We take submissions on a rolling basis. If you have an idea for a story, interview, roundtable, or book review you would like to see published in our journal, please send us a one page pitch. In your pitch, please provide a brief description of the topic of your investigation, your main questions, an account of how you will address these questions, as well as a brief biographical note. Before submitting a pitch, we encourage you to read back issues in order to familiarize yourself with the kind of writing that we publish. We also encourage you to have a look at the our submission guidelines below. Pitches should be for original stories that have not been submitted or published elsewhere. Please do not send us a pitch that you have simultaneously sent to another publication. Although we will consider all pitches, we are especially interested in stories about the current economic crisis, contemporary labour organizing, feminism and women’s struggles, disability, international solidarity work, mobilization strategies, Marxism and anarchism in the 21st Century, activist interventions in art and culture, and struggles around questions of sex and sexuality. We will review your pitch and provide you with feedback. After a pitch has been approved, writers are expected to submit their story by deadline.

Please submit all pitches and direct all queries to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


1. Preamble

Writing is political. It is also hard work. The purpose of this document is not to scare or inhibit you. Instead, we have written the guidelines below with two proactive goals
in mind:

  • Since writing is difficult, and since many activists have not been trained as writers, this document is meant to provide guidance by highlighting some common errors and difficulties encountered in the writing process. Our contention is that there is a connection between good writing, clear thinking, and augmented political effect.
  • Since putting out a journal is difficult, and since Upping the Anti is a volunteer project for which no participant receives compensation, this document is meant to ensure that editing hours be kept to a minimum by addressing common problems at the front end of the submission process.

2. Spelling

We ask that writers make use of the following conventions:

  • Canadian spelling in “ou” instances: “labour” not “labor”
  • Canadian spelling in “re” instances: “centre” not “center”
  • American spelling in “z” instances: “organize” not “organise”
  • American spelling in “m” instances: “program” not “programme”
  • Words in languages other than English are in italics: e.g. – “a priori” [Latin] and “resentiment” [French]

3. Formatting

Formatting refers to all the mechanical work involved in setting up your word document before you send it in. The purpose of having consistent formatting is to make your story easier to read and easier to include in the journal once it is accepted. Please follow the following formatting guidelines:

  • Articles should be double spaced, justified, and typeset in 12 point Times.
  • Ensure that we receive your piece in both Word and RTF formats.
  • Name of article and author’s name should appear in header on each page.
  • Articles should be paginated, starting on page 1.
  • Block quotes should be used for citations over 4 lines long and should be indented by
  • All notes should be endnotes. Endnotes are used to provide bibliographic information and for substantive comments on the text that could not be easily included in the body of the text. They should be kept to a minimum.
  • References and citations are as follows: First reference to a text receives an endnote with bibliographic information. All subsequent references to the same text receive parenthetic notation of cited page(s) within the body of the text immediately following the citation.
  • Punctuation should be placed inside quotes.
  • Endnotes should be placed after punctuation and outside of quotes.
  • Quote marks should be smart quotes (“like this”) rather than straight quotes.
  • Sentences containing lists should make use of the convention of placing a comma before the final item in the list (e.g.: lions, tigers, and bears – oh my!)
  • Only one space after periods.
  • Avoid exclamation marks.
  • Use a hyphen with words like “anti-capitalist,” “antiimperialist,” and “anti-oppression.”
  • If you include images with your article, they should be attached as grayscale tiffs and saved at the size they will run (no wider than 3.5 inches and no taller than 7 inches) at resolutions no lower than 150dpi.
  • Subheadings should be less than one line long and contain no colon break. They should be bolded, double spaced, and aligned left with one extra carriage return above.

4. Articles

Upping the Anti is a journal of theory and action with a focus on contemporary struggles against capitalism, imperialism, and all forms of oppression within the Canadian state. We are not an academic journal. Our readership is comprised of a wide variety of people. We are not shy about trying to deal with important questions but aim to do so in a manner that is as inviting and generative as possible. To this end, we have compiled the following list of suggestions aimed at addressing some common pitfalls encountered by writers on the Left.

  • 5,000 word limit.
  • Situate your investigation within the existing reference points of the movement to which it pertains. If the article is taking a position on a movement debate, be sure to explain what the debate is about and what is at stake within it.
  • Address your article toward an active readership that, like you, is interested in the resolution of an ongoing problem confronting the movement. Leave readers with next steps or lingering questions that can prompt discussions beyond the scope of your contribution.
  • Make the political and practical implications of the argument clear. If you are suggesting alternatives, what could your suggestions look like in practice? Concretely describe the actions and ideas with which you take issue.
  • Avoid making general statements. Instead of saying “the resurgence of radical action across the continent suggests…” try “given the riots in Georgetown last September, and the ongoing anti-sweatshop mobilizations at campuses as diverse as Queens and Concordia, …”
  • Avoid abstract language. Instead of saying “Canada,” which suppresses multiple experiences into a single abstract concept, try “the Canadian State” or some other formulation that refers explicitly to the thing you are describing.
  • Avoid passive constructions. Instead of saying “sentences written in the past passive tense were avoided,” try “we avoided the past passive tense.”
  • Long sentences with multiple qualifiers should be broken into successive sentences. Instead of saying: “An army without officers, averse to fighting under the banner of the Montagnards because of the memories of June 1848 and 1849 and May 1850, [the Parisian proletariat] left to its vanguard, the secret societies, the task of saving the revolutionary honour of Paris, which the bourgeoisie had so unresistingly surrendered to the soldiery…” try: “Because of their memories of June 1848 and 1849, and of May 1850, the Parisian proletariat was averse to fighting under the banner of the Montagnards. Unlike the bourgeoisie who had unresistingly surrendered to the soldiery, the proletariat turned the task of saving the revolutionary honor of Paris to the secret societies that were their vanguard.”
  • When using examples to back up your argument, choose only the best and most telling ones. When describing events, include only the most important, concrete, and vivid details.
  • Make your introduction exciting.
  • Don’t overstate your conclusions.

5. Interviews and Roundtables

Interviews and roundtables are useful for providing snapshots of different movements and where they are at. Unfortunately, since they are often based on transcriptions of verbal dialogue, they are often unfocused and difficult to edit. The following suggestions are designed to help interviewers shape and focus their contributions so that they are easier to edit and more useful for generating focused discussion:

  • 5,000 word limit.
  • Conduct background research on your subject before conducting your interview.
  • Remember that the interviewer is there to play an active role in the process and that your voice and opinions should be present in the final article.
  • Common information should be stated rather than solicited by interview questions. The purpose of the interview is not to get a description of what X did but rather to discover what X thinks about what they did.
  • Act like an investigator and instigator and not like a reporter.

6. Book Reviews

Upping the Anti runs book reviews of printed material in order to provide activists and organizers with an orientation to the debates and discussions that permeate our scene. Since reviews are meant to enable readers to determine whether a book will be of use to them, it is important that they are written in a clear and economical fashion. To this end, we ask that writers submitting a review keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • 2,500 word limit.
  • Reviews should contextualize the work. Clearly identify the discipline(s) (e.g. sociology, literary criticism, politics, history, etc.) and genre(s) (e.g. creative non-fiction, academic article, etc.) within which the book is located. Identify the general theme (e.g. social movements in Latin America, Canadian feminist NGO’s, etc.).
  • If applicable, provide a brief summary of the author’s established body of work.
  • Assess the significance of the work. What is new and important about the book?
  • Summarize the main arguments and then engage with them by posing counter-arguments, identifying gaps in research or analysis, and/or critiquing the methodology.
  • Discuss the work’s implications for activists and for studies in the same veins. Provide the reader with questions for further research and discussion.
  • Avoid a chronology-driven format, for instance: “chapter one was pretty good, then in chapter two the author does this, then in chapter three they do that…”

7. Letters

The letters section in Upping the Anti has become a great space of debate. We encourage our readers to write letters and to engage with the questions tackled by journal contributors. However, since space is limited, please keep your letters to 750 words.

8. Art

Each issue, we feature original art on our journal’s cover. We recently started including political comic strips and graphics. Cover art submissions should include 1-3 art samples. Comic strip submissions should include a written artist’s statement explaining the political themes of the graphics.

9. Blog

Blog submissions should include hyperlinks, an accompanying image, and should not exceed 2,500 words.

10. Writer’s Fees

$100 CAD to the author of an article, interview, or roundtable.

$100 CAD to the cover artist.

$100 CAD to the comic strip artist and/or writer

$50 CAD to the author of a book review or blog post.

Our editing process is very collaborative and we are committed to working with all of our contributors to make their upcoming publication in our journal the best it can be. We are a movement journal and strive towards creating a space for the analysis of Left struggles.★