Writer guidelines

The FOReTHOUGHT blog aims to spread ideas and critically engage with a broad community of academics, students, policy-makers, practitioners and the wider public. Our goal is to produce accessible content and provide a space for intervention and debate, over the purpose and application of the theory and practice of planning, broadly defined.

If you are submitting an idea for a post, please email a short pitch to editor@sheffield-planning.org, giving details of your professional or academic background, and the relevance of your proposed idea for the FOReTHOUGHT blog.

Below are a number of guidelines to consider when writing for the FOReTHOUGHT blog:

  • Blog posts should be ideally around 600 words long. Those outside the range 500 – 1,000 words will generally not be accepted, except in special circumstances, as posts which exceed 800 words tend to considerably reduce the number of readers.
  • Include a title with your submission, which tries to make clear what your post is about and what issues it tries to tackle. Like any short article your post needs a ‘hook’ within the title or first couple of sentences.
  • Write in the most accessible language possible, avoiding jargon as far as possible. Always bear in mind the audience your post is aimed at and shape your contribution to appeal to them.
  • Paragraphs in blog posts should also be significantly shorter than in other writing formats, and should be no more than six lines long – three or four sentences.
  • Look at previous posts on the blog as a guide to the kind of style and tone we are looking for.
  • If necessary you can use footnotes in your blog post. Wherever possible however, the blog will try to use hyperlinks to relevant source or explanatory material. Please provide any URLs you wish to be linked to within the post. Remember a blog post is not an academic article, and referencing is not required.
  • Please provide us with some tags associated with your post – five or six keywords which will help internet search engines identify your post.
  • If possible each post should also be accompanied with an appropriate high resolution image, which should be at least 750 pixels wide by 380 pixels high. If it’s larger, you don’t have to resize, but it should be landscape – any portrait images you wish to include cannot be used in the header for the post. But please don’t worry if you can’t find anything useful, your written contribution is obviously more important!
  • If you don’t have an image of your own to use, you can find suitable images which can legally be used on wikicommons or flickr. If using flickr, make sure that the image has a Creative Commons License and check whether or not the original owner requires a credit for their image. The FOReTHOUGHT blog does not take responsibility for copyright infringements, so please make sure that any images used are copyright-free or have been permitted for use.
  • Your post will be accompanied by a short contributor bio. Please provide a couple of sentences about your role, institution and work, with links to any relevant webpages or personal websites and blogs.
  • If you wish to re-post your contribution elsewhere we are happy for you to do so. However, please indicate it was first published on the FOReTHOUGHT blog, providing a link to the original.

To submit your contribution, please email it to editor@sheffield-planning.org, together with all the requested bio, image if you have or can find one, and links. We will respond as quickly as possible with any substantive revisions we believe are needed before publication. We do however reserve the right to make minor stylistic and grammatical adjustments we deem necessary before publishing.

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