25 Themed Non-Fiction Calls for Submissions to Magazines and Website for May & June 2024

These are themed calls for nonfiction pitches and submissions; a few also accept other genres, like fiction and poetry. Some themes are: queer ecology; need; holidays; climate justice; holidays as a parent; to the sea; cozies (mysteries, romances, familiar writing tropes); campus dispatch; (LGBT) sanctuary; and on South Asian speculative fiction. – S. Kalekar

Orion Magazine: Queer Ecology
Their website says, “Orion has become a focal point in an extraordinarily rich period of nature writing, and it has remained true to that core conviction, though the magazine has evolved into a bimonthly and the range of its interests has broadened to include not only environmental but cultural concerns.” For the current theme, they say, “we are preparing an issue on queer ecology—a celebration of the plants, landscapes, and creatures that have always existed, and a technicolor refutation to the idea that queerness is unnatural— and we’re looking for stories about food. …send us your pitches about the queer ingredients in your pantry and the queer crops in your garden. Pitches (not full stories!) should be for nonfiction (essay, memoir, or reporting), and no more than a page or two.” Do not send fiction or poetry. The pitch deadline is 25 May 2024. Details here and here.
(And, Orion will open for other written and visual themes in July – see the guidelines page for details.)

Sonder Magazine: Need
Sonder is a Dublin-based print journal. Their tagline is ‘Supporting New Voices’. About who is eligible to submit, they say, “Writers submitting work should not have had a full collection or work published; this does not include the publication of single poems, stories or chapbooks. If you have had single poems or stories published, you are still eligible to submit.” And, “Sonder is all about bringing different perspectives together. Everyone is wildly and magically different, yet there is still a universality that draws us all together. We are about reflecting those differences and, ultimately, what it is that brings us together.” They are accepting creative nonfiction (1,000-2,500 words), flash fiction, and short fiction on the ‘Need’ theme. They pay €300. Submission is via a form. The submission deadline is 31 May 2024. Details here.

Mother Jones: Mother Tongue
Mother Jones’ tagline is ‘Smart, Fearless Journalism’. An editor has issued a pitch call for the ‘Mother Tongue’ column; “The column tries denaturalize a phrase that’s been ubiquitous—and then give a strong take through that process.” And, “How is a word you see in articles all the time that goes a bit unquestioned actually saying a lot? And what can we learn by unpacking the process of how some phrase become de riggeur?” The pieces are 600 to 800 words, and the pay is $1,000. Please send pitches only, not unsolicited submissions; see examples of work previously published in this column here. See the pitch call/thread for Mother Tongue here. They also accept feature pitches, and pitches for other columns/sections. For print, rates start at $1.75 per word. For online, rates start at $0.75 a word. Their general freelancer guidelines are here.

The Sick Times
The Sick Times recently received a grant (see their post here), and is accepting pitches for reported news stories and essays/commentary pieces. “We take pitches, not full (already written) drafts on spec. We prioritize pitches from people with Long Covid and related diseases.” As of Spring 2024, they have listed some themes they are specially interested in, including (but not limited to) Deep dives into promising Long Covid treatments (e.g. monoclonal antibodies, BC007, Ampligen, specific antivirals); Deep dives and unique angles on dysautonomia, MCAS, hEDS, and other related diseases and conditions commonly diagnosed alongside Long Covid; Long Covid reporting from outside the U.S., Europe, and Australia; How institutions have failed the Long Covid community; and Relationships and family dynamics with Long Covid. Pay is $1,200 for news features of 1,200-1,400 words, and $400 for essays/commentary pieces of 1,000-1,200 words. Details here.

New Scientist: Holiday Issue
The New Scientist is accepting pitches for their Holiday issue. The editor’s call says, “each year we publish a double-length magazine around Christmas and New Year, in which we usually publish about 15 features. they range from 1200 to 2300 words and are quite different to our normal features. … Christmas features tend to be more fun and quirky stories, but – crucially – still have to involve some NEW science!” See the thread for past examples of holiday sections/stories, which include (but are not limited to) animals, food, history, and Christmas-related science stories. Pay starts at around £660 for 1,200 words. The deadline for Christmas pitches is 14th June 2024. See the pitch call/thread here. Their general pitch guide for freelancers is here.   

Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2024 Climate Justice Issue
NPQ welcomes submissions that seek to advance the work of nonprofits, philanthropists, and social movements in the US. For the current call, they want climate justice writing by “movement leaders and practitioners in the field of all ages—including, and especially, youth (ages 18–35)—for a special edition centered on the young people bringing new leadership, energy, and hope to the climate justice movement.
Youth are moving beyond talk and into action, including legislation proposals brought to policy tables in the United States and globally. We want to know what the youth climate justice movement needs to support their goals, and what’s next for the youngest generations fighting climate change. We’re seeking articles that describe the current state of youth climate justice work, concerns of youth, and new visions for the planet.
What we are looking for…
Articles by climate writers and leaders of all ages that describe work being done in the field, visions for the future, personal experiences with the climate movement, and how climate intersects with issues of health, gender, disability, neurodivergence, racial justice, and economic justice. (Word count: 800–3,000)
Creative writing by youth—from personal narrative to fiction to poetry—that describes living through the current climate crisis. How is your community being shaped and re-shaped by climate? (Word count: no more than 1,000 words.)” NPQ will pay $200-500 for writing, and $50-100 for art. The submission deadline is 30 June 2024. See the call for this theme here. Their general pitch guide is here

Slate: Business section pitches
An editor at Slate has issued a pitch call. “i want your pitches for the business section at @Slate! send me your smart ideas on the products we use, the money we spend, the trends we love (and hate!), the weird thing you can’t stop thinking about (especially this pls): … re: product or trend stories, these shouldn’t be recommendation stories but explaining, analyzing, blogging about (!) something we interact with, digging into an industry, money, or consumer angle”. Rates can go up to ~$750 for short reported features. See the pitch call/thread here, and their general pitch guide here.

Writer’s Digest: The Cozy Issue
This print and online magazine for writers aims to “keep readers abreast of industry trends, of the latest writers who found success and what they did to achieve it, and of innovative ways to improve and empower the inner raconteur” of their readers. They consider completed manuscripts on spec, as well as original pitches. They say writers should allow 2-4 months for a response. They’re accepting work for their November/December 2024 theme, ‘The Cozy Issue’. “Cold weather and the holiday season mean it’s time to cozy up with a good read. In this issue, we’d like articles that take a deep dive into cozy mysteries, holiday romances, why familiar tropes work, comfort reads, tips for hunkering down to write, and other topics that create a warm-and-fuzzy feeling.” You can read about that, and another upcoming theme, here. Apart from features, they have several departments and columns. They pay $0.50/word for first world rights for one-time print use and perpetual electronic use. They do not pay for unsolicited online articles and guest posts, except in rare cases when the content is highly focused or unique, in which case they pay $50-$100. General submission guidelines are here.

Bright Wall / Dark Room: To the Sea
This magazine publishes essays on cinema. “We’re an online journal devoted to long-form critical discussion of the intersection between movies and the business of being alive. The magazine was founded in 2013 with a goal of pushing the boundaries of typical online film writing—we look for essays not just from critics and film scholars but from poets, playwrights, novelists, comedians, and creative types of all stripes interested in experimenting with what film analysis can be.” Their upcoming theme is ‘To the Sea’. “It’s almost summer, and where better to be than on a beach, looking out towards the sea? Watching the waves, seeing what washes up. Dreaming of where else you might go, how you could lose yourself on that vast expanse of ocean. Or maybe wondering: are you already at sea? Awash in the uncertainty of what might be next, trying to steal a few moments in the sun to ground yourself.
Maybe you’re the girl in the portrait on the wall in Barton Fink. Maybe you’re living The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; or holding on tight to your volleyball, the one object keeping your Cast Away self sane, or being haunted by your dead lover who tried to sail away, like in Atlantique. Whatever your situation, for our July issue we’re looking for essays on movies about being drawn to the sea, swallowed up by the sea, in love with the sea, swimming in the sea, living at sea, learning how to let the sea teach you about its depths.”
Pay is $100, and the submission deadline is 10 June 2024. They have other themes listed too, with later deadlines. Details here (theme details) and here (pitch guide).   

Gay & Lesbian Review: Three themes
They accept unsolicited manuscripts and proposals on all LGBT-related topics. They are especially looking for work on these themes:— Sanctuary: The quest for safe spaces in LGBT history
— The State of LGBT Rights: What’s next for the movement?
— LGBT Science: New research on gender & sexual orientation
They also welcome suggestions. They accept feature pitches/features (2,000 to 4,000 words), as well as work for various sections/columns and reviews. Some sections are unpaid. They pay $250 for feature articles, and writers of full reviews can request $100 payment (see guidelines). Details here.

Afar: Subcultures and stories about scientific oddities, new pitch guide
Afar has updated their pitch guide, and are also looking for themed pitches. “We’ve updated our @AFARmedia pitch guidelines! For the next few months, I’m looking for deep dives into subcultures and stories about scientific oddities.” See the pitch call/announcement here. And they have detailed guidelines, including, “Afar Magazine publishes a range of reported features, personal essays, photo essays, and shorter middle-of-the-book pieces. Instead of more traditional aspirational lifestyle travel stories, we tell the stories of places and the people who live there.” Pay for the print magazine starts at $1/word and for online, it starts at $0.50/word. Details of the new pitch guide for the print and digital magazine are here.

Business Insider: Financial cost of being single
An editor at Business Insider is looking for themed personal essay pitches from single folks; “Looking for personal essays about the financial cost of being single for @BusinessInsider! Did you move in with roommates to avoid paying rent on your own? Do you order out because it’s cheaper than cooking for 1?” And, “Rates start at $220 for a 600-word piece.” The deadline is 31 May 2024. See the call/thread here; pitching is via a form, here.

Motherwell: Holidays as a Parent
Motherwell accepts essays, and work in other formats, on parenting. They accept perspective pieces, personal essays, essays on parenting and food, and more. They’re currently looking for completed essays on ‘Holidays as a Parent’ theme. “We’d love to invite submissions about what the holidays (e.g. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving) mean to you and your family. Or anything regarding how they make you feel about being a parent. We are open to a range of formats and lengths: personal essays, humor pieces, listicles, anecdotes, etc. These submissions will go through our regular paid/unpaid process (see dropdown menu). All formats welcome and please include a word count (we tend to cap at 1,200).” Please note, some submissions to this magazine (shorter pieces, alternative formats, and more) are unpaid. Details here.

Eater: Pitches for two newsletters
An editor for Eater has issued a pitch call: “I’m taking pitches for Eater’s specialty newsletters/columns, specifically for Travel and The Move! For Travel, they want “brief, passionate narratives making the case for why you should travel to a specific place to visit a restaurant, learn about a culinary tradition, or eat a dish or food. The most successful pitches here go beyond “This is a thing” and “i did this on vacation.” The key q to focus on is “How will this improve someone else’s experience, or help them better appreciate the people, cultures, and foods that they might not normally have proximity to?”
For The Move, “What is the best, most actionable advice you have to help other people improve their experience dining out at restaurants? We’re really pushing the restaurant focus here! Again, even if the piece is in the first person, the focus here is ~service~ What would most help other people? What were the tips you were introduced to you that changed your dining game?” And, pay is $300 for pieces of 500-800 words. See the pitch call/thread here. They also accept non-newsletter pitches. The general pitch guide for Eater is here.

Narratively & Creative Nonfiction Magazine: Stories on Water
Narratively and Creative Nonfiction Magazine have issued a call for pitches – they want stories on water in all its forms. “We’re looking for stories about water, yes, but what about water, exactly? We want you to interpret this call in whatever way you feel inspired, which could mean anything from pitching us a story about a Jaws-like tale set in open water to one about a pioneering effort to produce safe drinking water. Do you have a profile of a swimmer who broke an unthinkable record despite physical challenges? Have you recently learned about a group of women who set out to retrieve a rumored fortune from a 200-year-old shipwreck? Did you or your neighbor organize a dangerous rescue mission after an avalanche and change the way things are done in your mountain town?
Whatever your story — floods, snorkeling, championship ice-sculpting, dehydration, desalination — we want to hear about it. These can be first-person or reported pieces, and they should have the same epic, immersive, cinematic storytelling and compelling narrative arcs we always look for.” Do not send fiction or poetry. The pieces have to be 3,000-6,000 words, and rates start at $1,000. The pitch deadline is 30 May 2024. Details here and here.

Rewired: Campus Dispatch Series
Rewired is dedicated to reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice; you can read about them here. An editor has issued a pitch call for college students/recent graduates: “i am once again calling for pitches for @RewireNewsGroup’s Campus Dispatch series, where a college student/recent grad writes an op-ed or reported story for us about how repro rights, LGBTQ+ issues, voting rights, and more affect themselves, their campuses, and/or their peers
i’m accepting pitches for op-eds ($350) or reported stories ($500)!” They’re mostly focused on US policy issues. You do not have to currently be in college, but they are prioritizing Gen Z writers. Please read their current stories to get a feel for what we’re looking for; send pitches only, not unsolicited submissions. See the pitch call here.

Rough Cut Press: Dream
They publish work from the LGBTQIA community, and have monthly themed submission calls. Send short prose of up to 650 words on the ‘Dream’ theme. Pay is $25. The deadline is 27 May 2024. Details here.

The London Spy: Journalism about London
The London Spy is a Substack-based magazine on London; they have updated their pitch guide, and issued a pitch call: “Attention London writers — we’ve updated our pitching guide for freelancers! We want original journalism about London. Articles between 1,000 to 2,000 words long, with a rate of £0.30 per word”. See the pitch call here and their general pitch guide here.

The London Magazine: Literature and the places it intersects with wider culture
The London Magazine is a UK-based literary magazine in print and online; they accept fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; they charge a fee for general unsolicited submissions, and they also have fee-free submission dates which are listed on their guidelines page (the next upcoming one is 31 May). Their editor has recently issued a pitch call for essays: “The London Mag is looking for argumentative essays that examine literature and the places it intersects with wider culture. Don’t be afraid to match high culture w/low, to be funny, iconoclastic, and have an authorial voice. Above all, please do not write in the tone of a PhD thesis lol. I am imagining essays that sit somewhere between the rigour of Too Little/Too Hard  and originality of The Fence. We get lots of pitches for retrospective essays on certain writers, books etc. which we love and will continue to publish, but we’re looking for work to go alongside that.” There is no submission fee for these essays. They pay £150 for essays or stories in print, and £80-150 for poems. See the pitch call here.

Low Season Traveller Magazine: Low season experiences, and more
An editor for Low Season Traveller has issued a pitch call. “We’re looking for paid writers for future editions of the @lowseasontravel Magazine, with pitches on all aspects of low season travel”, including Destination guides, Low season experiences, Sustainable hotels, Food and drink, Industry insights, and Extraordinary people. See the call here.

New Mexico Magazine: Western Fashion; Roadhouses & Saloons; and more
They want article ideas about New Mexico experiences, with opinionated storytelling and a first-person point of view when appropriate. The story should capture a place in such a way that readers are inspired to follow in the writer’s footsteps. They want to publish a lively editorial mix, covering both the down-home and the upscale. According to their media kit for advertisers, the theme for their September issue is Western Fashion; for October 2024, it is Roadhouses & Saloons. There are other themes listed, as well. Pay is $0.35-0.40/word for the magazine. Also see guidelines for photographers and multi-media contributors. Details here (guidelines) and here (download the 2024 New Mexico Magazine Media kit here, and scroll down for each month’s theme).

Toronto Journal
“We will … consider non-fiction pieces that are either set locally or explore some local history (Toronto, GTA, and surrounding). See the Stories from the City category, and the Toronto Feature category, respectively, for some examples.” They also accept unthemed short fiction submissions from around the world. Pay is $50. The submission deadline for their next issue is 1 October 2024. Details here.

New York Times: Modern Love
Modern Love is a non-fiction column. They want “honest personal essays about contemporary relationships. We seek true stories on finding love, losing love and trying to keep love alive. We welcome essays that explore subjects such as adoption, polyamory, technology, race and friendship — anything that could reasonably fit under the heading “Modern Love.” Ideally, essays should spring from some central dilemma you have faced. It is helpful, but not essential, for the situation to reflect what is happening in the world now.” Also, “Love may be universal, but individual experiences can differ immensely and be informed by factors including race, socio-economic status, gender, disability status, nationality, sexuality, age, religion and culture.” Send essays of 1,500-1,700 words. Modern Love has two submission periods, March through June, and September through December. Writers are paid. Send submissions to modernlove (at) nytimes.com. They especially welcome work from historically underrepresented writers, and from those outside the US. Details here.
(Also see their Tiny Love Stories column; these are also personal essays similar in theme to Modern Love, but much shorter, of 100 words.) 

Tasavvur: On South Asian Speculative Fiction
Tasavvur accepts speculative fiction from South Asian and BIPOC writers. For non-fiction, they accept pitches only (not unsolicited submissions). “While we are welcome to any pitches you may have that pertain to South Asian spec fic in any manner, we are particularly interested in publishing the following type of work:
— Critical essays of South Asian speculative fiction, such as through a feminist, queer, and/or post-colonial lens
— Translations of non-English spec fic stories from South Asia (both traditional and contemporary)
— Deep dives into the speculative fiction traditions of different regions of South Asia, particular under-represented regions.” They are reading speculative fiction submissions for the Summer issue until end-May 2024, and non-fiction pitches are open on an ongoing basis. Pay is $100 for non-fiction, and $0.02/word for fiction. Please click on the relevant tabs for guidelines, submission periods, the kind of work they are looking for, and other details. Details here.

Channel Magazine
Apart from non-fiction, this Ireland-based magazine also publishes fiction and poetry. They have detailed guidelines, including, “Although we draw inspiration from local and international traditions of nature writing, as well as from the many dedicated platforms for writing on climate and ecology that exist today, much of what we publish falls outside common definitions of nature writing and eco-writing. We love work that speaks directly of a writer’s bond with and fear for our planet, and work that takes a local landscape, or a local flower, as its subject; equally, though, we love work that draws on an aspect of nature as setting, image or metaphor. We believe that all writing relies to some extent on historical engagement with nature, in that all human language has been shaped by our embeddedness in our shared environments. The kind of work we want to publish is the kind that takes this seed of connection and runs with it, revelling in its potential and exploring how it might grow. The best way to understand the range of work we’re interested in is to read our current print issue or some of the work available on our blog.” For fiction and poetry, they have submission windows (deadline 20 June 2024). Non-fiction submissions are considered for both print and online, on a rolling basis. And, “prose non-fiction (… may include interviews and commentary on creative work or community-based environmental projects, as well as essays and narrative pieces). We also regularly publish non-fiction on the Channel blog.” They accept submissions in English and Irish. Pay is €35 per printed page, up to €250 per piece and with a minimum fee of €50 for single-page works. For work published online, they pay €35 per 400 words, up to a maximum of €250 per piece and with a minimum fee of €50. Details here.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She can be reached here.


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