Midwest Socialist is open to submissions from members of DSA. In general, we prefer that contributors send a brief pitch to us before submitting a first draft. Please note that while submissions may include a title or visual aids, headlines and images are ultimately under the discretion of the editor.
Submissions must come from DSA members. We prefer the use of real personal names in bylines but do allow pseudonyms or last initials once the author’s membership has been confirmed. Please keep submissions under 3,000 words; you can always pitch us on doing a series of articles!
Additionally, as an outlet of Chicago DSA, we publish communications from official from our chapter and coalition partners. We no longer take submissions from caucuses and similar unofficial groups.
During the editorial process, some edits will likely be made to a draft. Revisions are made for the sake of clarity, brevity, and search engine optimization — we want people to find and understand your ideas! Contributors will be notified of proposed revisions for approval before publishing.
Midwest Socialist publishes a wide variety of content, but most of our pieces fall into the following categories:
Original reporting of current events relevant to socialist politics. We especially love collaborating with DSA campaigns, working groups, and coalition partners to ensure that the work they do is covered. While our readership is leftist, all news articles should still strive for objectivity in their coverage of current events. Submissions with quotes and usable photos are more likely to be published.
Interview-based articles profiling an organizer or activist.
Announcements from official Chicago DSA sources. This includes statements from the Executive Committee, press releases from working groups, and updates from campaigns. We are also open to running pieces from our coalition partners.
Report-backs, case studies, and updates.
Our op-ed section is home to educational series, theory, and debates. Here are some important things to keep in mind when drafting your opinion piece:
- Good faith: Arguments must be comradely to other members and made in good faith.
- Relevant: Op-eds must be relevant to our work as an organization and movement. This is not the forum for your personal beliefs and pet projects.
- No promotions: Pieces should not be primarily promotional or provocative. And while we do run pieces which advocate voting in a certain way, arguments should be based in the work we are doing.
- No shadowboxing: Don’t make up a guy to get mad at. For instance, don’t argue that DSA should not do something when DSA is not even considering doing that thing. Simply writing “people are saying” or “DSA members are talking about” is not adequate proof of discussion.
- Get to the point: It is vital that op-eds clearly outline their stance or thesis, either in the title or first paragraph.
- Don’t base your argument on polls: Reference survey data if it’s relevant, but if your whole position seems like it was either concocted by staring at polling data or has been retroactively justified with polling data and little else, we are not interested.
- Back up the facts: Even in an opinion piece, you need to back up any facts mentioned with things like data, published reports, and public DSA materials (EC proposals and published debates, public statements and reports, etc). And even then, be sure to scrutinize your sources to make sure they’re reliable.
- Don’t get us sued: Unsubstantiated accusations of a personal nature directed toward members and public figures are not allowed.