Writing For The Washington Post – Q&A With Samantha Rodman of Dr. Psych Mom

In Tips & Tricks, Writing Inspiration by Susan Maccarelli | |

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Friend to Beyond Your Blog, Samantha Rodman (aka Dr. Psych Mom) has graciously shared her story and some tips for getting published on The Washington Post!  

Writing For Washington Post - Samatha Rodman (aka, Dr. Psych Mom) shares how she began writing for Washington Post

Beyond Your Blog: Can you introduce us to your blog and give us a rundown of some of the sites you’ve been featured on for context?

Samantha Rodman: My blog is Dr. Psych Mom.  I started it in late June as marketing for my private practice, but it grew into its own thing. It covers psychology, relationships, parenting, sex, and anything else that interests me or my readers.  I’m a clinical psychologist so I get a lot of ideas from issues that come up with my clients.  My readers write in questions for me to answer, and I also run a column called Functional Couple Friday, where you and your partner can get e-interviewed by me and show the world that functioning couples exist (submit here if you’re anything resembling functional; if you’ve considered divorce less than weekly, you’re in)!

I have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Babble, Psych Central, Kveller, Mommyish, Modern Mom, Moms Magazine, J-Mag (J-Date’s magazine), Pattiknows.com, Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop, The Good Men Project, and more.  And McSweeney’s.  Just kidding about that last one.

BYB: Tell us how you first got featured in The Washington Post? What is their submission process?

SR: I got featured in the Washington Post the same way I get featured anywhere: I just pitch and pitch and pitch.  My initial attempts to be featured in the WP Outlook section were rejected, but unbeknownst to me, my pieces were given to the On Parenting editor.  She contacted me and asked if she could run my piece.  I was very excited!  Later, after I pitched again, I was featured in the Op-Ed section with extensive editing. That was my piece “I’m just not that into toddler, including my own” (NOT my headline!).  That is my only writing so far that’s been published in an actual paper publication!

<Samantha Rodman Quote

BYB: Have you had subsequent posts featured there? How did those come about?

SR: I just kept pitching to the On Parenting editor and she has taken a bunch more of my pieces.  Some of them she doesn’t like.  I am undeterred.  After three kids, I have no ego.

> Read All Of Samantha’s Posts on Washington Post

BYB: Does Washington Post only accept work that has not been published before?

SR: Yes.

BYB: What is your experience as far as seeing traffic, follows, comments etc. on your WP posts?

SR: For my Op-Ed, I got a precipitous amount of traffic, emails, comments, requests for radio interviews, etc.  For the On Parenting pieces, I get some reprint requests and an increase in traffic on the day I’m published. I had one Posteverything piece (their digital magazine) and got interviewed by a radio station in Canada.

BYB: Any tips for other bloggers submitting for the first time in terms of the types of posts they like to feature or how to get their attention?

SR: I have submitted funny things, but anything about parenting is good for On Parenting.  Just try!

BYB: Can you highlight some other places you absolutely love to be featured and tell us why?

SR: The best thing that ever happened was that after many, many unsolicited pitches to the editor of Motherlode, the parenting blog in the New York Times, she accepted one of my pieces!  So that’s one of my favorites, assuming it ever happens again, and also Scary Mommy, since it’s a great group of people and always sends my traffic sky high and gets me lots of new followers, and HuffPost, for the same reasons.

BYB: What’s next on your blogging radar?

SR: I was recently contacted by Adams Media, the publishers of Why Men Love Bitches (don’t read into that…okay, read into that) to write a book on how to talk to your kids about divorce!  I just signed the contract and I am super excited.  The book will cover lots of important communication skills and ways to connect with your child through this tough time.  The book is due in mid-March and should be out in August 2015!  After that I hope to write many more books, because this book contract is allowing me to feel justified in cutting down my already minimal work hours to pay a babysitter to watch my kids two mornings a week while I sit in a coffee shop and write. And I get to do this without children. And surrounded by adults on laptops.  Did I mention no kids will be present during the writing of this book?

Oh, I would also like to be published in McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, and the On the Couch section of the New York Times.

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About the Author

Susan Maccarelli

Susan Maccarelli is the creator of Beyond Your Blog, a site helping bloggers successfully submit their writing for publishing opportunities beyond their personal blogs. She also offers online training and consulting to new bloggers looking for direction on submitting their writing for publication. Susan has interviewed dozens of editors from publications like The New York Times, Huffington Post, Brain, Child, Chicken Soup For The Soul, The Washington Post, and speaks at many respected writing and blogging conferences.