Thank you for your interest in writing for Commonwealth Hudson Valley! We are excited to have a wide range of voices and perspectives in our pages. These guidelines are designed to give you a good understanding of the kinds of pieces we’re looking for, as well as the nitty gritty of how to submit. Please reach out with any questions.
Commonwealth Hudson Valley covers efforts to create a more democratic, just, and sustainable economy, here in the Hudson Valley and beyond, through projects and policies that broaden the ownership and control of community assets and of production, distribution, and investment of all kinds. Our goals are twofold: to shift and expand our imagination of what is possible in our economy, and to inform and network practitioners in the region.
The phrase _new economy_ gets used to mean a lot of different things. We cover efforts to bring more democracy, equity, and solidarity into the economics of our daily lives. Examples include cooperatives, community land trusts, community ownership and management of public assets, sharing and commoning, and tools and policies that support efforts like these. If a business, organization, project, or policy does not have a component of democratic, collaborative ownership and management, it is probably not a good fit for our site.
We have two broad categories of articles: Ideas and Tools. Ideas pieces describe the need for economic change, take a long view of how we got here and where we can possibly go from here, and describe inspiring projects from outside the region that we can learn from. In these pieces, we are looking for history that expands our understanding, evidence that better informs us about our current situation, and new arguments that help us see things in new ways, not simply opinions about what we need to do.
Tools pieces describe the nuts and bolts of different ways we can build more democracy and solidarity into our economy, including all the types of projects listed above. They can explain tools and practices for democratic management and collaboration, or describe policies that can be used to support these efforts. They can also profile local projects and organizations. (As you can see, there may be some overlap between these categories, so don’t worry too much about categorizing your article. We’ll help you place it in the right categories on the site.)
It is ok to write about your own project? Yes! We would very much like that. Please do so knowing our goals are to share learnings, to connect people in economic and community networks, and to build a sense of being in a shared movement towards a better economy together, not just to advertise per se. So please make it clear how people can get involved, how you can support others, or what kinds of connections you’d like to make with others in the region. You can also use a post about your project to provide an update on the work you are doing and your plans for the coming year.
Please understand that Commonwealth Hudson Valley is a passion project — which is to say that there is literally zero budget to pay for articles or any writing-related expenses. We do not reprint material previously posted elsewhere, and we ask that you not re-publish articles posted here.
Finally a note about the use of criticism on the site. Our aim in writing about local businesses, organizations, and projects is to lift each other up, make connections, and learn from each other. In our profile pieces, we focus on these positive takeaways. We do not criticize each other’s projects. In our Ideas section, we write about the issues new economy projects need to tackle, the values we believe they should strive to work with and embody, and the tensions that emerge in that work. But we understand that we are all building this road by walking, and no single project has all the answers. So, if you don’t believe a particular project has enough positives going for it that people can learn from it, please don’t choose to write about it here. If there are issues, values, or priorities that you feel that local projects _in general_ are not paying enough attention to or could be addressing in better ways, please talk to us about writing an Ideas piece about them.
Submission Guidelines and Style
Guest posts should be between 500 and 2000 words in length, with awareness that longer posts face a steeper challenge in keeping the reader’s attention. We don’t have a particular site style guide, but ask that you use a consistent, clear, and informative style throughout. (I’m an old school Strunk and White fan myself, but any consistently applied style is fine.)
We prefer to work in google docs, so we can collaborate with you on any edits to your piece before publication. If you can, please submit by creating a google doc and sharing it with us. (If this is a barrier for you, you can also send us a word doc or text file and we’ll create the google doc from it and send you a link.) Know that we will edit your piece — using the suggest feature in google docs — as we feel necessary for style, clarity, or fit with the site, and will work with you to arrive at the final version.
When you cite the work of other authors, or describe projects or organizations, please include a hyperlink so readers can follow up to learn more. We prefer that the desired text have the link attached to it (Command/Control-K in google and word), but you may also include it in parentheses after the desired text.
Because we aim to encourage discussion on the site, if you can make a genuine request for feedback on a particular question in the comments, by all means add it.
Whenever relevant/possible please provide one or more photo to accompany your article. If your article is a profile of a local business, organization, project, or event, be sure to include at least one photo of it.
Please include a two-to-four sentence bio and a headshot for use in the article’s byline.
You can expect to hear back from us within a week after submission. (We’ll try to do it sooner!)