Frequently Asked Questions: How to Get Involved with Family Tree

Q: How do I get involved with Family Tree?

Family Tree’s genealogy community offers lots of opportunity to connect with fellow family historians and contribute your ideas and stories to Family Tree Magazine and our website.

Here’s how to get involved:

  • Join our social media family
    Join us (and a thriving community of fellow genealogists) on your favorite social media site to keep up with the latest news from genealogy world and Family Tree Magazine.
    Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube 
  • Comment on our blogs and articles
    Family Tree Magazine editor Diane Haddad and contributor Maureen Taylor are blogging on our Genealogy Insider and Photo Detective blogs, respectively. Join them as they post about news and genealogy tips and tricks, and let them know what you think in the comments. Our new site also allows for commenting on any of our how-to articles. Jump into the discussion with your own helpful hints or questions!
  • Ask our experts
    Have a burning genealogy research question? Or a mysterious old picture you’d like to identify? Share them with our experts! Our staff handpicks questions and stumpers from the community to feature on our website and in the Q&A sections of Family Tree Magazine. Post questions in the Community forum, on our Facebook page, or email to ftmedit@fwmedia.com. Submit your mystery photos for the Photo Detective blog and magazine column by following these guidelines.
    Note: Due to the volume of queries we receive, we regret that our staff cannot respond personally to all inquiries, nor can we undertake personal research requests for our customers. But other members of the community just might hold the answer to your question — you don’t know until you ask!
  • Participate in a contest
    Want to make your ancestors famous or share your finds with the wider world? Occasionally, we run contests that feature readers’ pictures and stories on our website and/or in the pages of Family Tree Magazine. Who knows, your ancestor might become our next cover model! Watch our blog and newsletter for details on upcoming contests.

All contest submissions are subject to editing for space and clarity, and may be used in all print and electronic media. We regret that we can’t return or acknowledge submissions, or respond personally to all questions.

 Q: How do I become a writer for Family Tree?

In addition to reader participation opportunities, we welcome queries from writers looking to contribute to our magazine and/or website. Before reaching out, please consult our writer’s guidelines and browse our content to get a feel for the type of material we publish.

Writer’s Guidelines

  • Family Tree covers genealogy, ethnic heritage, personal history, genealogy websites and software, photography and photo preservation, and other ways that families connect with their pasts.
  • Articles are beginner-friendly but never talk down to the audience. Readers may be experts in one area of our coverage, yet novices in another. We emphasize sidebars, tips and other reader-friendly “packaging,” and each article aims to provide the resources necessary to take the next step in the quest for one’s personal past.
    We accept queries by email to ftmedit@fwmedia.com only. If we’ve never worked with you before, please include writing samples (published clips preferred) with your query. Please don’t call with queries or to check on the status of your query. Allow six to eight weeks for a response.
  • The ideal Family Tree Magazine writer is both a writer—able to explain complex topics in clear, friendly, easy-to-read articles and sidebars—and an expert (or interested amateur) in one of our coverage areas. Your query should indicate both why you’re right for this topic and why you’re able to write it.
  • Please query with a specific story idea. In general, we’re looking for stories that are right for our magazine, not for writers to assign articles to. Please do not submit finished articles (except for our Tree Talk section; see below) or articles previously published in other genealogical magazines. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
  • Both online content and magazine issues are planned well in advance. Though our lead time is technically about six months, we’ll have a plan for the December issue by January of that year. Better to look too far ahead than to miss the boat. And we do like to be timely—scheduling a story on wedding records in June, for example.
  • Our style is bright, breezy, helpful and encouraging. We’re NOT an academic journal or a genealogy-research journal.
  • Articles need to be broad enough in scope to appeal to a general audience, yet narrow enough to support specific, useful information. “Getting Started with the National Archives” might be a good article for us; “1840 North Carolina Census Records” is not.
  • We do not publish personal experience stories (except brief stories in Tree Talk; see below) or the histories of specific families in our magazine. Nor do we publish generic family or parenting articles—keep in mind that our focus is how to do family history.
  • Query with specific suggestions on accompanying sidebars, tip boxes, resource lists and other elements, as well as ideas for content that might be appropriate for posting on our Web site.
  • For writers new to Family Tree Magazine, we are most open to short submissions of new, online resources for family history buffs for our Toolkit section. We also invite short, amusing or heartwarming stories of “the lighter side of family history” for our Tree Talk page. (Note: Contributors to Tree Talk aren’t paid.)
  • Please read a copy of the magazine before querying.
  • For more advice on writing and marketing your work, see our sister brand Writer’s Digest.

Q: How do I become an instructor or presenter for Family Tree University?

We’re always seeking qualified genealogy experts who are dynamic presenters and enthusiastic teachers for our webinars, online courses and workshops, and virtual conferences.

If that sounds like you, please reach out to our Family Tree University administrator at familytreeuniversity@fwmedia.com. Please include:

  • a brief bio of yourself
  • your specific areas of expertise
  • a link to your website and/or social media pages (we prefer instructors who are active in the online genealogy community; self-promotion savvy is a must)
  • synopsis of your proposed courses or webinars, including clear, marketable titles and brief descriptions of the content (see descriptions for our existing courses and webinars to get an idea of what we’re looking for)
  • links to any video presentations or past speaking engagements