Contribute

If you’re feeling inspired by the writing on Policy Forum, and you want to contribute to public policy debate and discussion, then we want to hear from you.

We welcome original contributions which haven’t been published elsewhere on a wide range of public policy issues. All you need are three things: (1) expertise in the public policy area you’re writing about; (2) an opinion (or opinions) that you want to share which is supported by evidence; and (3) a willingness to agree to our terms and conditions for writers.

So, what does that mean in practice? ‘Expertise’ means that you are practitioner in the area that you’re writing about. That could mean that you work at an NGO, or are a postgraduate student, an academic, or a business leader. We don’t mind what your background is, but it is essential that you know what you’re talking about.

An ‘opinion’ means that we want more than just your expertise in the piece you write; we also want your personality to come through. Everyone involved in Policy Forum believes that a great way to get good policy is robust debate and discussion. You should be prepared to offer both opinion on an issue, and a solution. If you want to write for Policy Forum, we want you to use your platform to further the public debate in your area of expertise.

‘Agreeing to our terms and conditions’ means that your work is licensed under a Creative Commons licence. We publish under this licence in order to encourage people to republish, share and discuss your ideas. That also means that if you publish with Policy Forum, you are free to republish your piece to your own site, university webpage or wherever else you choose.

Our editorial process aims to help shape and prepare your contribution in the style of pieces we publish on Policy Forum. To give your contribution the best chance of being accepted for publication, here are some general tips:

  • Structure: Your intro should grab attention, provide context for the issue, highlight why it’s topical, and suggest what your argument will be. The main body of the piece should outline your arguments in a logical way and provide evidence. Your conclusion should summarise your argument, ideally linking back to your intro in some way.
  • Paragraphs: Should have just one clear point. Keep them short.
  • Links, but no references: our pieces don’t include references, but hyperlinks are a must (include appropriate link in the text of your submission). The following should be backed up by a link: direct quotes; figures; and references to research, government documents, opinion pieces, or books.
  • No subheads: There should be no subheadings in the text.
  • Graphs and tables: These should only be included where there is no way to incorporate the information they provide into text.
  • Have a point you want to make: sounds obvious, but many potentially good pieces are undone by not being clear about the point the writer wants to make. Your piece should have a clear policy-relevant argument.
  • Word choice: Wording should be appropriate for an informed general audience. Overly academic and jargonistic words should not be used.
  • Word count: Up to 600 words is great. Up to 800 words is okay. We will sometimes accept contributions up to 1000 words. Beyond that we are likely to ask you to cut it down and resubmit.

Ready to go?  Give us some detail about yourself and what you want to write about, or even upload a draft (maximum 800 words please) below. Once we have it, one of our editorial team will be in touch. If you’d just like to have an informal discussion first, all of our contact details can be found here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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