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Freelance Writer’s Guidelines



We appreciate your interest in submitting a story idea to Sisters From AARP for review.

About Us

Sisters From AARP is a free, weekly newsletter celebrating Black women, and anyone is welcome to read and subscribe. Our audience includes Black women of various backgrounds and ages, including those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

Sisters readers get the very best in health, money, culture, style, relationships and more in every issue. We also feature exclusive related content here on our website. And the conversation continues in our social media communities, including  Facebook and  Instagram .  

Article Tone and Topics

Sisters editors receive a variety of pitches for review and are not able to accept all ideas. That said, we do accept emailed story and essay pitches from writers.

If you want to write for us, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter to get a sense of our approach and the topics we cover. Or review this website to see our content, including topics we have covered recently. 

The tone of Sisters articles and essays — which can provide service, general information, perspective and more — is generally conversational and approachable. Stories should be written with our audience in mind and as if writers are sharing information with a friend. We encourage cultural references, as well as active and engaging language.

If you’re pitching an essay, consider a meaningful or emotional turning point you had. Essays for Sisters should include rich detail, and writers should show us what transpired rather than telling us or merely summarizing. Standard essays (like this one on caring for plants as a form of self-care ) reflect personal experiences, with no advice. Reported essays ( like this one on happiness ) can include advice.

Possible topics for articles and essays include those in the following categories:

  • Health: wellness, fitness, nutrition, mental health and more
  • Work & Money: saving, budgeting, investing, retirement and work (including side hustles, cultural topics and career advice)
  • Culture & Style: hair care, beauty, fashion, aging well, identity and entertainment (including topics related to TV, books, music and movies)
  • Me Time: self-care, gratitude, faith, solo hobbies or activities and more
  • We Time: friendship, family matters, romantic relationships and caregiving

Additional notes on content:

  • We generally cover new or forthcoming book releases for standalone coverage, so ideally these related pitches would be sent prior to the book’s release.
  • We do not currently accept pitches for music playlists.
  • We do not currently accept pitches for fiction or poetry.

Timing and Other Details

We typically assign freelance stories and essays weeks to months in advance and do not generally assign stories on breaking news. That means, if you’re pitching a newsletter story related to a holiday or a particular observance, pitching at least a month in advance can be ideal. Our web-exclusive stories — those that appear online but not as part of our weekly emailed newsletter — can have shorter lead times.

When assigned, our articles and essays can run between 700 and 1,000 words.

Submission Instructions for Pitches

Please review and follow the following guidelines.

  • Please submit pitches via email, as text in the body of an email, to sistersletter@aarp.org. We are unable to review unsolicited attachments, so please do not attach any files to your pitch.
  • Please label your email as a “Pitch” in the subject line, and provide details in the subject line on the nature of your pitch. (For example a subject line could read: “Pitch: 5 Ways to Feel Connected Right Now.”)
  • Submit specific details about the hook and topic when pitching, including why the topic is particularly appropriate for Sisters. Please do not send one-line ideas.
  • Include links to your writing clips whenever possible.
  • Submit an overview of the proposed essay and a description of the arc of the story when pitching essays, including the proposed beginning, middle and end, and the takeaway. Also include information about yourself, as the proposed essay writer. Complete drafts are not required but are appreciated. If you elect to send a full draft, please paste it into the body of an email. (Remember: No attachments, please.)   

Once you’ve submitted your pitch to sistersletter@aarp.org, we will review it. In general, please allow at least two weeks for a response.

Contracts and Editing Process

If we accept your pitch, we will send you a work-for-hire contract for review and signature.  After you have signed the agreement, and submitted the assignment,  the essay or article will go through the editing process with a Sisters editor as well as our copyediting and/or fact-checking team. When writing for us, source information is required for facts. And writers should avoid unsubstantiated statements or generalizations.

We appreciate your interest in Sisters From AARP.