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

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These are themed submission calls for magazines and websites. There are more than 20 themes with upcoming deadlines for the 9 markets listed here, including Relish, Oceans, Fun Ways to Teach Grammar, Machines, Food and Fitness, Babies and Toddlers, Art & Architecture, Animal Training, Fall Fun, Caring for Your Ageing Parents, Heat, and Alaska Adventures. Apart from features, they have several departments and sections that writers can pitch or submit work for, and many of them also accept work outside of these themes. All of them pay writers, though some do not specify what they pay. Many of these markets prefer queries, not direct submissions, and list material submission, not pitch, deadlines – so it may be worthwhile to get the pitches in early, to be able to submit material on time. Here they are, in no particular order.   — S. Kalekar
Taproot Magazine: Explore; Relish
This is an independent, bi-monthly print magazine. The magazine celebrates farm, food, family and craft. They are accepting work on the themes of Explore, Relish, and others. They have three sections: Head – essays about living a more connected life; Hands – recipes, crafts and projects to make yourself; and Heart – the personal experience of more connected living. They accept non-fiction, food and craft instruction, personal narrative prose, and art. Articles range from 500-4,000 words and are paid, though rates depend on the type and length of submission. For Explore, the deadline is 1 February 2019, and for the Relish issue, it is 1 April 2019. Details here.
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: Oceans, and more
This is a Christian magazine on homeschooling, and is available in digital and print format. They have several upcoming themes for their next issue. They want feature articles on ‘Oceans! Discovering Careers in Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marines, etc.’. Other themes for that issue are: Will Homeschooling Remain Legal?; Language Arts – Fun Ways to Teach Grammar; When to Start Formal Math; Middle School Electives – Ideas, Lists; Teacher Tips! Homeschooling Multiple Ages/Grades; Homesteading – Canning, Dehydrating and Storing; Your Child & Social Media; Working While Homeschooling: Moms Who Wear Many Hats; and their Resource Guide theme is, Don’t Forget the Electives! Writers are also welcome to write in and suggest themes they want to write about. They want queries, not finished articles, and suggest that writers get their queries in as quickly as possible so that they are carefully reviewed well before article submission deadline for the issue. They accept articles up to 800 words, and these cannot promote or sell any product. Compensation is cash payment, agreed upon by both parties. For the Oceans issue, the deadline is 30 March 2019. Details here.
Charlotte Parent: Food and Fitness; Babies and Toddlers
This is a monthly publication that provides useful advice and local resources for parents raising children in the Charlotte area. The theme for their April 2019 issue is Food and Fitness, and for the May 2019 issue, it is Babies and Toddlers. They welcome article submissions and pitches, and consider reprints of articles from publications outside of their region. Articles are 500-1,200 words. Deadlines are three months before the issue is printed. Fees vary depending on the length, depth and use of story. Assigned articles generally pay $50-150, and reprints pay $30-45. Details here.
Newcity: Design 50 – Who Shapes Chicago
This is a media company based in Chicago, owned and operated by its founder members. They want articles on Design 50 – Who Shapes Chicago, and other themes. They publish timely, magazine-style stories about Chicago, its culture, or about almost any topic of interest to the urban dweller. They like articles about politics, the arts and virtually all aspects of social affairs and social policy, and rarely publish stories about international or national affairs. Main section features are 1,500-5,000 words, reviews are 350 words, and arts features are 450-750 words. They accept both query letters and manuscripts. Pay is $15-150. They want work on the Design 50 theme by 14 February 2019. Details here and here.
DeSoto Magazine: Destinations/Travel; Art & Architecture
This is an upscale lifestyles publication focused on stories about life in Mississippi, Memphis and the Mid-South (primarily Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas). They are accepting pitches on the Destinations/Travel theme, on the Art & Architecture theme, and others. They have regular features about people, cuisine, history, southern culture, human interest, travel, gardening, health and the arts. They accept pitches, not unsolicited submissions. They work 2-3 months in advance: for instance, assignments for the August issues are made on 15 May and will be due on 15 June, and holiday pitches are accepted even further in advance. Rates are $100 (essays) to $240 (features). For the Destinations/Travel theme, the deadline is 14 February and for Art & Architecture, it is 15 March 2019. Details here.
Boys’ Quest: Numbers; Sports; Fall Fun; Animal Training
This is a magazine for boys aged 6-13 years. They are looking for non-fiction pieces on the themes of Numbers, Sports, Fall Fun, and Animal Training – there are no deadlines specified, they will accept work until the issues are filled up. The writing needs to be supported by photographs. They are looking for lively writing, most of it from a 10-year-old boy’s point of view, with the boy or boys directly involved in an activity that is both wholesome and unusual. The magazine also accepts fiction and poetry. Articles are 350-750 words and pay is at least $0.05/word. Details here and here.
Western New York Family: Caring For Our Aging Parents; Having A Baby and The Special Needs Child
This magazine is 90% freelance written, and is available both online and in print. Articles submitted should address current parenting issues with a Western New York tie-in whenever possible. Two of the upcoming themes are Caring For Our Aging Parents (March issue), and Having A Baby and The Special Needs Child (April). Focus is on how and where to find family-oriented events, as well as goods and services for children, in Western New York (the Buffalo metro area). There is an “Up Front” focus article in each issue, as well as additional articles, regular columns (children’s books, family travel, fathering, single parenting, tweens & teens, special needs, internet/technology, food allergies in the family, restaurant review). “Evergreen” articles are highly desirable. Seasonal pieces must be submitted at least 3 months in advance of the issue month. Pay is $40-150 depending on type and length of article, and whether it is a reprint or an original, or assigned piece. Details here.
Bitch Media: Heat (#83)
Bitch Media is always looking for pitches that speak to feminist responses to pop culture. For this issue, their guidelines say, “Heat, in all its forms and with all its implications, suffuses our public and private worlds, impacts our economies, motivates our decisions and our identities. In media and pop culture, heat is changeable, constantly ranked currency: hot takes, hottest restaurants, hottest tech IPOs, hot Oscars races, and, of course, hottest bodies. For issue 83, we’re looking for reportage, analysis, information, and commentary that steps directly into the fire.” Potential topics for this issue are how fame can light up—and burn down—movements toward political transformation and social justice; the realm of food trends, where spices signify so much more than literal flavour; discussions on religion, imagination, and visions of Hell; expressions of anger that intersect with feminine and racial imperatives. They say their themes are intended to be nonexclusive jumping-off points rather than limiting factors, to be interpreted as loosely as writers wish, and in their guidelines they’ve included a few key words that may help writers brainstorm:  summer, gambling, climate change, exercise, wildfires, deviance, stereotypes, passion, hell, religion, sex, fame, lottery, swearing, curses. They have features (1,500-3,000 words), dispatches (1,200 words), front of book and culture sections. Pay ranges from $150-1,000. For the Heat issue, the deadline is 25 February 2019. Details here.
Alaska Beyond Magazine: Spotlight on Washington, Sonoma/Napa, and Alaska Adventures
This is the monthly in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines. Features should be queried six months in advance. For the June 2019 issue, the topics are: Spotlight on Washington, Sonoma/Napa, and Alaska Adventures – see guidelines for topics in other issues. The Feed department is the best way to break into the magazine – this is a collection of short pieces that range from business personality profiles to new museum exhibits in cities served by Alaska Airlines. Stories might examine business trends and contemporary corporate issues; notable artists or influential community leaders. The emphasis should be on subjects of broad appeal, presented in lively prose. Other departments and columns cover travel destinations, personalities, technology, sports, education, personal investing, architecture and a range of other topics. In most cases, they focus on subjects and sources within the Alaska Airlines route system; they look to localize stories to the West Coast. They accept queries, and pay is $150-700. Details here and here.


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