Green Left writer's guide

Green Left is a not-for-profit media project, publishing news and analysis from Australia and abroad, in an accessible style for workers and activists involved in progressive campaigns and ecosocialist struggles.

These guidelines will help you prepare your article submission to GL.

Do’s and don’ts:

Use the active, not passive, sense. For example, instead of “2020 saw many fires”, use “There were many fires in 2020”.

Use short sentences without double negatives. “The meaning of the sentence is not unclear” versus “The meaning of the sentence is clear.”

No unnecessary acronyms, or acronyms that you haven’t explained. Put the acronym in brackets after the name the first time you use it in an article. For example: “the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)”. Only use the acronym from then on.

Plagiarism is not accepted. Do not use other articles and research without acknowledgement. Make sure all quotes are attributed.

Referencing. GL does not use bibliographies. Instead we ask you to always provide URLs or hyperlink to the reference or source.

Write in your own words. We do not accept large chunks of text copied from media releases, websites or articles. You may paraphrase and include links to references or sources.

Avoid clichés and other overused phrases. For example: “out of sight, out of mind”, etc.

Avoid jargon. Ask yourself if someone not involved in this particular matter will understand the term. If in doubt, look for more common words/synonyms in the Macquarie Dictionary or other suitable dictionary/thesaurus.

Avoid repetition. Use a Thesaurus or think of ways you can condense sentences/paragraphs.

Pay attention to spelling. All names of people, companies and countries must be spelt correctly.

Clarify. Make sure that titles, locations and explanations are adequately given so that someone reading the article with little familiarity with the topic can understand it. GL errs on the side of caution. For example: always use “federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg” the first time the person is mentioned, followed by “Frydenberg” thereafter.

Fact check. Check for assertions that are not backed up with evidence. All facts should be verified, and anything not commonly accepted as fact should be referenced.

Proofing

Check spelling. Run the article through a spell checker set to Australian English. Avoid Americanisms. 

Finishing up. Re-read your article. Make sure your article is a finished product: do not leave gaps in referencing or factual information out.

Get someone else to read the article. This should tell you if something is very unclear, even if it all seems obvious to you.

Other considerations

Expect to be sub-edited. The editors follow GL’s style guide, and will make changes accordingly. It is never personal.

Remember that you are sending us a submission. GL editors reserve the right not to publish your work. However, we will communicate any suggested revisions to you, and give you the opportunity to re-submit, if appropriate.

If you submit longer feature articles, remember that we are a small team of volunteers and activists and we need time to properly assess and sub-edit longer pieces.

Article length (rough guide)

News articles: 300–600 words.

Analysis articles: 600–1200 words.

Note: Longer articles may appear online, but are usually shortened for the print edition.

Submitting articles and photos

1. Save the article file as a rich text format (RTF) file, then send it as an attachment to, or in the body of an email.

2. Send to .

3. We need original photos. Think about how your piece could be illustrated — with your own good quality photos if possible. Send photos as an attachment to your email, saved as jpeg files. Photos should be named with the city they were taken in, followed by a description of the photo, date and photographer.

We also accept original graphic art, cartoons or short videos to accompany your piece. Please contact the editors if you want to discuss this.

[Updated August, 2021.]