Writing for the Medact blog

Pitching Guidelines

1. Pitch first

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the work we do, via our website, to ensure the content and approach of your article is in keeping with our core values and mission. This is not to say we don’t welcome new ideas!

Please send us 1-2 short paragraphs about your blog idea to [email protected] BEFORE you write it. We’ll let you know if the topic seems relevant to us and if we’re keen to publish your blog we’ll ask you to read and follow these guidelines when writing the piece.

2. Keep it focused

A blog is a short format so it should deal with only ONE argument or idea. There simply isn’t space to explore several ideas or strands of argument in any depth. The title of your piece should be short and snappy and summarise this one point that your article is making. Think of a 2 line summary of what your blog is about that we can share when publicising your blog.

3. Keep it short

The ideal length for a blog is 600 words. Aim for this and if it ends up 800 words you’re OK. The absolute maximum should be 900 words otherwise you’re into essay territory and readers expecting a “blog” will give up!

4. Keep it simple

Keep your language simple and accessible to an average reader with no specialist knowledge of the topic. Avoid jargon and acronyms, or – if absolutely necessary – explain terms, or spell out acronyms, the first time you use them.

5. Keep it critical

We’re interested in your opinion and analysis on the issue you’re writing about. Don’t just describe an issue, think about the argument you’re trying to make and keep that central to the piece.

6. Make it personal 

If there is a special reason that this issue matters to you, or you have a personal story connected to it, we want to hear it. It will help your readers relate to the importance of the issue if they understand its impact on individuals.

7. Think intersectionally

Medact is committed to taking an intersectional approach, acknowledging and seeking to counter the many different forms of oppressive power structures that may be operating in any given situation. Have you thought about the gender and racial dynamics of your topic? Have you considered how class and disability might be relevant? Please make an effort to address these important issues.

8. Perfect the opening

The way your blog starts makes all the difference. Work on hooking the reader in right from the start with an opening sentence that makes them want to carry on reading.

9. Break up your sentences

Help your readers to understand your argument by breaking up long sentences into smaller chunks. This also helps you, as a writer, to clarify your points and pace your argument. Generally, the more concise you can be the better.

10. Images

Pictures really help bring a piece to life. Try and include an image if you can, ideally one with a creative commons license or that you have permission from the photographer to use. Alternatively, think about what might make a nice graphic and talk to us, we might be able to support making one.

11. Publication & dissemination

Write us a short 1-2 line bio and send us a photo of yourself so we can make an author profile for you on our website. Tell us your twitter handle, so we can tag you when we share the blog.

And if there are networks you’re involved in that may wish to share your blog as well, please let us know so we can help make sure your piece is read as widely as possible.

12. Style & Referencing 

Links to reliable sources are useful, both to legitimise what you’re writing – especially anything controversial or not widely known – and to help people follow up on topics related to your blog. However, it’s not an academic article so please keep references to a minimum. Think about which sources will be most useful to the reader.

When you write the piece, use footnotes (rather than Harvard style referencing). We like to hyperlink from the text where possible, so we’ll usually convert these into links where possible.

Don’t worry about font, text size, or how you format your headings – we’ll do this when we upload the piece to our site. Just format the piece so it’s clear for us to read.