Street Art Meets Traffic Light Control, William Murphy,

Write with Politicolor: Where Engaged Citizens Show Their Work

Shellee O'Brien
Jan 31, 2016 · 3 min read

If you believe political life has more potential than red vs. blue or even waving the red, white and blue, chances are that you have a story we’re interested in hearing. Politicolor contributors believe we can breathe life back into our political community if we share the stories of what ordinary people are doing to make their corner of the world a better place and the ideas that have helped them believe it was possible. Or maybe even think it was imperative.

The Politicolor Pitch

The basic premise of Politicolor is that we can make it easier to see what active citizens do, how they push against opposition or the status quo and connect with allies, and that showing our work will improve the likelihood that our communities will overflow with good work.

At the very least, we will learn from one another and connect through the ups and downs of civic work.

Stories We’re Looking For

We work to understand the human capacity to live well together through three themes: Awe, Discovery and Connectedness. Please read how we’ve explained these themes to our readers on our website but a snapshot would look something like this…

  • The people and movements that inspires us show up as stories of AWE, providing opportunities to “marvel at the work made possible when we each imagine ourselves to be a part of something larger.”
  • Stories of DISCOVERY tell the stories of pursuing puzzles, problems and impossible questions. These are stories where the action is in what we don’t know and in the work that uncertainty makes possible. Success, failure and something in between are all possible.
  • When we talk about CONNECTEDNESS, we’re connecting the dots between the “ideas, individuals, communities and institutions that motivate civic work” by convincing citizens there’s a plausible promise in taking part.

If any of these themes resonate with your experiences, that’s what we want you to share. We want to hear your story… and we want to hear how it influences the next one.

The Timeline

We are open for submissions for the first ten days of every month. If you submit a story outside of that schedule, it will be at risk of suffering inattention until the next submission cycle.

Share your story with us by…

  1. Prospective writers for Politicolor will need to write their draft on Medium and send a a link to between the 1st and 10th of the month. If you need help, send a message to that address but be sure to include “help” in the subject line.
  2. If you’re work has previously appeared in our publication, submit your draft via the “…” icon and choose “add to publication.” We will acknowledge receipt of your work by either publishing it or getting in touch with you.
  3. Please send no more than two contributions per month. With few exceptions, most work will be added to Politicolor’s publication on Medium, Politicolor Sketchbook. Our editorial staff will review submissions and consider proposals for more frequent contributions once a writer has a history writing in the Politicolor mode.
  4. Our maximum length is 5,000 words (20 minute read). Short posts should be no shorter than 650 words (5 minute read).
  5. Your story should be well formatted, including subheadings and images (with proper attributions) to sustain interest, and be free of errors. Our editors will aim to publish your work unchanged but will correct obvious typos, add photos and adjust some formatting when necessary.
  6. We will verify that we received your story within 7 to 10 days. Work may not be published in the order that it is received but will be incorporated into the publication calendar to amplify the effect of shared themes or complementary efforts taking place on our main website.

***We will also host monthly themes and welcome submissions following those identified “currents.” More information coming soon.


Politicolor is a civic-learning community that connects the…


Politicolor is a civic-learning community that connects the civic-minded through the ideas that make self-government possible. We serve an engaged citizenry and promote civic curiosity.

Shellee O'Brien

Written by

Creature of community; Idea gatherer; Citizen-at-large approaching the work of an engaged citizenry like the future depends on it. Founder,


Politicolor is a civic-learning community that connects the civic-minded through the ideas that make self-government possible. We serve an engaged citizenry and promote civic curiosity.