Guidelines for Writers

 What we want:

Investigative Reporting Help expose corporate malfeasance and governmental wrongdoing. Detail the problem, relying as much as possible on public documents and on interviews. Use plenty of quotations.

Electoral Coverage Report on a current electoral development (e.g., an interesting candidate or ballot initiative) that has national implications. Do not choose the most obvious cases, like the presidential race. Look for something more out of the way. The key is to do reporting, and not just opining.

Social Movement Pieces Find a crucial event or trend in the labor movement, the GLBT movement, or in the areas of racial justice, disability rights, the environment, women’s liberation, and report on it. Get quotes from people on the front lines of these struggles.

Foreign Policy Pieces We tend to favor pieces with an U.S. angle (either corporate or U.S. policy). But if there is a development of huge moral or ethical importance (e.g., the Rwandan civil war, or the global AIDS crisis), where the U.S. role may not be paramount, The Progressive would like to cover it. Remember to get the quotes and provide the color (on-the-ground observations). 

Interviews Every month, The Progressive does a long Q&A with a writer, activist, political figure, or musician. We prefer to interview people who are widely known, though we also try to draw attention to individuals who are doing especially worthwhile work. We’ve done more than 200 interviews, so check with us first to make sure we haven’t interviewed your subject yet. 

Activism The Progressive publishes an “On the Line” section every month that highlights the work of activists and activist groups. We are looking for good photographs of dynamic or creative actions. We accompany the photos with a caption.

Poetry The Progressive publishes one original poem a month. We prefer poems that connect—in one fashion or another, however obliquely—with political concerns. 

What we don’t want: Editorials (we write our own). Satire (we have our own humorists). Historical pieces (articles must deal largely with current events). Philosophical pieces (we are not The New Left Review or Monthly Review). Columnists (we have plenty already).

Queries and manuscripts, accompanied by return envelopes with sufficient postage, should be submitted to: Matthew Rothschild, Editor The Progressive 409 East Main Street Madison, WI 53703 or by email to editorial AT