28 Themed Calls for Submissions to Magazines & Websites

There are 28 themed calls from the 22 outlets listed here, for non-fiction. The themes include: women at work; siblings; issues in media and journalism; environment in Britain; climate; return; wonder; give thanks; reproductive justice; and creative technology. Some specify pitch or submission deadlines, but some do not.  – S. Kalekar

MotherWell: Women at Work; Siblings; MotherWell Books; Parenting and Food
They publish essays about parenting, capped at 1,200 words. Apart from the themes below, they publish personal essays and perspective pieces on parenting, as well. Some shorter pieces and formats are unpaid (see guidelines). The Women at Work and Siblings series have deadlines coming up. There are no deadlines mentioned for the others.
— Women at Work: “We are looking for new stories, up to 1,200 words, that tackle all aspects of what it means to be a working mother during such an unprecedented time. Interpretations might include: the effect of the pandemic on mothers working from home; the implications for gender roles and the burdens of caregiving and domestic labor; how women are making childcare and schooling decisions in the face of so many complex considerations. We are open to a range of styles; this is a paid opportunity.” Deadline: 17 September 2021.
— Siblings: “We are looking for new stories, up to 1,200 words, that tackle all aspects of what it means to be or have a sibling, from the perspective of either parents or the siblings themselves. Interpretations might include: the sibling experience, the bonding and/or the rivalry; the intricacies of step-siblings and blended family relationships; the unique dilemmas of the only child; when does the number of siblings matter, if at all? We are open to a range of styles; this is a paid opportunity.” Deadline: 17 September 2021.
— MotherWell Books: This is a platform on the site “where we will be curating and showcasing the best books for parents and parents-to-be. We’re currently looking for posts related to reading and writing, themed book lists (e.g. for new moms, parenting teens, empowering girls), and articles and essays that are centered around a parenting book (or books) that aren’t your own.”
— Parenting and Food: They want stories “that delve into all the ways in which these two areas of life can intersect. Interpretations might include: cultivating cooking skills with your kids; body image around pregnancy; raising picky or limited eaters; managing food allergies; coping with weight concerns, at either end of the spectrum.”
The deadline is 17 September 2021 for Women at Work, and for Siblings. Details here.

Sliced: Fungus
Sliced, the Canadian food journalism magazine, is looking for pitches around the ‘Fungus’ theme for their fifth issue. They pay CAD0.15/word for stories of around 1,200 words. They want to commission as soon as possible, and aim for the final drafts to be done by 24th September. Details in the Twitter thread here.

VICE UK: The Debt Collection
VICE UK is looking for pitches for ‘The Debt Collection’ column. This is a collection of stories of getting into – and out of – debt. Details in their commissioning editor’s Tweet here.

Disegno: Issue 31
The UK-based journal Disegno publishes “long-form writing and photography around design. It covers all design fields, as well as the social forces that shape, and are shaped by, the discipline. Disegno is devoted to writing and photography that highlights the political, social, environmental and industrial impact of design.” They are reading pitches for Issue 31, according to this Twitter thread by their deputy editor.

Inkcap Journal: Environment in Britain
They are accepting pitches on environment in Britain. Their guidelines say, “Inkcap Journal publishes a small number of stories from journalists and writers. We are interested in reported features, interviews and essays. Pitches should reflect Inkcap’s focus on the environment in Britain: England, Wales and Scotland.
We particularly like pieces that engage with thorny issues at the heart of nature conservation, tackle issues of social justice, or tell an unexpected story. We like articles on humans, habitats, plants and animals.” Pay is £100-300 per story, depending on its complexity and the level of reporting involved. Details here.

Functionally Dead: Satire
They are “primarily interested in publishing short, left-leaning political satire, non-political comedy that speaks to the current moment, and earnest non-comedic essays from a Leftist perspective.” Please send only pitches (not complete works), up to 5 at a time. They rarely publish work more than 1,200 words. Pay is $50. Details here.

Study Hall: Media & Journalism issues, profiles, contextualizing with larger phenomena
Study Hall is open for pitches on media & journalism now – “deep dives into longstanding issues in the industry, profiles of pubs doing notable things, reporting that contextualizes media news w/in larger phenomena (labor, digital privacy, etc)”, according to a Twitter thread. Their rates vary; $250 for Q&A (1,000-2,000 words), $300-350 for blog posts (800-1,000 words), $400-800 for reports (800-1,800 words), $400-500 for essays ($1,200-2,000 words), $800-1,200 for features (2,000-3,000 words), and the general per-word rate is $0.30-0.40/word; see here for the Twitter thread.

Dardishi: Connections
Only submissions by Arab and North African women and gender minorities will be considered. They want submissions on the ‘Connections’ theme for Issue 3 of the Dardishi zine. Their guidelines say, “This theme is a jumping off point to explore ideas that are interesting, meaningful and personal to you. We’re looking for interpretations of this theme in the form of non-fiction and fiction writing, poems, illustrations, photographs, essays and more. Contributions can be in any form so long as it can fit on no more than 3 sides of A5 paper.” Pay is £50, and the deadline is 17 September 2021. Details here.

Chatelaine: Lifestyle, style, home, & food
The digital editor of the premier Canadian women’s magazine, Chatelaine, is looking for pitches on “lifestyle, style, home & food writers—especially those with fun, service-y pitches that work for our audience of Canadian women in their 30s-50s. We pay roughly $0.50/word for online pieces”. The editor loves memoir pitches also. They do accept international submissions, but the stories they assign usually have some sort of Canadian angle or connection. Details in the Twitter thread here.

Stories for Choice: Radically True Storytelling for Reproductive Justice
This is a call for US-based writers, for true stories about reproductive justice, which they will broadcast on 22nd January 2022, the 49th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Their website says, “Stories for Choice uses radically true stories that include the TMI parts we usually keep to ourselves because of fear, shame, stigma, or cultural expectation — to ignite human connection, challenge the status quo, and inspire storytellers and listeners alike to take action for true reproductive justice.” They want the selected people to be available to train at online storytelling workshops, and then be available for a recorded performance online. There are specific requirements; these have to be true stories about your experience with reproductive healthcare or lack thereof. They want stories from all people and perspectives – LGBTQIA+, gender non-conforming people, two-spirited, straight/cis women and men. These must be first-person stories, with the writer as the main character; you’re willing to be vulnerable and expose your humanity by including the “TMI” parts of your story. They also encourage Spanish speakers to apply. All selected participants get $500. The deadline for applying is 15 September 2021. Details here and here.

Ceramics Monthly: Balancing Form and Function
This is a magazine of studio ceramics, and their audience includes artists/potters, educators, students, gallery and museum personnel, and collectors. They have various departments, including Techno File (a scientific explanation of, and a practical studio application for, a ceramic topic), and Studio Visit, They also publish features (topical and technical articles), profiles (750-1,500 words each), and exhibition reviews (500-1,000 words). For December 2021, the issue theme is Balancing Form and Function. Topical Articles, Profiles, Technical Articles, and Exhibition Reviews are paid at $0.10 per printed word; Techno File and Glaze articles are paid a flat rate of $250. Some pieces are paid for with a subscription and some are unpaid (see guidelines). Details here and here.

Ninth Letter: Return
Apart from non-fiction, they also accept fiction and poetry. They want submissions on the ‘Return’ theme for their web edition. Their guidelines say, “As in, to return to a former place, person, or situation. Haven’t we been here before?
By its nature, return evokes a reconstellation of questions: Can we?  Should we? Have we? We go back, we give back, we turn back, we come  back–we return–but to what?
You may submit up to three poems, or one piece of short prose  (fiction or nonfiction) of up to 3500 words; you may also submit up to  three pieces of flash prose totaling no more than 3500 words. Please  also include a cover letter that briefly explains how you see your work connecting to the theme.” Pay is $75/essay or story, $25 for poetry; the deadline is 1 November 2021 for the web edition. Details here. They’re also open for submissions for their print edition, and online submissions for the print edition are charged, but there is no fee for mailed submissions.

Sailing Magazine: Retrofits
This American magazine cover all aspects of sailing, “from learning how to sail in a dinghy to crossing the ocean on a large cruiser to racing around the buoys against the best sailors in the world. We typically focus on sailing in places that are realistic destinations for our readers, but will occasionally feature an outstanding and unique sailing destination.
Although beautiful destinations are one of the best parts of cruising, we are first and foremost a sailing magazine, not a travel magazine. Writers should keep in mind that although the destination is important, getting to that destination under sail and sailing in that destination should be the focus of the piece.” Short news stories are 100-500 words, and features are 1,000 to 3,000 words. Also, their readers “are experienced sailors, so articles should be written with that in mind, using proper sailing terminology and avoid undue explanation of basic sailing jargon.” They also accept stand-alone photos. They do not accept poetry, first-time sail experiences, fiction or log-type stories. According to their editorial calendar, the theme for their January/February 2022 issue is ‘Retrofits’. Allow up to three months for response for unsolicited submissions. Pay is $50-500 for stories and for photos. Details here (writers’ guidelines) and here (download ‘Editorial calendar’ from the drop-down menu).

Fat Coyote Literary Arts: neurodivesity
They showcase the work of neurodivergent artists. Writers have to be neurodivergent to contribute (self-diagnosis is valid). Apart from non-fiction, they also accept fiction, poetry, comics, as well as art and photography. Their guidelines (via their submission manager) say, “Bold, unapologetic perspectives. Work that funnels sunlight through a magnifying glass to scorch the surface. Stir up emotions that lurch from the gut or radiate heat from the sternum. Infuriate us. Amuse us. Leave us in quiet relief. Whether the emotional charge that pulses through your work is subtle or bludgeoning, wield it with precision.
Neurodiversity is part of intersectionality. Submissions are not expected to explicitly focus on neurodivergence; though, the focus is welcomed.” Length guidelines are up to 6,000 words for prose and they publish excerpts from longer works, as well. Pay is $0.03/word, up to $120, for prose; $1/line, up to $70, for poetry; and up to $120 for comics. The deadline is 15 October 2021, or until filled. Details here (general guidelines) and here (Duosuma submission manager).

Sasee: Give Thanks; It’s a Wrap
They want first-person, non-fiction material that is for or about women, of 500-1,000 words. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are their focus areas. They do not publish fiction or poetry. They have two upcoming themes: Give Thanks (deadline 15 September 2021, November issue – this issue also has the Holiday Gift Guide); and It’s a Wrap (deadline 15 October 2021, December issue). Details here.

Horizons: Rejoice in Hope
This is a Christian magazine. It is published by Presbyterian Women, Inc. for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They want themed articles, stories, and poems. For November/December 2021, the theme is Rejoice in Hope/2021 PW Churchwide Gathering. Articles/stories should be 600-1,800 words. Pay is at least $50/page, depending on the time and research required. Details here (themes) and here (download writers’ guidelines).

The Old Schoolhouse: Spring 2022
This is a magazine for homeschoolers and they are currently accepting queries for their Spring 2022 issue. The themes for features are: Nature Studies, Insects, Careers with Birds.
There are several other themes listed for that issue, including:
— Why Are So Many Homeschoolers Entrepreneurs?
— Middle School Math – A Bridge to Higher Learning
— Language Arts: Phonics, Grammar, Reading, and Becoming a Fine Writer
— Charlotte Mason Method
— The Wars of History and What We Learned
— Raising a Future Doctor or Lawyer
— Keeping Home: Building an Herb Garden
— Finances, Money Management, & Investing
Research-based, stats/data-filled journalistic queries will have special consideration for publication. Article submissions deadline is 30 November 2021 (they will close to pitches much sooner than this date). Themes for other issues are listed, as well. Details here.

Parabola: Wonder
This is a quarterly journal that explores the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life. They accept original essays and translations. Their guidelines say, “We look for lively, penetrating material unencumbered by jargon or academic argument. We prefer well-researched, objective, and unsentimental pieces that are grounded in one or more religious or cultural tradition; articles that focus on dreams, visions, or other very personal experiences are unlikely to be accepted.” They publish articles (1,000-3,000 words), book reviews (500 words), retellings of traditional stories (500-1,500 words), forum contributions (up to 500 words), and poetry (up to 5 poems). They have a call a Wonder-themed issue. The deadline is 1 December 2021. Details here.

Kenyon Review: Work; Climate
They are reading submissions that broadly consider the Work, and Climate themes. They are also reading unthemed submissions. Apart from nonfiction, they publish publish fiction, poetry, and plays. Send prose of up to 7,500 words. They also read excerpts from larger works, of up to 30 pages. A call for works of translation will be extended the last week of September. Payment is upon publication. The deadline is 30 September 2021. Details here.

Bass Angler: Spring
They want articles that teach anglers something. They publish articles covering trends, products (no advertorials type pieces) and people in the bass fishing industry. Of interest are in-depth techniques, seasonal tactics, how-to, marketing, sports-health and destination pieces. Their focus is exclusively bass fishing. For the Spring issue, their guidelines say: “The spring issue includes a mix of how-to and seasonally adjusted technique articles designed to help bass anglers catch larger bass before during and after the spawn.   You can expect to see articles on: sight fishing, swimbaits, shallow crankbaits, large plastics, flipping, pitching, shallow structure, rising water, muddy water, trophy bass and various other spring time strategies.” They will also have tournament articles, springtime destination, and lifestyle pieces. Full-length features are 1,200 words; they run shorter pieces also, of 400-500 words. They ask writers to query them. Article submission deadline is 1 December for the Spring issue. Details here and here.

Container: Creative Technology
This is a magazine about creative technology, and they are accepting pitches for their fourth issue. It explores why and how people use technology in creative ways for social and cultural purposes. They will read any pitches they receive, but are particularly looking for:
– Stories relating to individuals or groups of people that have been erased from dominant white Western narratives.
– Stories about cities and placemaking.
– Pitches for live events, video content and podcasts.
They have extensive guidelines. They publish mid-to-longform feature articles, including investigations (2,000-3,000 words); first person essays (600-1,500 words); list articles; illustrated articles; photo essays; podcasts and audio content; video pieces including documentary; and live online events. Rates are £300 per 1,000 words for written articles; £200-250 day rate for other freelance contributions (illustrations, event fees etc). The pitch deadline is 19 September 2021. Details here.

The New York Times: Wordplay
They want pitches for the Wordplay section. Their guidelines say, “Wordplay is the Games editorial section of The New York Times, including the daily Crossword column and Spelling Bee forums. … In addition to the regular columns, we also publish lively, well-written freelance articles that cover a gamut of subjects: puzzles, gaming and tournaments, wordplay and language. We are also interested in historical and cultural surveys of the gaming and language worlds.” Please limit your pitches to 500 words; final word count is 800-1,200 words. Pay is $1.50 per word for an accepted, edited piece. Details here.
(They also accept submissions – not pitches – for their Solver Stories column. These are personal essays about “how puzzles, games and language connect us to each other, how they fit into our daily lives and what we can learn about ourselves from them”. Payment is a flat rate of $200.)

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.






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