Write for SHIFT

Please see the following guidelines for advice on preparing your contribution to SHIFT.

Please note that it will be assumed that you have read these guidelines in full, and that this will be evident in the content and style of your submission.

Where do I send submissions?

Send submissions to shiftmagazine.net@gmail.com.

What does SHIFT publish?

We seek submissions on sustainability and resilience issues. Topics commonly covered include:

  • Ecological systems under threat
  • Economic degrowth
  • Limits to growth
  • The limitations of technology
  • Cultural critique
  • Community resilience
  • Collapse and preparation

We’re after content that is fresh and forward – writing that is witty not  whingeing, independent not ideological, brave not bland. Original ideas are like gold dust in our saturated media environment; carefully honed arguments stand out from the crowd; and alternative angles on conventional topics keep us on our toes.

Most of all, we favour work that indicated systems thinking capacity – i.e. if you can join the dots, you’ll be providing readers with something they don’t see much elsewhere.

We don’t reproduce material that is available elsewhere as we wish to provide our readers with fresh content to inform, inspire and empower changemaking. The more original your content, the better.

Pitches or completed articles?

If you have had a submission approved by SHIFT before then you are welcome to provide us with a completed submission for consideration.

If you are a new contributor, please send us a pitch so that we can respond to you regarding whether your idea is a good fit for our platform, and provide you with suggestions or requests that would increase the likelihood of publication with us.

Style

Avoid jargon and unexplained acronyms; if you must use these, make sure you clarify for the lay reader.

Avoid long quotations unless they are vital.

Please assume you are writing for a non-expert but engaged readership.

Bear in mind that our readers are based all around the world, and for many, English is not their first language. Keep it simple, but eloquent, and try to avoid unexplained references to places, people, or issues that folks outside your corner of the world won’t be familiar with.

Format

Articles should include links where relevant, but try not to ‘overlink’ your work. You don’t need to source every fact, just the major ones, and the ones you think will add to your argument. If you do include links, they should be embedded into the text as hyperlinks.

Is there anything that SHIFT doesn’t publish?

We don’t generally publish news items, as these are restricted to the timeliness of the news cycle, which is not something our volunteer team is equipped to keep pace with – in addition to the fact that so many professional platforms are already catering to this need.

In cases where we do publish news items, these are usually directly related to our vision and mission – for example, we cover global economics summits such as the G20, or global climate summits such as COP. In covering these we seek to demystify not politicize, and critique not cheerlead.

How long should I wait for a response?

Up to a week. SHIFT is run by a very small team of volunteers who all have day jobs, and we’re not always able to respond to submissions immediately. If you haven’t heard from us in a week, feel free to give us a nudge. However, if you do not hear from us, please assume your article is not being considered for publication, and re-visit our submission guidelines and archives of content for clues as to what we’re generally keen to publish.

Article specifications

The articles we run range from 300-500 words for a short news piece, explainer, or review, and from 800-3000 words for standard features.

Article length does not determine number of reads on SHIFT (our readers are that rare, curious kind!), so please feel free to go into the kind of depth and breadth that other platforms may resist.

The important thing is to make sure you’re providing quality, not quantity – so avoid repetition, keep explanations and examples concise and pithy, and make each sentence sing for its supper.

Payment

Sadly we are unable to pay for any of our much-valued contributions. As a non-profit initiative running on a fraying shoestring, we do not have the means to pay staff, much less contributors.

All of the content featured on SHIFT is a labour of love, and a voluntary contribution to the cause of information, inspiration and empowerment for a generation of global changemakers. We thank you from the bottom of our full hearts, rather than the bottom of our empty wallets 😉

How to submit

The best way to submit articles is via email: shiftmagazine.net@gmail.com.

If you are sending us a complete article, please send your submission in the form of a word document as an attachment, not in the body of your email. Please do not add columns or text boxes – just standard word format please. Please do not add footnotes – provide hyperlinks to web-based content, or a reference list for any non-web based content.

If you are sending us a pitch as opposed to a complete article, please provide this in the body of your email, not as an attachment.

Please also include the following:

  • your name (as you would like it to appear in your byline – use a pseudonym if you prefer)
  • contact details
  • a short bio (between 50-100 words)
  • a mugshot – no need to be professional-looking (high resolution please – the larger the file, the better, e.g. 1MB)

You must also warrant that your work is original, has not been published elsewhere (including online), does not breach copyright nor defame any person. SHIFT will not publish material that is untrue or which seeks to defame, and generally won’t publish content that has already been published elsewhere.

Images

SHIFT editors will source images to illustrate your story, but may consider including images you provide. If you have original images to accompany your submission, we’d love to publish them with attribution, but you must hold the copyright or have permission (e.g. via creative commons). Please provide attribution for any images used.

Multimedia Content

We can run photo essays and videos on SHIFT. Please clear this with us first by pitching us your idea. Email an outline of your multimedia proposals to shiftmagazine.net@gmail.com.

Copyright

We encourage you to reproduce your content elsewhere, but we ask that SHIFT is attributed with first publication.

I am a SHIFT contributor, can I update my author biography?

Yes, you can. Please just email shiftmagazine.net@gmail.com with your updates.

Liability & Indemnity

(a) To the extent permitted by law SHIFT accepts no responsibility or liability in relation to any material submitted for publication.

(b) SHIFT does not indemnify contributors against any legal action brought against contributors as a result of the publication of material submitted by them unless otherwise agreed to in writing by SHIFT.

(c) By submitting material for publication in SHIFT contributors agree to fully indemnify SHIFT against any expenses, costs, losses (including consequential loss) or damages that may be suffered or incurred as a result of the publication of the submitted material.

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