Here’s what you need to know to write for GGWash
We'd love for you to contribute! Here are our guidelines for how to do it:
1. Write a great introduction: Think of your introduction like a mini headlines. Make sure to give enough background for a non-expert to follow along. Virtually all of our posts begin with two sentences: one to give a piece of context, and another saying what the reader's takeaway on the subject should be.
Here's a bit more on how to write introductions.
2. You only need to make one point: Blogging is most effective when people highlight a single idea instead of feeling a pressure to "cover" everything.
If you look at the way political blog sites like Vox.com have talked about presidential debates, they haven't written big articles about entire debates. They've written little ones about specific moments, or ideas the authors had while watching, or something similar.
The door for writing more posts, with other main points, is always open.
3. Write facts, not opinion: Once you've got an introduction, keep the facts coming! We want to explain issues before trying to persuade people to take particular stances.
If you want to opine on policy or the next steps in a process, that should be at the end of the piece, and should only take up a small fraction of your word count.
4. Focus on outcomes, not processes: People come to GGWash to read about what's changing around them, and that most often involves things they can (or might some day!) see and touch. The what is far more important than the how or why.
5. Length and voice: We want posts to read like a relaxed conversation. Understanding your main message shouldn't require a thinking hat! Good articles speak to the broad audience, not specifically or only to the experts.
Length-wise, the ideal Greater Greater Washington post is between 300 and 800 words.
6. Style odds and ends: Use subheads to guide your ideas, keep individual paragraphs short, and include pictures or maps with your post!
7. Don't wait until a decision is nigh!: The best time to write a first post is early, when people in the neighborhood are just starting to discuss it.
Following this rule means readers will understand your issue and be primed to weigh in when the time comes to suggest an action.
8. The legal stuff: We edit all articles to meet our standards for length, style, and clarity, and it can sometimes take a few days or more to review submissions. We'll always give you a chance to review any changes to your post before it goes live, but by submitting, you agree to let us edit and publish it at a convenient time based on our editing and publishing schedule.
If you submit an article or letter, unless we have a prior agreement to the contrary, you agree to grant Greater Greater Washington a perpetual, transferrable, worldwide, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, create derivative works from, and otherwise use your submission for in any form and on any media.
Please send pitches or post drafts to firstname.lastname@example.org!