Have you got something to say about Southeast Asia? Is there something from the region that more people need to know about and that you can shed light on? Or has the world’s most dynamic region inspired you?

Then we want to hear from you.

New Mandala encourages debate and discussion and welcomes original contributions that haven’t been published in other media. We cover politics and society in the region and everything in between across a wide-range of formats.

Articles should be 500 to 800 words and written in an accessible and engaging manner. They should also be based on your expertise and experience, but also convey your personality and opinion. Our editorial team is also happy to work with contributors to get articles into the best shape possible.

To give your contribution the best chance of being published follow these guidelines.


Length and format
New Mandala’s bread and butter is anecdote and analysis. As such we mainly publish commentary and analysis pieces. These should be written in the style of a conventional opinion piece (download our primer on how to do that here).

To ensure readability and accessibility, these articles should be 500 to 800 words at a maximum.

We also publish:

  • Photo essays
  • Field notes
  • Research findings or summaries of journal articles/papers
  • Reports on conferences, seminars, meetings or rallies
  • Book reviews and announcements about new publications
  • Conference announcements
  • Relevant satire/humour
  • Translations
  • Insider scoops/tips
  • And anything else you think New Mandala readers might appreciate.

Check out our 10-year back catalogue for examples of the above.

All articles should be sent to the editor (james.giggacher@anu.edu.au) as a Word document (or equivalent), including a short bio-note at the end. Please also send us your headshot (at least 500MB), and any social media or other website details.

You may send suggested images (but you must have the rights to them or they must be creative commons). Send photos as a separate attachment. A picture speaks a thousand words, so our preference is for visually engaging and strong imagery.

Show your expertise, make your point
An engaging commentary piece needs an opinion. But it’s also backed up by expertise.

For us expertise means that you have knowledge and experience about what you are writing about. Opinion means we want more than your dispassionate musings. And don’t take a middle path – nothing is duller than a piece that sits on the fence.

Your article also needs to demonstrate personality and inspire discussion and debate. Ask yourself, why do I care about this, and why should anyone else? This means your article must have a point that you make clearly and from the outset.

Audience, writing style and language
New Mandala does academia for the 21st century. This means descending from the Ivory Tower, and engaging with the wider world – not retreating behind a parapet of jargon and waffle. All articles should be written with a non-specialist, public audience in mind, including policy-makers, media, students and the general public.

Write in a natural style that avoids acronyms and academic terms not widely used outside of specific disciplines. Avoid phrases like “In this article I argue…” We can read between the lines; we know what you’re doing.

Use short paragraphs (three to four sentences in length), and convert numbered lists or bullet points into paragraphs.

Spelling and punctuation
We prefer minimal capitalisation and punctuation (it’s Testing times in Thailand not Testing Times in Thailand; Dr not Dr.; Nicholas S Farrelly, not Nicholas S. Farrelly). Avoid sub-heads where possible and keep bullet points and lists to an absolute minimum (think about how these can be written instead).

New Mandala uses British English and the Collins Dictionary for spelling and punctuation (available free online). For example misbehaviour not misbehavior, specialise not specialize.

Check our in-house style for the spelling of specific terms and places (coming soon).

All referencing should be in the form of links rather than citations. Links should point to more detailed information and if possible, be open access.

Avoid using footnotes or endnotes. Please integrate all content into the main body of your article. If it’s in a footnote, ask yourself, how important is this point?

Terms and conditions
By publishing with New Mandala you agree to our key terms and conditions – that means we may share your article with our regional media partners, and you agree to work with our editorial team to shape your piece for publication. Your article won’t just be proofread, but edited for style and readability.

Responding to submissions
New Mandala is run by a small team (who do lots of other things) and receives many submissions. We will endeavour to get back to you regarding your submission within two working days (unless otherwise stated).

Any questions? Email the editor james.giggacher@anu.edu.au