Contest: Write for NPN’s Cloth Diapering Book!

Exciting news! Natural Parents Network is publishing a book — and some of YOU will be writing it!

Tentatively titled The Natural Parent’s Guide to Cloth Diapering, this book will be a Cloth Diapering 101 class to everyone who wants to cloth diaper but is intimidated by all the choices and logistics of going full-on fluff. This print-on-demand volume will make the perfect baby shower and new parent gift and will be an invaluable resource for any parents who already cloth diaper — or wish they did.

We are holding a writing contest to fill up the chapters with your fine contributions. We’ve picked out what we think are the crucial elements to cover in a book on cloth diapering, and we invite you to write one or more of the chapters and submit it to the contest for possible inclusion in the final book.

What chapters can I submit?

Please select from one or more of these chapters (in boldface) for the contest. Details that could belong within each chapter are listed below, if applicable. As the writer, you might want to add or adjust what you include in your submitted chapter(s). You may also write the chapter points in any order you wish.

This might not be an exhaustive list of possible chapters, either — if you’d like, you can submit an entirely original chapter, though you might want to run it by us first: Books {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com.

  • Why cloth diaper?
    • Environmental impacts
    • Budgetary impacts
    • Health impacts
    • Effect on toilet independence
    • The cuteness & coziness factors
  • Prefolds, fitteds, flats, & diaper covers
    • Materials/styles available
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Folding techniques
    • Care and laundering
  • All-in-ones & all-in-twos
    • Materials/styles available
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Care and laundering
  • Pocket diapers & inserts
    • Materials/styles available
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Care and laundering
  • Troubleshooting
    • Leaking
    • Nighttime cloth diapering
    • Sizing problems
    • Storage & diapering setup
    • Smell (of diapers and of diaper pail)
    • Cloth diapering a newborn
    • Cloth diapering a preemie
    • Cloth diapering a toddler or older child
    • Diaper rash
    • Diaper-frendly clothing choices
  • Care & laundering
    • Basic washing routine
    • Detergents and additives
    • Drying
    • Stains
    • Stripping
    • Shared laundry
    • Hand laundering
    • Caring for wool
  • Budget-friendly cloth diapering
    • Number of diapers needed
    • Affordable options
    • Used diapers
    • Diaper swaps
    • Making your own
    • Reuse & resale
  • Encouraging reluctant users
    • Dads or non-adapting family members
    • Babysitters
    • Daycare
  • Traveling with cloth diapers
  • Using a cloth diaper service
  • Cloth diapering with elimination communication
  • Diapering multiple kids
  • Overview of helpful diapering accessories
    • Cloth wipes
    • Cloth wipe solutions
    • Diaper sprayers
    • Diaper pails
    • Wet bags
    • Lanolin & wool cleansers
    • Pins & Snappis

What is the submission process?

Please submit a draft of your chapter(s) by April 30.

  • Send each chapter as a separate entry to Books {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com. (Note: You are not required to submit more than one chapter, but if you do, please submit each one separately.)
  • Fill out the contest submission form (at the link or at the bottom of this post) for each chapter you submit so we can keep track of all entries.

Once judging is complete, we will contact the winners with any edits to complete the final version of the chapter.

What is a draft?

23-woolly-mommath-back-16mWe’re calling it a draft, but we do want the chapter you submit to give us a very good idea of what the final product will be. To save misery in potential non-winners, though, we’ll allow you to gloss over some of the citations and links that will be needed in the final draft, assuming you know you have access to those citations and links. For instance, if you’re writing about the environmental impacts, please include all relevant facts about studies, but we can allow you to clean up and organize your footnotes/endnotes once your chapter is selected for inclusion; please do not, on the other hand, make up statistics out of thin air without knowing you have something concrete to back them up. In the same way, if you’re writing about laundering cloth diapers and know you want to reference some helpful products and blog posts you have bookmarked, you can note that in the first draft and fill them in if your chapter is selected for inclusion.

What is the style of writing you’re looking for?

That’s really up to you! We’d like to keep the book feeling like it’s a compilation of a lot of authors’ voices — because it will be! We’d love for you to inject some of your personal experiences and preferences and passions as you write about the subject.

Obviously, though, we want this to be a resource, so we need each chapter to be thorough as well. This can come from your own writing, or you can feel free to reference other blog posts and writings, following fair use conventions or through obtaining permission from the copyright holder to reproduce more substantial portions of text. In that case, please give us complete citations and the contact information of the copyright holder so we can verify the permission and crediting.

2009-04-05 02How long should each chapter be?

There is no set guideline we can give. Each chapter will be as long as needed to fit in all the information! Some chapters will likely be much shorter than others, and that’s fine. Write what you think needs to be written to cover the topic thoroughly, and we’ll suggest size edits if necessary.

Who can submit?

Absolutely anyone, from any country. To keep it legal since this is a contest, we’ll say you have to be at least 18 years old. Other than that, it’s any writer’s game!

What’s in it for the winners?

Ah, yes! The prizes!

First of all, winners will have a chapter byline with a link to their blog or website if applicable. In the ebook versions, this will be hyperlinked. Winners can choose what name or pseudonym appears in the book.

We will mail each winner two copies of the printed book and offer a steep discount code to allow winners to purchase additional copies for family or friends at a near-proof cost.

You will also be publicly recognized on Natural Parents Network and on our social media, and you will receive a web badge to proclaim your fame at being included in the book.

5-bumkins-7wksWho will be judging and editing?

Lauren of NPN and Hobo Mama, and Dionna of NPN and Code Name: Mama. We might include our husbands if we need a tiebreaker!

How will you keep things fair?

Submissions will be emailed to Books {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com, a separate email account, and will be opened by Sam, Lauren’s husband, who will forward the chapter portions to Lauren and Dionna after stripping away the author name and email and as much identifying information in the chapter as possible. Depending on the writing in the chapter, this method might still not be completely anonymous, but it will help avoid preconceptions as we begin our judging process.

Any questions and comments you send to that address will be forwarded to us separately, with your contact information attached, so we can respond.

The Google Doc spreadsheet will be accessed by Sam as needed to match up and code entries.

It’s slightly unorthodox, but Lauren and Dionna are allowed to submit chapters, through the same anonymized process. We will try to keep bias toward our own chapters out of the judging.

Please don’t tell us which chapters you’ve submitted or discuss your entries with either Dionna or Lauren during the judging period, to help keep the process as fair as possible. Thanks!

Can one author win for multiple chapters?

It’s certainly possible. We hope to include as wide a range of writers as possible and will keep that goal in mind as we select the winners. However, we also want a quality product with each chapter covered thoroughly.

We reserve the right to combine writing from multiple authors if needed to create the best chapter. We also reserve the right to combine chapters if it makes a more effective book. In either such case, the authors of the chapter will share the byline credit, in alphabetical order.

Can I write only a certain portion of a chapter?

Ideally, no. But if you have special expertise on one subtopic of a particular chapter or you want to team up with some other authors to intentionally coauthor a chapter, we can theoretically combine portions and credit multiple authors as noted above.

How will winners be contacted?

We will contact writers individually through email and post the results online.

We reserve the right to request additional edits before accepting a chapter as a winner.

2009-07-24 06How will the book be printed?

Lauren and Dionna, and Lauren’s husband, Sam, will be laying out and designing the book. Then we will publish through CreateSpace, the same print-on-demand publisher that is doing a fabulous job printing and distributing Lauren’s parenting poetry book.

The book cover will be paperback with black and white interior and full-color cover and will be priced affordably enough to find a place on your bookshelf and to make an ideal gift for new parents.

The book will be listed online on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers in the U.S. It will also be available as an ebook for Kindle and other electronic readers. We will enroll in the expanded distribution program at CreateSpace to facilitate having the title available at many international retailers as well. (For instance, I’ve confirmed that my poetry book is successfully listed on Amazon’s sites in Canada, the UK, Germany, France, and Japan, and then I got bored and stopped looking.) We will also offer limited copies for sale directly from Natural Parents Network, which will help accommodate anyone who lives in a place where it’s impossible to purchase from a local source.

If we think optimistically, the book might someday be available in brick-and-mortar stores and libraries as well.

Where will proceeds of the book sales go?

They’ll go to the operating costs of Natural Parents Network. (So far, we’ve spent more than we’ve earned, which isn’t unusual for a new website.)

If anyone can suggest good cloth diaper charities, we can consider setting aside a percentage of profits for donations as well.

What if I don’t write but know a lot about cloth diapers?

We still need you! Please help us fill up our cloth diapering resource list! (Writers are also welcome to participate, by the way.)

What are the best manufacturers, blogs, articles, products, forums, websites, books, and stores that help you cloth diaper? Tell us in this special Google Doc form, by leaving a comment on the post, or by emailing Books {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com. Please get resource suggestions to us by April 30.

There’s no credit or compensation for having your submitted resource appear in the book, since we’ll likely have overlap of favorite resources — but you will have our wholehearted appreciation!

What if I have super-cute photos of my kids in cloth diapers?

Oh, please do send them on in! Here are some guidelines for images:

  • We can use photos of any facet of cloth diapering (see the chapter list above for ideas): cloth diapers of various types being worn by kids or on their own, folding techniques, laundering, fluff stashes, accessories, travel, making diapers, etc.
  • Photos need to be as high resolution as possible. Photos that do not meet quality thresholds for printing will unfortunately not be accepted.
  • Include your contact information and your preferred caption for the photo (subject to editing). The caption should include any names or pseudonyms you want included (remaining anonymous is your option) as well as the name and contact information of the photographer, and you are welcome to include a link to your blog if applicable.
  • You need to give us detailed information about what diaper(s) and/or accessories are pictured, including the name of the diaper and the manufacturer, so we can obtain permission from the companies to print the images.
  • If we accept your photo(s), we will have you sign a model release form for yourself and your immediate family members (e.g., your children). If any other families are present in a photo, you will need to obtain their permission to submit the photo and give us contact information to send a model release to them as well.
  • We will need the photographer to sign a copyright permission form. If the photographer is someone other than you or an immediate family member, you will need to give us the photographer’s contact information for us to send a copyright permission form.
  • Which photos are selected for inclusion is entirely up to the judges and will be influenced by image quality, subject matter, and completion of model release and copyright permission forms.
  • Email photos to Books {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com. Submitting a link to an online album (such as on Flickr or Photobucket) is acceptable as well, as long as you own the copyright to the photos in the album (or you let us know which ones are not available) and your captions there are detailed or you can get us the details on request.
  • Please send in all photos by April 30.

There’s no compensation for having your photo(s) included in the book beyond a photo credit of your choice, the chance to see your adorable diapers in print, and our undying gratitude.

Submit today!

We are so excited about this opportunity to bring your writing, your images, your voices, and your expertise to a wider audience! We believe there is a real need for an up-to-date book like this on the shelves, to bring our love of cloth to the community. If this contest goes well, we’d love to host future contests for books on other topics relevant to natural parenting, so thank you for your participation and stay tuned!

Again, the deadline for all submissions is April 30 (chapters, photos, and resources).

Now — get writing!

3 Responses to Contest: Write for NPN’s Cloth Diapering Book!

  1. Arwyn  

    Have you considered doing at least a section on elimination communication and how well cloth and EC go together?

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