Free Movement contributor guidelines

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Please email the editor before writing an article for submission as a blog post. It may be that a post on the proposed subject is already in the pipeline.

Potential articles for Free Movement should be written bearing in mind the medium of communication. Writing for a blog on the internet is very different to writing for an academic journal, for example.

Pieces should generally be short, at no more than around 1,000 words, and should grab the attention of the reader at the start of the post. The best analogy is with newspaper articles.

The following pointers may be of assistance:

  • Short, sharp articles work best. Between 750-1000 words is standard; shorter still is no problem. You will find it is surprisingly difficult to write short pieces but this is important.
  • Short sentences without subclauses and short paragraphs work best online and make more compelling reading.
  • The regular Free Movement audience read the blog because it provides useful and interesting information and/or it injects some humour. At least try and provide busy immigration practitioners with useful information and practical guidance, otherwise your article is likely to be rejected.
  • A coherent structure is important, particularly if you propose to go above 1,000 words. One way of achieving this is to start your post by stating succinctly what it is about and how the development in question is important. You may then want to move on to describe briefly the development you are writing about, include a quotation or two if relevant and then end by providing some short commentary on the significance of the development. Or:

Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em. Tell ’em. Tell ’em what you told ’em.

  • Humour is useful and encouraged, although it can be difficult and is a matter of taste. The editor’s taste is generally bad and one of his key blogging influences is, unfortunately, El Reg (
  • A certain amount of reader knowledge can be assumed as the blog is a specialist one, but avoid abbreviations and use the simplest terminology possible. The general public and migrants are also regular readers.
  • Include relevant hyperlinks to previous blog posts, BAILII judgments, official guidance documents and similar. Links add real value to readers.

Articles are rarely published without revision. If you are working on a joint piece with colleagues, it is advisable to submit an early draft rather than going through several versions internally and then having to agree further edits from us.

If your article is accepted for publication we will create a Free Movement profile for you that will allow the piece to appear in your name. As a contributing author you can add whatever biographical details you wish to your profile, including a photograph.

Note that by choosing to publish on the blog, non-exclusive copyright is transferred to the blog for the purposes of syndication and re-publication.