Welcome to Liberal America! You’ll find on this page everything you need to get started.
- To remain active writers, all Liberal America writers must submit a minimum of one article per week.
- Your first submission must be received within one week of receiving your site login credentials or you will have to reapply. Your site login is only valid for five business days.
Getting Started — Steps for New Writers
Writing your first piece for Liberal America
- Review our Style Guide and refer back to it as needed.
- Using the login credentials that were emailed to you, log into the site and write a post that covers a very recent (not older than two days) news, human interest, or political story. Here is a good example of what we’re looking for.
- Make sure your story’s not already been covered by one of our writers by doing a search of the site or via this custom Google link, as show below.
- Create a new post. See instructional video below.
- Choose one or two applicable categories for your posts.
- Add six to eight relevant tags.
- Find a featured image that is NOT AP, Getty, or Reuters. You can usually use photos taken by news outlets such as local news networks, crediting the new site and photographer. You can find good image resources on our “Where To Find Images” guide. Be sure to credit in the image caption the site where the image was found.The image needs to be rectangular in shape and at least 640 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall (instructions on how to resize an image are below).The featured image and images inside the body of your article should not be larger than 750px wide. Please do NOT upload images larger than this and resize them in WordPress. Resize your images before uploading.For more information about image size and specs, see our “Image Specs” guide.
- If you use a video, put the link to the video in the body of your post where you want the video to be. YouTube videos work best.
- Fill out the Yoast SEO portion. See instructional video below.
- Your article should be fully complete, with links embedded, tags, categories, and Yoast SEO portion filled out.
- All quotes or sourced verbiage should have correct citations. We don’t use the blockquote feature. Italicize and indent your quotes.
- Click “Submit” to put your article into pending.
- Review the rest of this page, especially the Liberal America Style Guide.
- Set up your author bio in the WordPress dashboard. Be sure to include your social media links if applicable. If you want your image to appear on your articles, the email you use in your bio should be an email that is attached to a Gravatar account (optional).
- HR will have you complete new hire paperwork that is made available via the Facebook writer group (HQ).
Extra Info: Creating a Post in WordPress
If you don’t know how to create a post in WordPress, there are many tutorials on YouTube. It’s not difficult. This short video will teach you the basics. We do not use the theme referenced, but creating a post in WordPress is the same across themes.
Resizing an Image
Your featured image needs to be rectangular in shape and at least 640 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall. The featured image should not be larger than 750 pixels wide. For images inside your article, see our Image Specs guide.
There are several ways to resize an image. One of the most common is by using Microsoft Paint, which comes free with all PCs. You can find more image editing tools on our Image Editing Tools guide.
Acceptable Submissions for Liberal America
- Straight 2nd person news pieces that are less than two days old and have not already been covered on our site.
- News pieces with your own perspective. The entire article can’t be about your own perspective, but we definitely want some of “you” in most articles.
- Evergreen stuff that can be used over and over again.
- Listicles that are relevant to our topics, political quotes, explanations of things, historical pieces tied into current events, stats, etc…(list article formatting here). Some examples:
- 10 Reasons Republicans Are The Worst
- 5 Things That Prove Sarah Palin Is Nuts
- Historical pieces that relate to current politics or news. Examples:
- 15 Things About The Civil War That Show That It Could Happen Again
- The 30 Events That Prove The Founders Were Liberals
Basic Guidelines for Submissions
Most articles should be no less than 300 words, and up to about 600-700. Articles that are too lengthy generally aren’t popular on our site. Some articles may be appropriate for longer lengths, but we prefer you ask us about the topic first. To get started at Liberal America, we recommend an article between 300-600 words with relevant links as needed. A good example of what we’re looking for can be viewed here.
Lots of bullets and lists, short paragraphs, headers where appropriate. Whenever possible, include a video.
Liberal America Books
If you write specifically to write for Liberal America Books, please follow all of the instructions above except write about one of the following topics for your first piece. See the formatting guide for list articles (listicles) here.
- book reviews and opinion pieces about books (example: Why 50 Shades Fosters Abuse)
- lists of books (example: 14 Books For Unemployed People)
- articles about books and authors (example: Unfortunate Event Author Donates To Planned Parenthood)
If you do a book list, it would be helpful if you put images of the book covers, BUT this isn’t mandatory for your first piece. Use this basic format for your first Liberal America Books submission, in this order:
- Title of the book and author in H2 (Heading 2) — link book title (not author) to the book on Amazon.
- Image of the book (optional for first article). We will provide you with specific specs for images after you’re added to our working groups.
- A short description of the book underneath, and/or why you think it’s awesome.
- Repeat with the rest of the books on your list.
To try to maintain style consistency, Liberal America follows the guidelines of Associated Press Style. You can find more information on our Liberal America Style Guide. All writers should refer to this page when questions about usage arise. Leadership staff have access to AP online and can research in the case of questions that aren’t answered here.
We practice some exceptions to the AP Style guidelines. Please note these and work them into your writing for Liberal America.
1. We use the Oxford Comma.
red, white, and blue (CORRECT)
red, white and blue (INCORRECT)
2. Many words used in English are in a transition phase. This is why you see some words written differently. Examples are e-mail (email) and on-line (online). We are jumping ahead on this issue for consistency.
web site or Web site (INCORRECT)
home page (AP Style)
Other exceptions will be noted as they arise and can also be found in our Style Guide.
Associated Press (AP) Style Guide – the basics by AbrahamRosh