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Blog Guest Writers Guidelines

GUIDELINES FOR STRAIGHT TALK
The Straight Spouse Network Blog
Thank you for offering to share your story with us!  We appreciate your interest in writing for us, and in getting the word out about the real lives of Straight Spouses. Here are our guidelines for publication:

ARTICLE LENGTH 
Approximately 600-900 words. There will likely be editing for spelling, punctuation and length. We may ask you for additional details.

AUTHOR NAME
You can publish under a pen name, or just your first name, but we have to know the real name of the person who submitted the article, and have your email contact information. It’s fine to publish under your own full name if that is what you wish, but we will not publish your spouse’s name or location or personal details.

Please be aware if you are using your full name that we get great Google ranking. Anyone searching your name on Google could possibly discover your article, now or many years from now. You can use a pen name, or just your first name if you want to avoid this.

RIGHT TO PUBLICATION
The article you submit will be for our exclusive publication. If it has previously been published elsewhere, we will mutually agree to share it. If you have a blog or website and want to include the article that you have written for us, we will place a link to that article on the SSN website with a description of what you have written. Please do not copy paste the whole article as Google penalizes duplicate content. We all want Google to find your article and get the word out! It’s more effective to say “Hey, look where this article I wrote was published” than to just republish the entire article.

Our published articles are shared on our social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They are also shared among secret groups on Facebook, and, where applicable, among unaffiliated groups of counselors, nonprofits, LGBTQ business people etc. on LinkedIn. Once your article is out on social media, be aware that it will be widely shared by us and by others.

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CONTENT

YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The article must be your personal view, your personal experience. Unless you have been invited to contribute as a professional in a given field, you are not an expert on all straight spouses, but you ARE an expert on your own life.

Sharing your story does not mean deliberately outing your spouse, or provoking personal drama or controversy. There is a possibility that when your story appears, your spouse or family may respond negatively. We want this article to be about YOU and your experiences, but not about your spouse or family members.

Examples: you can talk about how you felt when you had to get an HIV test from your doctor, or how you found your ex advertising on hook up sites, or what happened during discovery or disclosure. But “I got AIDS because he banged everyone”, or “I found his profile on Men4Men, he’s CowboyBob25” is not appropriate.

Please do not discuss or recommend any counselors, attorneys, judges or doctors.

AVOID GENERALIZATIONS
ie “all gay men are the same”, “all lesbians are confused”, “all gay men are bi now gay later”, “gay marriage is bad for families”.  Those generalizations may be true in YOUR experience, but not for other Straight Spouses. The Straight Spouse Network builds bridges where possible. Straight Spouses come from many different backgrounds and family situations.

DO NOT USE LANGUAGE THAT DENIGRATES LGBTQ PEOPLE.

AVOID GIVING ADVICE TO STRAIGHT SPOUSES
ie “might as well save yourself the trouble and get divorced now”, or any advice on marriage in general. Your own story is much more powerful. Others will recognize common situations. The only recognized expert on the complete Straight Spouse Experience in our organization is our founder, Amity Pierce Buxton. Ph.D.

DO NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE
Even if you are an attorney, do not give legal advice, unless we have invited you to write your expert opinion on a particular issue.

 POLITICS & RELIGION
Its fine to talk about what you saw and felt at the gay pride parade, good or bad, or what you experienced as the spouse of someone who was part of an ex-gay program, but do not make political endorsements or defame political groups. As a not-for-profit organization, we are prohibited from making political endorsements.

We have taken public positions on same sex marriage and reparative therapies, however, those issues are not the focus of this blog, unless your article is about the personal effect those things may have on you as a Straight Spouse. Likewise, we’ve published articles about Straight Spouse’s personal experiences with their churches and faith communities, but do not endorse or condemn certain churches or religions, or attempt to convert anyone.

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EDITORIALS
If your article is an opinion piece that we have requested, we may publish it with an acknowledgement that opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Straight Spouse Network.

If you have any questions, please contact the Straight Spouse Network Communications Director, Janet McMonagle, janet@straightspouse.org