Style guide OLD

Writing for Pearls and Irritations

Susie and I are greatly indebted to you and other guest writers in helping to promote discussion on important public issues. We enjoy keeping Pearls and Irritations running, but it is quite a heavy burden handling up to forty posts a week. We do not pay writers and we do not seek subscriptions or advertising revenue. However, it is important that writers conform to the style guide, otherwise we may not be able to post. The extra editing involved simply takes too much time.

We are delighted with the progress that Pearls and Irritations has made since its inception in 2012. We now have more than 6600 subscribers. There are about 4000 daily readers, many accessing the blog through the website rather than emails. Many articles and ideas are picked up in other media.

We welcome your contributions. In order to keep our workload under control and to publish articles efficiently and accurately, we ask contributors to follow these simple guidelines for all articles. Corrections, replacements and articles that need editing are an extra burden that add substantially to the initial work of posting on the site. Please include your c.v. on every article.

Guidelines for contributors

Sending contributions:

When you are happy with your final copy, send as an attachment to [email protected]  with the  heading at the top. Keep articles to about 1000 words.

File format:

The blog is published with WordPress software. WordPress handles most standard formats, including Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx, and .rtf). It strips out most redundant formatting. Most contributors send an attachment in one of these formats. Do not send articles in .pdf format as it is very difficult to extract text from pdf documents.

We prefer to keep blogs free from graphs, photos, etc. If your article needs graphs, please send separately as jpeg files, minimum width 740 pixels, with clear markers for their placement.

Include hyperlinks embedded in relevant text, and please check that your hyperlinks are live. Please avoid hyperlinks for pay-walled pages. Don’t forget your c.v.

Do not include footnotes. The file format in Pearls and Irritations does not allow footnotes.


Our readers come from all walks of life and all ages.

Pearls and Irritations is a blog. It is not an academic publication. It is a vehicle for analysis, clarification, fresh interpretations, policy proposals, reviews and other contributions to promote discussion on important public issues.


A few simple things make it easier for us to post your article on the website.

  • Start with your name in CAPITALS. (full stop) followed by a concise and catchy title in mixed case, all on the same line.
  • Your first paragraph (in italics) will be picked up verbatim in the daily (or weekly) email to subscribers. It should be a short summary, encouraging readers to continue reading.
  • Do not use double-spacing between paragraphs.
  • If you use sub-headers, use bold formatting in the same text size as the body.
  • If you wish to include a short description of yourself, with relevant hyperlinks to your own biographical details or website linked to your name, please include these details on each article. If not included, the article will not include your c.v.

And finally – after publication, check the blog site to view comments on your post after publication.

Below is an illustration of our preferred layout from one who might have contributed had Pearls and Irritations been active in 1949 :

Name in caps, full stop, followed by title, all on one line.
Short summary in italics.Text including embedded hyperlinks. 

Maximum 1000 words









Short description of writer, in italics.


BEN CHIFLEY. The Light on the Hill


 I try to think of the Labor movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody’s pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people.

I have had the privilege of leading the Labor Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man‑killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement.

We have a great objective ‘the light on the hill’ which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labor movement would not be worth fighting for.

If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labor movement will be completely justified.

It does not matter about persons like me who have our limitations. I only hope that the generosity, kindliness and friendliness shown to me by thousands of my colleagues in the Labor movement will continue to be given to the movement and add zest to its work.

Ben Chifley was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949.


John Menadue
17 January 2019

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