Hello Future Holiday Moms!
We are so glad you are interested in writing for us this 2017-18 holiday season. Each year since 2012 we have spread cheer to many thousands of LGBTQ youth (and adults!)- and even saved lives! This year we will spread the hope and love again with YOUR letters. As our previous moms can attest, it will warm and touch you every bit as much as our readers. Click here to join our mailing list for letter writers.
Our guidelines for submissions are below, but you also have about 40 examples per year from our previous years to guide you. Please read several in order to get a feel for what a letter looks like. And don’t worry about being perfect – none of us are – and we offer light editing. Just write from the heart.
Okay, here goes for our guidelines:
1. Please note that in submitting a letter and/ or picture, you are giving us permission to lightly edit (not changing the intent of the language) and publish. You are also affirming that you have the rights to the photo you are sending (a photo is not required, but if you do send one, we need to know you or someone you know actually took the picture). Finally, you are agreeing that you will not hold us or any of our representatives responsible for anything that happens as a result of publishing your letter. We’ve never once had a problem (not even ugly trolls, amazingly!), but we still have to say that upfront.
2. Please do not include any identifying material beyond your photo and first name or nickname. Names like “Mom Sue” or “Auntie Ellen” work beautifully. We cannot publish anything with direct contact information via email or a social media link. This is a VIRTUAL support and that is all we can offer due to legal constraints.
3. When you write your letter, be sure to VIRTUALLY invite the reader into your own holiday home and share your own traditions, whatever they may be. This is a warm and fuzzy welcome–we don’t preach or teach, just love. Inviting us VIRTUALLY into your life and traditions (even if you don’t have much of a tradition, that is a “tradition” all its own), while letting our LGBTQ youth know how welcome they are, is a huge offering. Make it so that we can see, feel, taste, and hear your traditions and home… it makes for powerful writing!
4. Generally keep your letter to about 400-600 words. Fill them with love, acceptance, and a nice story about you and why you want to give. Imagine the reader is sitting beside you on a holiday evening – what would you say to encourage them? That is what our readers most want to hear.
5. We are inclusive and welcome letters from everyone and every holiday tradition, including no formal traditions. We also love letters from dad’s or others willing to be “mom” even if you have not had children. Diversity is wonderful! Note, however, that we may not be able to publish your letter due to space or content needs, and it is solely our choice which letters are published.
6. Submit your letter to Yvonne, our Letter Mama, at [email protected]. Please let her know if you would like to use your real name or a nickname. You will hear from her once your letter has been reviewed and accepted. At that point, we will ask if you want to submit a photo. She’ll also let you know what day your letter will be published so you can visit the site and respond to our commentors – they feel so special when you do! (Again, you cannot offer direct contact, as this is virtual support, but just a note means the world to them.)
7. Yes, you can submit a completely new letter even if you wrote one in a previous year!
Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being willing to lend your support. It not only offers holiday cheer where there may be none, it just may save a life. And if your experience is anything like our previous mom’s, you’ll gain far more than you give. It’s a wonderful life!
Robin, AKA Shamamama
PS: the email to submit to again goes to Yvonne, our Letter Mama, at [email protected].