Write a blog post

Thank you for your interest in writing a blog post for our website.

Churchill Fellowships address important and topical issues. Because of the ideas and perspectives you encountered while on your travels, you have interesting and important things to say about these issues – and our blog is a space for you to put your views across to more than 10,000 people visiting our site every month.

If you have an idea for a blog post, please contact office@wcmt.org.uk and put ‘Blog post’ in the subject line, before writing your post.

Please note that we withhold the right not to publish material sent to us.

Below are guidelines which will help you to plan and write your blog post.

Aims

All contributions to our blog should aim to inform readers about an issue and propose solutions based on overseas research. The latter part of this is important; as a Churchill Fellow, it’s the insights gained from your travels that make your perspective so unique. Please note that it's essential the subject of your blog is clearly linked to your Fellowship.

When writing a blog post, you should think about what else you’d like to achieve: if you’re organising an event to share the findings from your travels, you need to persuade people to attend; if you’ve written a report, you need to make people interested in reading it.

Even if you’re not promoting something specific like an event or a report, you should consider what you’d like someone to do next after reading your blog post, and include a call to action. This is a great opportunity to start a conversation, so make sure you take advantage of it. Your call to action could be as simple as urging someone to find out more about your Fellowship by visiting your website or contacting you by email.

Audience

You should aim to make your blog post easy for anyone to understand, regardless of their prior knowledge of your subject. Avoid technical language if possible and explain any terms you use that aren’t familiar to people outside of your field. Keep in mind that this could be the first time they have read anything about the issue you are addressing.

Nevertheless, you should write with the people you’d most like to reach in mind, for example practitioners and policymakers in your field. What will they find interesting? What arguments will they find most persuasive?

Tone

Blog posts should be written in first person in an informal, conversational style. They tend to work well when written in a way that feels natural to the author. When you’re writing, think - “Does this actually sound like me?” - and - “Would I use words like this when speaking?”

Again, it might be helpful to think of your blog post as the start of a conversation. Try reading your first draft aloud; is this how you would speak to someone about your Fellowship for the first time?

Length

We like blog posts to be short and to the point; it should be a way of enticing someone to want to know more about your Fellowship, not a comprehensive account of it – that’s what your report is for. So you should aim for 300-400 words.

Structure

We want you to feel free to put your own stamp on your blog post, but below is a guide to how you might structure it. Even if you don’t follow our structure precisely, you should still make sure you hit most, if not all, of the points below:

1. The jumping off point.

  • Blogs should be timely; there should be a reason you’re writing this now. Is there a ‘news peg’ to hang it off? The reason could be something you’re doing, for example publishing a book, holding an event or launching a new project. Alternatively, it could be something that you’ve had nothing to do with, but which relates to the subject of your Fellowship, for example, a news story, an awareness week, or even a storyline in Coronation Street.
  • This is your ‘jumping off point’ and will give the rest of what you have to say relevance and purpose. You could start your blog post by addressing this with just a sentence or two, then connecting it to…

2. The issue and why it matters.

  • Use your next paragraph to explain the issue you are addressing through your Fellowship. Don’t assume that the reader has any prior knowledge of your subject.
  • You should also explain why this issue is important. How does it really affect people? Are there any statistics that demonstrate the size of the problem?

3. Your Fellowship.

  • Once you have explained why this issue matters, here’s where your Fellowship comes in. How are you seeking to address this issue through your global research? What solutions have other countries come up with?
  • While you won’t have much space within a short post to write in detail about your travels, it can help to bring your research to life by describing one outstanding thing you witnessed on your trip. Why was this so surprising or impressive? What were they doing that is different to the UK?
  • You can also talk about what you’ve done since your Fellowship, how your Fellowship informed your direction, and the impact you have had.
  • If you haven’t yet travelled, you can talk about what your hopes are for your Fellowship and which organisations or people you’re most looking forward to visiting.

4. What’s next.

  • As you conclude your blog, you should think about what the future holds, both for you and your Fellowship, and for the wider issue. You could return to your ‘jumping off point’, particularly if this is something you’re doing, such as an event or publication, and go into more detail about your plans for it.
  • If you think of your blog as a narrative, it should be open-ended, rather than closed. You should leave the reader feeling that they want to know more about your Fellowship, and what you do next.
  • Don’t forget to include a call to action at the very end. Remember, this is what you want the reader to do as an immediate result of reading your blog post.

Photos

Please send us lots of photos, especially ones from your travels that show activity or action. These can really help to bring your blog post to life.

Is this for me?

Blog posts are a great way of showcasing Fellowships and the issues they address, but they’re not the only way. If your Fellowship has helped you to make a big impact, you could write a Fellow’s Story for us instead. These don’t need to have the topical hook that are used in blog posts, but go into more detail about Fellows’ travels and what they have achieved since. If you’re interested in writing a Fellow’s Story, contact office@wcmt.org.uk and put ‘Fellow’s Story’ in the subject line.