The CRE Blog gets a facelift: announcing a new commissioning and editing process

Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) blog editors Beth and Adrienne have recently attended a training session with an expert editor, and are now ready to take the CRE blog to the next level. Here they announce some forthcoming changes to the commissioning and editing process.

What is the purpose of the CRE blog? Who is our audience? What information should we be trying to convey? These are some of the key questions that we, as editors of the CRE blog, have been asking ourselves recently.

We took on the role of editing the CRE blog approximately 18 months ago and have really enjoyed working with many of you to publish your ideas. It has been quite a learning curve for us, and while we have been really pleased with the number and quality of posts we have received, we think it is now time for us to up our game as editors. To this end, we connected with freelance writer and editor extraordinaire Julia Glotz, who ran a fantastic blog editing workshop for us earlier this month.

There is a wealth of experience and ideas within the CRE and we believe it is important that a channel is available to staff and students through which to communicate both with each other and to a wider, less-specialist audience. The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how valuable blogs can be for communicating complex information in an accessible manner. We also recently learned at training delivered by Newcastle University’s Policy Academy that rigorous academic blogs can be an important source information for policymakers, particularly when they are pushed for time and need insights into current issues in an accessible format and from a credible source. We believe the CRE blog can play this role.

One of the key things we learned in our blog workshop is that good editors need to be more than proofreaders. They must help their writers shape their ideas from the outset so that the final product is as engaging, accessible and informative as possible.

In order to ensure your writing gets the attention it deserves, we will be changing our editorial process to maximise the consistency and quality of the CRE blog going forward. This will include providing more guidance to you, our writers, in order to make writing a blog less of a daunting task.

We will shortly be circulating a briefing note that will outline the new process. We hope this will make the blog submission process easier, not more difficult, and encourage more of you to contribute. The CRE blog cannot be a success without you!

For now, we leave you with a few key takeaways:

  • A blog post should be able to tell readers something they don’t already know. What is surprising or unexpected about your idea? Are there any elements of conflict or change?
  • You should be able to summarise your topic in a catchy headline. If you can’t think of one, you probably need to adjust your idea!
  • Keep it simple and to the point. You should be able to convey your message in 600-800 words.

We look forward to continuing to work with you all to make the CRE blog the success we know it can be.

For more information on training sessions run by Julia Glotz, visit her website: We can’t recommend her highly enough!

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