Wacky Wednesday: Freelance Fodder

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Welcome to Wacky Wednesday! Today, some helpful hints on how to become a freelance writer AND emotionally scar your children forever!

We here at Columbus Parent Central receive many, many pitches from freelance writers who would like us to publish articles they've written. Now, mind you, we stopped publishing unsolicited articles way back in 2010 when we relaunched the magazine. Most of these come from writers who don't live in Central Ohio, and we felt that refocusing the magazine on Central Ohio was the best use of our resources.

But that doesn't stop an average of 10-15 articles coming to us each week from around the country. One, however, stands out as a superb example of why some people really shouldn't be allowed to hit a Send key.

Here, from the email of intro:

My 8-year-old daughter got teased over her hairstyle from an unexpected person, her ice skating coach. In my 741-word essay, "Ice Bully - Teased by her Coach" tells of how her dad and I helped her overcome a hurtful situation.

Oh, but it gets better:

Attached please find a photo of my daughter taken just after the lesson when she got teased by her coach. It is available for publishing to show your readers just how unnecessarily rude an authority figure can be in a child's life. I have a larger version of this photo for printing purposes.

And then there was the 741-word essay itself. The short version of it would be: Mom did up daughter's hair in (and we quote) "a messy high ponytail." Coach asked Kid if she "had a late night?" 741 words of vitriol ensued wherein Mom and Dad instructed Kid that her coach "is trying to diminish you to make herself feel good" and that Kid was "going to wear your hair like that for your last two lessons with her. We are going to make a point." Oh, and just to show said Coach, they "did not even consider her for private lessons." Gasp!

And then Mom pounded out a 741-word essay, attached a photo of Kid in a messy high ponytail and sent it off to every parenting magazine editor in the country.

We will not add to this poor Kid's plight by publishing either the essay or the photo.