20 Themed Calls for Submissions (Non-Fiction, Essays, Etc)

Show All

There are more than 20 themed non-fiction submission calls in 14 magazines here. Some themes are: explorers, summer, money, building infrastructure, beginnings, careers in art and photography, food, back to school, college football, wear, focus on personalized medicine, and autumn. Most of them accept work outside of these themes also. Some magazines specify their pitch or submission deadlines, but many do not. So while a few of these are pitch deadlines, some are article submission deadlines, or even issue release dates as they appear on the magazines’ websites; it’s best to get queries in early. Not all of them specify pay rates. Here they are, in no particular order. – S. Kalekar

Skirt Magazine: Explorers
This is ‘Charleston’s first women’s magazine’, and they ‘celebrate women with attitude’. They want Charleston-area freelance writers to contribute to their monthly print magazine – experienced writers who can accept assignments for short features and profiles, as well as writers who can pitch story ideas about topics related to women and women’s interests. They also accept pitches for personal essays. They also accept monthly posts for their website, but these are unpaid. For their July issue, the theme is ‘Explorers’ and the deadline for submissions is 20 May 2019. Details here.

Tribal College Journal: Building Infrastructure
This is the journal of American Indian higher education. For their Winter 2019 issue, the topic is ‘Building Infrastructure’. All feature articles must involve tribal colleges in some way. Possible feature article topics are listed, but alternative topics on each theme are welcome. For this theme their guidelines say, “Despite the great political chasm dividing America, one thing all sides can agree on is building a solid infrastructure where we educate and train tomorrow’s professionals and workers. But some tribal colleges continue to struggle to provide state-of-the art learning spaces and equipment to meet this need. How can tribal colleges harness the resources necessary to improve their capacity and infrastructure? What are some of the success stories, and how can TCUs better work together for the benefit of all?” They want both long features (2,500-3,000 words) and shorter features (2,000 words). Their regular departments are Media Reviews, On Campus, Profile, Research, Resource Guide, Talking Circle, TCJ Student, and Voices. Deadline for feature story suggestions is 19 April 2019; the features deadline is 21 June 2019; and the deadline for On Campus news shorts column is 5 July 2019. Payment varies. No payment is made for Voices or Research articles. Details here.

The Victorian Writer: Beginnings
Writers Victoria is an Australian not-for-profit charity that supports and advocates for writers, illustrators, editors and literary-sector workers to be paid for the work that they do. They are accepting pitches of their in-house magazine, The Victorian Writer. For their June/July issue, they want work on ‘Beginnings’ – how to begin, strong openings, new starts and more. They welcome both pitches and submissions. They accept non-fiction, articles and extracts up to 2,000 words (fiction and memoir submissions are open to Writers Victoria members only). Commissioned articles are paid AUD150-250. The deadline for this issue is 27 April 2019. Details here.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: Careers in Art & Photography

This Christian homeschooling trade magazine is accepting features on ‘Careers in Art & Photography’ for their Fall 2019 issue. They also have the following themes for this issue: Trades, Apprenticeships, Colleges; Language Arts – When My Child Just Won’t Write; Teaching Manners and Respect in Today’s World; HisStory –  Bringing Art History Instruction to Life; Homesteading – Harvest Ideas for Families; Young Learning – Toys & Inventive Minds; Discount Field Trip Hacks – Live Theater, History Societies, Zoos, Music, Museums, Fairs; and Special Needs Homeschooling – Keep Them Home. They also have two resource guides: Higher Education and Trades, and Smart Gifts: Educational Toys and Games. They want well-structured article proposals including a catchy lead, a summary of the article (including approximate length and sidebar ideas), and appropriate details. Writers will get agreed-upon cash payment. The deadline is 31 May 2019 for this issue. Details here.

Southwest: The Magazine: The Food Issue; Happy Birthday, College Football – Celebrating the Sport’s 150th anniversary

Southwest: The Magazine is the magazine for Southwest Airlines. They typically publish two works of narrative non-fiction each issue, around 3,000 to 3,500 words. They want a compelling tale with memorable characters, none of whom have to be famous. They also assign special advertising sections. The stories can be personal narrative essays, profiles, trend stories (all with strong characters); they are less interested in stories about particular places unless they contain a personal angle or remarkable character. Writers should remember to keep their pitches focused on Southwest Airlines destinations or cities that are within a short driving distance. They usually plan five to six months out and begin working on an issue two to three months out. For July, their theme is ‘The Food Issue’ and for August, it is ‘Happy Birthday, College Football – Celebrating the Sport’s 150th anniversary’. Pay for features is typically $1/word. Details here and here.

Roadtrippers Magazine: National Parks Week; Small Business Week; and Memorial Day/Start of Summer

This online publication is looking for US- and Canada-based road trip features and articles. They publish features, profiles, and news. They are looking for stories that writers have first-hand experience of, ideas that tell the surprising, unexpected, or untold story of a place, person, event, route, etc., interesting, relevant news on road travel and road culture, interviews with unique characters, and stories on Americana and the great outdoors, camping, museums, and more. They say they pay rates competitive with other online publications, and if a story needs extra research or travel, they can factor those costs in by negotiation. They have a list of theme weeks and content target dates, including: ‘National Parks Week’ (20-28 April 2019); ‘Small Business Week’ (1 May); and ‘Memorial Day/Start of Summer’ (27 May). Details here.

Charlotte Parent: Summer Fun + Birthday Parties; Back to School
This publication provides useful advice and local resources for parents raising children in the Charlotte area. Deadlines are three months before the issue is printed. The theme for their June/July issue is ‘Summer Fun + Birthday Parties’ and for August, it is ‘Back to School’. They accept both pitches and article submissions. They also accept reprints of articles from publications outside of their region. Articles are 500-1,200 words. Fees vary; assigned articles generally pay $50-150, and reprints pay $30-45. Details here.

Broken Pencil: Summer
This is a Canadian magazine of culture and the independent arts. They are always looking for writers for these columns: Pencil Sharpener (up to 400 words): short reports on cultural events, personalities, zine gatherings etc. Examples are a launch of a comic anthology in Montreal, a zine fair in Medicine Hat, a guy who runs an art gallery out of a suitcase in Saskatoon. Ideally these are no longer than 400 words; Features (1,000-3,000 words): Long, well researched articles on the subject of indie/alternative culture. Could be a profile of an individual or event, could explore a trend or new development etc.; Folio (2-4 pages): in which an artist or zinester or designer does whatever they feel like. A strong visual element is required here, preferably a marriage of words and text. They pay CAD30-300. They are currently reading for their ‘Summer’ issue and the pitch deadline is 15 April. Details here.

Northern Woodlands: Autumn
Their audience consists of conservation-minded people with an interest in all aspects of the forests of the Northeast. Their articles and columns range in scope, and may include subjects such as woodlot management, wildlife species, scat, chainsaw maintenance, woodworking, and reflections on natural landscapes. This is not a trade magazine for the forest products industry or an advocacy magazine for preservationists. They prefer receiving pitches over unsolicited submissions. Book reviews (400-800 words) pay $50, A Place in Mind (c800 words) pays $150, Knots and Bolts (a good way to break into the magazine – 200-700 words) has varied pay, averaging $50, poems pay $25, and features (1,000-3,000 words) pay $0.10/word for writers new to the magazine (may increase for experienced/established writers). For their ‘Autumn’ issue, stories are contracted by 1 May and the copy deadline is 1 June. Details here.

Gray’s Sporting Journal: Big Game Hunting and Fishing, Waterfowl, Fall Fishing; Expeditions and Guides: Travel Only

They are always on the lookout for good upland-bird-hunting, fly-fishing, and big-game manuscripts. Other subjects of interest include waterfowl, turkeys, small game, unusual quarry, sporting adventures in both foreign and domestic locations. For November/December, the theme is ‘Big Game Hunting and Fishing, Waterfowl, Fall Fishing’. They will also publish ‘Expeditions and Guides: Travel Only’. They say that they choose an issue’s offerings about eight to twelve months before publication and if writers are aiming at a specific issue, their manuscript should reach the editors at least six months prior to that. They accept complete manuscripts. There are no word length limits for features. Pay is $100-1,250 (extra for photos). Details here.

The Boston Globe Magazine: Summer Travel; Weekend Fun Guide; Your Money
This magazine is published weekly inside The Boston Sunday Globe. Stories are assigned weeks or months in advance of publication. The best places for new writers to start with the magazine are the Perspective column, an opinionated 800-word essay on a timely local news topic, and Connections, a 650-word first-person essay on relationships of any kind (romantic as well as those between friends, siblings, and parents and children).  Some of the upcoming themes are ‘Summer Travel’ (publishing May 5); ‘Weekend Fun Guide’ (June 2); and ‘Your Money’ (June 9). Fees vary. Details here.

Taproot Magazine: Build; Wear
This is an independent magazine focusing on the topics of farm, food, family, and craft (both traditional and modern). They also want recipes, and techniques to be carried into the kitchen, the garden, the pasture, the urban homestead, and the rural farm. They accept articles of 800-4,000 words. They want completed submissions, not pitches. They also look at artists’ portfolios. Pay varies, and deadline for the ‘Build’ issue is 1 June 2019 and for ‘Wear’, it is 1 August 2019. Details here.

The Scientist: Focus on Personalized Medicine, Cell and Gene Therapy
This is a magazine for life science professionals — it covers a wide range of topics central to the study of cell and molecular biology, genetics, and other life-science fields. They have a print magazine as well as an online presence and explore the latest scientific discoveries, trends in research, innovative techniques, new technology, business, and careers. Online news stories and pieces for the Notebook (which appear in print) are generally the best places to break in as a freelance journalist. For their July/August issue, the theme is Focus on Personalised Medicine, and Cell and Gene Therapy. Details here and here.

Newcity Network: Lit50 – Who Really Books in Chicago; The Summer Issue
This regional publication wants magazine-style stories about Chicago, its culture, or about almost any topic of interest to the urban dweller. For their June 2019 issue, the theme is ‘Lit 50 – Who Really Books in Chicago’, and for July, it is ‘The Summer Issue’. They publish articles about politics, the arts and almost all aspects of social affairs and social policy. Main section features are 1,500-5,000 words, reviews are 350 words, and arts features are 450-750 words. They prefer to receive query letters, though they accept completed manuscripts also. They publish writing for the web as well as print. Pay is $15-150; they generally do not pay expenses in addition to their basic article rates. Exceptions must be specifically approved in advance. Details here and here.


We send you writing jobs.

Sign up and we'll send you 3 companies hiring writers now. Plus, we'll send more companies as we find and review them. All in our free email magazine.

We're the magazine for freelance writers.

We send you companies hiring writers.

Subscribe and we'll send you 3 companies hiring right now.

We'll also send you a guide that gets you started.

We're completely free.

Subscribe now. (It's free.)


About Us

We're dedicated to helping freelance writers succeed. We send you reviews of freelance writing companies, assignments, and articles to help build your writing career. You can view our privacy policy here, and our disclaimer. To get started, simply enter your email address in the form on this page.