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Organizing Strategy and Practice

Submission Guidelines

 

  • What is The Forge? The Forge is a new journal and community by and for organizers across the progressive movement. We aim to strengthen our collective work by providing a forum for organizers across sectors — community, labor, electoral, digital, and movement — to share strategies and practices. 
  • What do we publish? We provide a space for organizers, academics, journalists, policymakers, and others involved in the progressive movement to discuss the analytical, tactical, and strategic questions facing the movement today. In addition to regular issues developed with guest editors from the field, we publish ongoing series, including: deep dives into local campaigns, interviews with organizers and academics, book reviews, organizer diaries, and an “Ask a Digital Organizer” advice column. We are still growing and expanding our content, so feel free to pitch us your ideas. 

  • Who are our readers? The primary contributors and audience for The Forge are organizers, though we also welcome academics, policymakers, and journalists to contribute articles that will help organizers think more deeply about our work and the context our movement is operating in. Pitch your work to our core audience of organizers, keeping in mind that others who are interested in organizing and left strategy will also likely read your piece. 

  • Do we pay? We are a small operation so we currently cannot pay for content.

 

After reading our section overviews and guidelines for written content, please send a short pitch or submission to our Managing Editor, Lindsay Zafir, at lzafir@forgeorganizing.org. We aim to respond to all pitches in a timely manner. 

 

Section Overviews

Organizer Diaries

  • Summary: Over the course of a week in your campaign, jot down notable meetings, moments, and conversations (with a timestamp). The idea behind this series is to share the texture of day-to-day organizing work and to think about campaign strategies and tactics in real time. Share your setbacks, stresses, and successes. Please also include a few sentences at the beginning of the piece to situate you and your work: What campaign are you working on right now? What's your role? Where are you located? What are you most excited about/dreading this week?

  • Word Count: forthcoming

  • Examples: forthcoming

 

Book Reviews

  • Summary: Review 1-3 books relevant to organizing. The best book reviews not only summarize and assess the books themselves but also put them into conversation with other books, current events, or trends in the field of organizing. All reviews should assess the value of the book(s) for organizers. 

  • Word Count: 750-1,500 words 

  • Example(s): We Don’t Know What We’re Doing

 

Campaign Debriefs

 

Interviews

  • Summary: The Forge publishes interviews with organizers, academics, and policymakers on topics relevant to the field of organizing. Interviews may highlight the work of a particular organizer, delve into campaign tactics and strategy, and/or distill new academic work or policies that organizers should understand. We accept both interview transcripts as well as audio and video content. The Forge does not transcribe interviews but may edit and condense transcripts for clarity and brevity.  

  • Word Count: 2,000-4,000 words 

  • Example(s): How to Campaign in a Crisis, Anything feels possible in this moment, How to Combat White Power 

 

First Person Narrative Essays

  • Summary: This is an opportunity to share your experiences of an organizing campaign or movement in a narrative form. What’s been difficult and how have you worked through it? What’s giving you hope? What’s surprised you? This should be more personal and self-reflective than a campaign debrief. 

  • Word Count: 1,000-2,000 words 

  • Example(s): Forthcoming

 

Nuts & Bolts

  • Summary: This is the training section of The Forge. Share your thoughts on anything from running a committee meeting, to effectively work planning, to balancing short-term campaign plans and long-term strategy. 

  • Word Count: 750-1,500 words

  • Example(s): Forthcoming

 

Any other ideas? Send us an email. We’re a growing publication and welcome submissions in a variety of formats and styles. 

 

General Guidelines for Written Content

  • Start with a hook. A short story or anecdote adds texture to your article and helps draw readers into the piece. Give them a reason to keep reading!

  • Have a takeaway. In addition to a hook, readers will want to know what they’re going to get out of reading your piece. Toward the beginning of your article, you’ll want a sentence or two that explains what your piece is about and why people should read it.

  • Aim your piece at other organizers. Go beyond promoting your organization’s work (as amazing as it surely is!) or preaching to the choir about the issues. Our journal is different from other media outlets in that we serve as a space for organizers to share innovative thinking about strategies and tactics. Think about what would be most useful to organizers in the field as they develop and execute their campaigns. What interventions do you want to make into the field of organizing to improve our collective strategizing and organizing? What lessons have you learned from your own recent campaigns? What missteps did you make, what worked, and what caught you by surprise? Try to make your piece as useful as possible for others in the field. 

  • Be analytical and self-critical. The Forge is intended as a forum for organizers to think critically about our work and the state of the field and to push each other to be more creative, rigorous, and expansive in our thinking. Your piece should be self-reflective, critical, and analytical. 

  • Keep it (relatively) short. Most articles for The Forge are between 1,000-2,000 words. Focus on developing content more than hitting a word limit. We want your piece to go deep enough to be useful to other organizers, but keep your writing tight and focused to improve readability. 

  • Avoid footnotes. Any information you think is important to include should go in the body of the article. If you want to cite a source, you should mention the book, article, or author in the text and/or link to a relevant website. 

 

For more tips on how to write clearly and compellingly, see the Federal Plain language Guidelines