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Submission guidelines

Notes from Below is a socialist journal that uses class composition analysis to ground revolutionary politics in the perspective of the working class.

Written contributions are divided into four types: “Inquiry” which involves original research into class composition; “Bulletins” written for and by workers and militants; “Theory”, perspectives on working class struggle from the most advanced and relevant parts of theoretical debate; and “History”, pieces about the historical co-development of class struggle and capitalist exploitation. Within this, we are flexible about the form contributions take. For example, they can involve original research, interviews, reporting, or new perspectives. Similarly, we can also host podcasts and videos on the website if this form is more suitable for the content.

We’re always looking for pitches, even if they’re unrelated to the topic of the upcoming issue. Send us an email at editors@notesfrombelow.org. We would recommend reading pieces in previous issues to get a sense of what we’re looking for.

Upcoming issue — The Worker and The Union

The next issue of Notes from Below is going to focus on ‘The Worker and the Union’. This follows on from theme of our first issue which addressed the method of ‘workers’ inquiry’ and class composition, and our second issue that explored technology and the worker.

We have chosen to focus on the worker and the union to try and understand how workers’ organisation is changing today. We consider the trade union as one important form of this.

We are interested in trying to understand two trends that we have identified. These can be seen in two recent examples from the UK. First, this year the UCU (the lecturers union) called for 14 days of strike action, which were taken up and transformed by the rank-and-file workers. Within unions that are part of the TUC (Trade Union Congress), this means looking at organising within these existing structures.

Second, the growth of small unions like the IWGB, UVW, and IWW that are organising with workers outside of official trade union structures. These worker-led trade unions (whether recognised or not) are finding new ways to organise, yet remain relatively small at this stage.

The intended audience of the issue is workers within both official and worker-led unions, as well as workers who are not a member of any trade union. Continuing the style of Notes from Below, we want to commission articles that are accessible and critical, reflecting on the experiences of work and struggle.

To that end, we are particularly keen to commission pieces from people organising in these different contexts. Broadly speaking, submissions are organised into four sections on the website: inquiry, pieces that draw on and discuss real-world experiences of work and struggle; theory, discussions on ideas more broadly; bulletins, leaflet type documents that can be used in organising; and history, which involves reflecting on past events. Submissions can take many forms, whether written, video, audio and so on.

As with previous issues, we are interested in collaborating on potential pieces, either by meeting up to discuss them, co-writing, interviewing, recording audio etc. We are also particularly interested in supporting bulletins that can be printed and circulated beyond the website. We can help with compiling and formatting.

While the focus of this issue is on unions, we are not limiting it only to the workplace. We are also interested in commissioning articles on other forms of collective working class organising, such as renters’ unions and migrants’ organisations.

We want this issue to be an opportunity to reflect on organising in different forms, with an emphasis on how this can inform future struggles.

Please get in touch if you are interested in contributing as we are happy to work with people in developing an idea.