CLEARING Magazine Writers’ Guidelines

(Updated 12/02/16)
CLEARING is an online and print publication for sharing ideas, resources and perspectives on teaching for environmental literacy. Content focuses primarily on programs and activities within the Pacific Northwest/Cascadia Bioregion, but will often include stories/examples from beyond the region.
CLEARING is published in print TWICE A YEAR — March and September. Content is also regularly posted on the website, where articles can be searched by topic and/or author, along with past print editions of the magazine.
CLEARING content focuses on a broad spectrum of environmental literacy education strands. To make it easier for you, we have identified 8 primary themes that we hope will channel your energies and encourage you to submit an article:
Outdoor Education / Children and Nature
Marine / Aquatic Education / Ocean Literacy
Teaching Climate Change
Place-based Education
School Gardens and Farm-to-School
Energy Education
Forest Education
Green Schools / Healthy Schools

Within all of these themes, we are looking for perspectives and opinions, success stories, ways to integrate the themes into the existing curriculum, best resources for teaching, and specific activities that you have found to be effective. We also encourage you to include considerations of equity and diversity when appropriate.


CaribouPageAdditional Information for Writers:

As a small non-profit publication, we are unable to offer payment to writers and reviewers.

As a general rule, the length of the article should be determined by its content.  We often hear that teachers simply do not have time to read very long articles, and with that in mind a good target length is approximately 1500-2000 words. Maximum length should be around 3000 words. But these “rules” are really just suggestions. They are not written in stone. Check previously published articles on the CLEARING website for examples of article length. The length of your article is less important than telling a good story or providing useful information. Write an article that YOU would want to read.

Submission Format
Send your article via e-mail to Articles in MSWord format are preferred.

Acceptance of Articles
Articles can be submitted at any time, and if accepted will be posted on the website and/or saved for publication in the next scheduled print edition. If submitting specifically for a print edition, the deadlines are

Spring edition: February 15 (publishing in March)
Fall edition: August 15 (publishing in September)

Once we accept the article for publication, we will contact you if we need clarification or elaboration. CLEARING reserves the right to edit all material for brevity, organization, clarity and grammatical precision. We will communicate with you regarding any significant changes.

Style and Approach
Style is an individual matter which we cannot dictate, but some guidelines are in order. First, bear in mind that CLEARING is not an academic journal and, as such, does not stand on formality. As stated earlier, write an article that YOU would want to read.

Let your own voice be heard in your writing.

If you are writing about a program or series of activities undertaken with your students, try to avoid the “diary” approach. Readers do not need (and likely do not want) to know every little thing that happened. For the most part, they are reading for ideas that they can use or build on in their own classrooms. While you may want or need to include an account of what happened when you tried a particular teaching unit or activity, your main purpose should be to inform readers of how they might best go about developing a similar program, unit or activity.

If you are writing on a topic related to a specific environmental or global issue, such as climate change or endangered species, your primary purpose should not necessarily be to discuss the issue itself, but rather to provide ideas for teaching ABOUT the issue. Some background information is always useful, but most teachers have many other sources for such information. They look to CLEARING to find ways of conveying the complexity of these issues to students.

Finally, please note that we try to avoid articles that serve primarily to promote the work of a specific organization, unless it is truly unique and deserves the recognition.

We prefer high resolution jpegs (300 dpi). Please provide a description of each photograph so that the captions printed in the magazine accurately reflect the action in the picture. Similarly, please provide the name(s) of the photographer(s) so that proper credit can be given.

If you use references when writing your article, or if you are recommending resources or references for further reading, please include a complete bibliographic citation of these. Let us know the title, author, publisher, date and place of publication, number of pages, and ISBN number.  If citing a journal or periodical, provide the title of the journal and article, author, date, volume, issue and page numbers.

Please add a sentence or so about yourself which we can add to the end or your article or review. Our typical closer goes something like “Mary Jones teaches grade 3 at Columbia River Elementary School in Richland, Washington.”


If you have any additional questions about writing for CLEARING, please contact the editor at