How to write for The Commons

When we launched, we had a hunch that people were craving news from the tech for good / government innovation / making things generally better space, but we weren’t sure what the reaction from the field would be. Would people have time to read one more thing? Would we have enough interesting stories to share? Would people like us? Really, really like us?

The answer to all of these has been an emphatic yes, and so much more. One question we’ve received a lot of recently is “How can I write for The Commons?” We are so very pleased you asked. We are interested in featuring writing, interviews, and opinions from a diverse range of practitioners and thinkers, so if you have an interesting idea, please simply write up your idea in a few sentences and send it along to thecommons@newamerica.org.

To help spark your thinking, here’s some basic information on the types of stories we’d love to get pitches on:

Opinion Pieces

These are typically first-person essays from a subject matter expert that express a specific opinion or argue a point. Past opinion pieces have included an essay on navigating the LA civil service and one on why co-procurement is an interesting option for cities.

Reported Stories

We’re always interested in telling great stories from across the country. If you have a great story to tell but don’t want to write it yourself, we can assign a journalist to report it. Most recently we reported a story on how Seattle has tried to tackle homelessness via procurement changes.

Our issues always have a theme. Some upcoming themes:

The Therapy Issue

Working in government can be stressful. So we think it might be time for some group therapy. Have a story of burnout, or tips for maintaining good mental health? Let us know!

The Infestations Issue

From using 311 data to pinpoint local rat populations to creative designs to keep raccoons out of trash cans, we’re interested in how cities are dealing with infestations.

The Leadership Issue

We’re fascinated by the different leadership styles that exist within local government innovation work. If you’re a leader, or you want to nominate a great leader who we should speak with, we want to hear your thoughts.

Have an idea that doesn’t fit into any of these categories or need help fleshing something out? We’re happy to work with you – email us at thecommons@newamerica.org!

Thank you!
The Commons Team