with the National Archives" might be a good article for us; "1840 North Carolina Census Records" is not.
  • We do NOT publish personal experience stories (except brief stories in Everything's Relative; see below) or the histories of specific families. Nor do we publish generic family or parenting articles—keep in mind that our focus is family history.
  • Query with specific suggestions on accompanying sidebars, tip boxes, resource lists and other elements, as well as ideas for content that might be appropriate for posting on our Web site.
  • For writers new to Family Tree Magazine, we are most open to short submissions for Branching Out (lively, newsy upfront section) and brief writeups of new resources for family history buffs for our Toolkit section. We also invite short, amusing stories of "the lighter side of family history" for our Everything's Relative page. (Note contributors to Everything's Relative aren't paid.)
  • Please read a copy of the magazine before querying.

The Basics

  • Our address: Editor, Family Tree Magazine, 10151 Carver Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242
  • E-mail a query
  • Payment and rights: Pay on acceptance. Buy all rights. Rates vary widely depending on difficulty of assignment. Offer 25% kill fee.
  • Sample copy: Order from our back-issues store.
  • Paid circulation: 75,000