FAQ: About the Proposal Process
If I submit a proposal, what is the likelihood it will be accepted for publication?
It depends on the number of proposals that are received. For some topics as many as 5 or 6 proposals are received; for others, we might only receive 1. Typically, the more specialized the topic, the fewer proposals are received.
Is it essential that I have published on the topic about which I’m submitting a proposal?
No. Although a strong publication record on the topic for which you are submitting a proposal is definitely beneficial, it is not essential. Many FP Essentials authors have published before, but not necessarily on the topic for which they are submitting a proposal.
Is it essential that I have published something before?
Although we occasionally enlist authors who have not published previously, it doesn’t happen often. If you have expertise in a topic and want to write on that topic, we suggest that you enlist a co-author who has a publication record. It will make your proposal much stronger.
Is priority given to authors who have been published previously in FP Essentials?
Not necessarily. While we will look carefully at proposals from prior authors who met contractual obligations and content requirements, prior authorship for FP Essentials does not guarantee acceptance of a new proposal. Indeed, potential authors who are not previously published in FP Essentials may be viewed as desirable because they can bring a fresh style and presentation to the program.
Does FP Essentials ever invite specific authors to submit proposals?
Occasionally, no suitable proposals are received for a particular topic. When this happens, the editors will seek out potential authors based on a literature search and/or recommendations from members of the editorial board, and invite an author to submit a proposal. We typically invite only 1 such author at a time. Invited authors still need to submit a proposal, however, as proposals are a requirement in AAFP’s contracting process.
If I have written for FP Essentials in the past, is it necessary for me to submit a full proposal this time?
Unless you hear otherwise from us, the answer is “yes.”
Is it acceptable to have co-authors, or must I write the entire manuscript myself?
Yes, it is acceptable to have a maximum of 4 total authors. Depending on the topics to be covered and the expertise required for each topic, it may even be desirable to have co-authors. However, for multi-authored manuscripts, 1 author must be designated as the corresponding/lead author. That lead author is responsible for A) ensuring that the entire manuscript, including contributions from all authors, is complete and submitted on time and B) all communications with the editors and production staff. Resident authors must be senior residents who will have completed residency by the publication date of the monograph.
However, after the author(s) sign the contract, no new authors can be added. ACCME regulations require any potential conflicts of interest be identified before development of the activity content. Consequently, once content development has begun, authors other than those originally contracted may not be engaged.
What is the purpose of the writing sample that is submitted with the proposal?
We ask that you submit a 1-page, single-spaced writing sample to give us a sense of your writing skills. This writing sample is not the same as the copies of prior pertinent publications that we also request. Rather, for the writing sample, we suggest that you write 1 page of the manuscript you propose to write. The writing sample should be about the core of your topic, rather than introductory content, so that we can also get a feel for your mastery of the topic. References should be included, but do not count toward the 1-page limit.
What is the purpose of the 2-page “proposal for the edition’s content?”
Each proposal specifies the 4 topics to be covered in each issue of FP Essentials, and it gives a list of specific issues/questions authors should address within each topic. But, beyond that, authors have flexibility in how they will present the topic. The 2-page “proposal for the edition’s content” is your opportunity to demonstrate how you will present the topic if you are selected as the author. Approaches that are innovative, case-based, practical, and engaging for readers will be viewed more favorably than proposals that simply say that you will address the issues listed in the request for proposal content requirements.
Must I use the exact same cases suggested on the Web site, or can I develop and use my own cases?
The cases presented on the Web site are suggestions, provided to give you an idea of the kind of cases we think might work well to bring out key points in the topic under discussion. If you have other ideas for cases you think will better emphasize the key points you wish to make, your proposal can suggest a different case.
Will you accept proposals after the due date?
Proposals submitted by the due date receive highest priority. Furthermore, an on-time proposal shows that a prospective author can meet deadlines, which is an important criterion in selecting authors. Sometimes, however, the due date passes and we have not yet received a suitable proposal. In such cases, we will consider proposals after the due date. If you wish to submit a proposal after the due date, please contact us to see if we are still considering additional proposals for your topic.
Can I suggest topics for issues of FP Essentials?
When we issue a Call for Authors, we are seeking authors for specific topics that have been selected by our editorial board. Although we welcome suggestions for future topics, it is unlikely they will be used in the current round of proposal submissions.
Do I need to submit a conflict of interest form along with my proposal?
Yes, each author must complete the conflict of interest form before the proposal is submitted. Select Option 1. Non-members must create an aafp.org account to access the form.
If I list any potential conflicts of interest, will I be excluded from writing for FP Essentials?
No. Many individuals who are experts in a topic have been involved as consultants for industry, or have received speaking honoraria or research grants related to the topic. As long as potential conflicts are reported and are not deemed as actual conflicts, they will not exclude potential authors from consideration. But potential conflicts do need to be disclosed.
Are authors paid for their work?
Yes. Authors receive a $4,000 honorarium for writing an issue of FP Essentials. One-half of the total is paid upon submission of a polished draft by the agreed upon due date. The remainder is paid upon publication. If there are multiple authors, the honorarium will be split among the authors in a proportion and according to instructions provided by the lead author. Authors should be aware that the honorarium is reduced if due dates are missed and result in a delay in our production schedule.