Style & Tone
The tone of this blog is discursive. We invite you to submit opinionated pieces that will further the discussion and are forward-thinking in nature; we prefer focusing on solutions rather than solely the problem or issue at hand.
Our readers are looking for easy-to-read and digest posts. Think of this as a space to have a conversation out loud. Write reflecting your own voice and opinions and please refrain from using technical language and acronyms excessively– remember that many of our readers may not speak English as a first language or work in your scientific field.
Content: Please make sure to firmly state your argument or clearly establish a point of view that our readers can grasp.
We are looking for pieces such as:
- Reviews of recently published journal articles or books, linked to topical issues and news (examples: here and here)
- Opinion pieces related to current events and global affairs (example: here)
- Critical analysis/reflections of events, workshops or fieldwork that can raise discussion and debate (examples: here and here)
Please note we publish only original content that has not be published elsewhere.
Length: 500 – 1500 words. We also accept videos, podcasts and infographics.
Audience: Our blog targets an informed global audience with an interest in agriculture, poverty, and international development – many are scientists, development professionals and academics. But note many may not be professionals in the field. Consider them your peers- use conversational, easy-to-understand language that reflects this as so.
One of the best ways to engage our readers is to ask yourself: Would this piece grab your attention? Would you be interested in reading it?
Download our guidelines: How to Write a Great Blog Post (PDF)
Here are a few tips on blogging that we encourage you to consider:
- Pull the reader in. The first few sentences of your post are meant to entice them to continue reading your post and look for more information. Consider starting with a relevant current event, personal anecdote, bold statement, or question
- State your argument or opinion. Then prove it (with a story contextualizing your research, personal story, include supporting evidence), and end your piece by stating your main argument again
- Include hyperlinks to relevant publications, articles, books, etc. so that we can direct our readers to more information.
We are looking for relevant content that addresses, in some way, the three main emerging issues of the WLE program (read more from Director Andrew Noble here):
- Resource use efficiency,
- Restoring degraded landscapes,
- Reducing farmer risk/uncertainty through sustainable land management
Editing: We want to ensure that blogs are interesting, capture the author’s voice and stretch our readers to think. So we do allow quite a bit of room for independence. We will edit for ease of reading, grammar and scientific credibility. Sometimes a fellow scientist will review assertions for accuracy. However, we retain final editorial discretion. Please read our full editorial policy here.
NB: The blog is not a space to promote your organization or project and we reserve the right to reject posts with a purely promotional angle.
Photo: Pictures speak louder than words. Yes, it’s cliché, but we’re looking for good quality photos to feature with your blog post. Please send us 2-3 landscape (horizontally-oriented) photos with minimum resolution 200ppi, correctly sourced and with captions. We prefer photos that show interactions between people, agriculture and ecosystems.
Author Bio: Please send us:
- a photograph of yourself (preferably a headshot)
- 2-3 sentences about your background
You may include links to your professional/personal websites and social media accounts.
Republishing: We’re happy to share blog posts as excerpts (max 2 paragraphs) with other websites. Please include a sentence at the beginning of the excerpt that states the post was originally published on our blog with a link back to the original. And let us know!
Promotion: Congratulations, you’ve written and submitted your blog post. But wait! You’re not quite done yet…
Promoting a blog post is just as important as writing it. We will promote all blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media outlets. But we request that you use your own personal outlets to promote your piece as well. Our networks are broad, while yours can reach a much more targeted and related audience.