Submission Guidelines

Food First regularly publishes the work of scholars and activists who are interested in reaching a broader audience. As one of the country’s foremost food think tanks, with four decades of groundbreaking popular publications, publishing with Food First can offer visibility and legitimacy. Food First has also remained a uniquely autonomous space for critical voices, unfettered by corporate or government funding restraints.

We welcome electronic submissions for blogs, reports, and other publications. Your submission should address timely and cutting-edge food and development issues. We ask that when writing on an issue, there be a clear linkage to the food system and to social movements working to transform them. We are particularly interested in issues that amplify the voices of communities; social movements; farmers and peasants; women; youth; people of color; and grassroots projects building food sovereignty from the ground up. Whenever possible, we value quotations and testimony from people on the ground who are most affected by the ills of the food system.

Please familiarize yourself with our type of work by looking at our mission, issue areas and publication types. Please examine our Frontline publishing model here. Food First’s publications are also characterized by being accessibly and engagingly written, avoiding excessive academic jargon. Our readership consists of activists, academics, students, and members of the general public.

Because we are a think tank, we require that you substantiate your claims and positions. In the case of blogs, references can be included via hyperlinks. For our larger publications, we ask that you provide full references and citations using Chicago-style format.

We ask that you provide a brief proposal and outline for any publications longer than a blog. Please also supply a brief introductory note, resume, and writing sample to

While we are happy to receive your submissions, there is no guarantee that we will be able to publish your material. Our team will ultimately determine if your proposal, outline, or manuscript fit into our program of publications.

While we cannot offer any compensation for blogs, we do offer a $300 stipend to contributing authors who publish a backgrounder, issue brief, policy brief, or development report.

The following are our different types of publications:

Blogs:  Blogs offer analysis and perspectives which cover timely topics, news, and issues about the food system.  Blogs can be published at any point since it does not follow a publishing schedule. These should be between 500-1,000 words. We ask that you also submit at least one image with the blog. Please provide photo credit for the image you are using. Please provide links to any references and sources.

BackgrounderThis publication is a short, singe-issue article and should be between 1,800-2,000 words. We require that all resources and references be cited using Chicago-style format. Please use end-note citation. Please provide one cover image, along with two or three other images for the body of the publication and the credits for the images used. Our backgrounders are quarterly and are released both electronically and in print.

Issue Brief: This type of publication is a single-issue article. It should be between 1,800 to 2,000 words. We require that all references be cited using Chicago Style format. Please use end-note citation. Provide one cover image along with at least two or three other images and the credits for the images used. Issue briefs are published electronically and can be submitted throughout the year (they are not on a schedule).

Policy Brief: This publication covers policy issues and its target audience consists of activists, researchers, and policy makers. There is no regular schedule for policy briefs, the length may be anywhere between 2,000 to 10,000 words long. As with all of our other major publications, policy briefs must be rigorously researched and footnoted, following Chicago-style citation along with endnotes.

Development Report: This publication provides a forum for scholars and activists to publish work in progress and provide in-depth information based on original research regarding contemporary issues pertaining to the food system. There is no regular schedule for development reports. The length of the report will be determined between the author and staff, but usually does not have a defined length and will be over 10,000 words. Development reports are heavily researched, footnoted, and require Chicago-style citation along with endnotes.

Books: For book publications, we ask that you submit a formal 2-3 page prospectus, a full table of contents, and 1-3 sample chapters for our team to review.

If you believe your work is good fit for Food First, please contact us at with a brief introductory note, resume, and writing sample.