Workbook Submission

Call for Submissions:

Let’s Do the Work: A Transracial Adoption Workbook for Adoptive Parents

Publishers Weekly Workbook Announcement:

Contributor Submissions Due: July 15th, 2022

Email submissions to  with the subject line: LET’S DO THE WORK SUBMISSION 

What is Let’s Do the Work?

It is a workbook on transracial adoption that will not shy away from the difficult questions of white fragility, saviorism, and will help adoptive parents be the best they can be by educating and pushing families to do the work.

LET’S DO THE WORK, will streamline many of the activities and questions from WHAT WHITE PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION, but will go further and more in depth than the typical adoption workbooks on the market. As a transracial adoptee who has strengthened her relationship with her adoptive family, Guida-Richards knows how important difficult conversations, self-reflection, and the input from experts can be in adoptive families. 

This work is a followup to What White Parents Should Know About Transracial Adoption. It is being published in Summer 2023 with North Atlantic Books.

Who is Melissa Guida-Richards?

MELISSA GUIDA-RICHARDS is an author, educator, and adoptee advocate based in Pennsylvania. She is the author of What White Parents Should Know About Transracial Adoption, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was named one of the “Best New Adoption Books” by Book Authority for 2022.

She was adopted in 1993 from Colombia to a family in the USA. Her viral essay, “My Adoptive Parents Hid My Racial Identity From Me for 19 Years,” was published in Huffington Post in April 2019. She soon launched the Adoptee Thoughts Instagram and Podcast to help elevate adoptee voices and educate adoptive parents on the nuances and complexity of adoption. Recent work includes essays on The Independent, Zora, Insider, HuffPo, Level at Medium, Electric Literature, and more.

What should I submit?

We are seeking a range of creative nonfiction that centers one’s personal experience with transracial adoption from the adoptee, former foster youth, birth parent and adoptive parent perspective. Contributions chosen will be used in activities that will educate adoptive parents on the impact of transracial adoption and the complex experiences that those within the adoption community have.

Submissions can be short nonfiction essays, poems, cartoons reflective of your experience, etc. Applicants must be comfortable with the use of their work as educational content to help prospective and current adoptive parents of transracial adoptees learn about the complex adoption experience of those in our community and the impact it has.

Some questions the contributions should consider in their work are:

For Adoptees or Former Foster Youth
  • How has adoption impacted my identity?
  • What are some struggles I have had due to adoption?
  • How has my relationship with my adoptive parents developed as I explored my identity as an adoptee?
  • Did your foster/adoptive parents discuss race?
  • Did you feel like you were exposed enough to your birth culture?
  • How did your foster/adoptive parents’ relationship with race impact your own?
  • Did you have an open or closed adoption? How did that impact you?
  • What do you wish your adoptive parents would have done?
  • If you could tell APs one thing what would it be?
  • Did you have a relationship with racial mirrors or other transracial adoptees? How did that impact you?
  • Did you feel like the system prepared your parents to foster or adopt transracially?
For Birth Parents
  • How has your view of transracial adoption changed from before your child was adopted to now?
  • What do you wish you would have known?
  • How have you been impacted by adoption?
  • Has adoption impacted your mental or physical health?
  • If you have been in a reunion or an open adoption, how has that impacted you and your relationship with your adopted child?
  • If you have other biological children has adoption impacted their relationship?
  • How have adoption professionals and adoptive parents treated you? Has your experience changed from before birth and placement?
  • If you received support, did it help? What kind of support do you wish you had?
For Adoptive Parents
  • What do you wish you could have done in the early stages of adoption?
  • Do you have any regrets?
  • Did you incorporate your child’s culture in their upbringing?
  • How do you support your child’s need to connect with their culture and birth family?
  • How do you approach strangers/friends/family asking intrusive questions about your child?
  • Did you make an effort to learn your child’s birth language, foods, traditions?
  • What did you do to ensure an ethical adoption?
  • How did you view adoption as a whole in the beginning of the process versus now?
  • How has your relationship with your child changed over the years? (please redact any identifying personal information)
person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook
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Submission Guidelines:

  • submit short nonfiction essays, poems, etc. reflecting on transracial adoption
  • Must be connected to transracial adoption (adoptee, former foster youth, birth parent, adoptive parent, etc.
  • must sign a contributors permissions agreement to be considered (contributors will receive permission to sign up receipt of submission email.
  • include your name, email address, short bio
  • must be 18 years old or older & be willing to state how you are connected to adoption
  • Contributors can be anonymous but be willing to share basic details like age & connection to adoption (aka adoptive parent, adoptee, former foster youth)
  • must be submitted as a word document, 12pt font of a maximum 800 words


Accepted Adoptee, Former Foster Youth and Birth Parent contributors will receive a $25 honorarium for their work (upon acceptance) or a complimentary copy of the finished work when it is published in Summer 2023. Honorarium will be paid via Venmo or Paypal unless otherwise discussed.

Due to the nature of the project and that it is based on a very small advance from a small publisher, this is unfortunately all that we can offer at this time. If you do choose not to be anonymous, Melissa can and will also promote your work/social media on her platforms leading up to the release of the workbook.

At this time adoptive parents will not be compensated monetarily for their work but will receive a complimentary e-copy of the completed work and/or a free PDF of recommended resources. Due to the purpose of the work to raise adoptee, former foster youth, and birth parent voices, we are seeking volunteer content from adoptive parents willing to help educate future and current adoptive parents on their journey. 

If you have any questions please email Melissa at the email address listed above.