Interested in writing for us?

Chicago Parent is a parenting news magazine. We offer a lively editorial mix with a distinctly local focus and a “we’re all in this together” spirit. We seek to include new voices, but we use only local writers. Articles submitted by writers who have not previously written for Chicago Parent are on speculation.

Reader Essays are a great way to get published. These parent essays, written on speculation, are told in first-person in 400 to 500 words, with a provided photograph. We receive about 15-20 essays a month so the essays selected usually have a lingering message, humor or other traits that set them apart.

Our larger feature articles tackle a wide range of timely topics for local families, including issues relating to childcare and education, balancing work and family and handling the everyday joys and challenges of parenting. We ask writers to use the best experts on a subject, but every story should use local parent voices and children.

Queries and Pitches

We do not reprint stories, whether from a blog online or in another publication. Email queries or pitches to Editor Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy at Please include your phone number, address and email. We do not accept pitches through the mail or fax. For Going Places, our must-read for things to do in Chicago and the suburbs, email Going Places Editor Elizabeth Diffin at ediffin@chicagoparent directly.


Short articles are 300-400 words in length, payment is $25-$50, depending on the reporting. Reader essays pay $50-$100 depending on published length. The average feature story is 800 to 1,500 words in length. Payment varies depending on the writer’s experience and the relationship with Chicago Parent, but begins at $100 for a one-page story. We pay upon publication. Checks are disbursed on the first week of the month of the publication. Invoices are necessary.


We buy one-time print publication rights for Chicago Parent with exclusive first North American publishing rights as well as electronic rights allowing us to place the material on our website. If we reprint an article in our other magazines, we will pay extra.


Articles should be submitted electronically. Text files may be sent to us at Please include your name, address, phone number, email. If we publish it, an invoice with a social security number is needed. Going Places submissions should be sent directly to Elizabeth Diffin at

Kill Fee

For commissioned material, we pay 10 percent of the manuscript fee. There is no kill fee for first-time submissions, even when commissioned.

Contact Digital Editor Jackie McGoey at if you are interested in becoming a part of the Chicago Parent Blogger Network.

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