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

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There are 32 themed calls for nonfiction submissions for the 18 markets listed here. Some themes are: tough times; cats; eldercare; kindness; the body/embodiment; Clara Barton and global health; Central America; social and political forces that shape housing; climate change and sustainability; emerging writers; and winter. A few also accept other genres, like fiction and poetry. While some outlets specify pitch or submission deadlines, most do not, so it is best to get your queries in early. – S. Kalekar

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Seven themes
They accept true inspirational stories and poetry on set themes. Deadlines have been extended for previous themes, and new themes added.  

— Miracles and Divine Intervention (previously Stories of Divine Intervention): They want stories about: Divine intervention and timing; Miracles; Coincidences; Unexplained happenings; Answered prayers; Miraculous healing; and Messages and signs from heaven. The deadline is 31 August 2020.

— Making “Me Time” (previously titled Stories about Self-Care and Me Time): Their guidelines say, “Self-care is what we all neglect most. And we’re waking up to its importance. We care for children and partners and parents and friends. We care for pets and homes and volunteer organizations. But, in order to take care of others you must first take care of yourself. And that is not being selfish. … We are looking for your stories about how you neglected your self-care and then how you realized its importance and so you now engage in it.” The deadline is 30 September 2020.

— Tough Times:  Their guidelines say, “We are looking for stories about how you have been affected and how you and your loved ones are handling the changes in your life. We’re looking for the ups and downs, so share the tough times but also the silver linings, the unexpected blessings, and resilience and gratitude that you have discovered in yourself and the people close to you.
We’re also looking for stories about tough times unrelated to the pandemic. Are you going through other challenges that have nothing to do with the pandemic, such as health crises, loss of loved ones, personal challenges, family issues, job loss and economic upheaval”. The deadline is 31 October 2020.

— Cats: They are back with this popular theme. Their guidelines say, “Tell us how he made you smile. How she “rescued” you after you “rescued” her. How she brought your family closer together, helped you find love, inspired you to change something in your human life. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both.” The deadline is 30 November 2020.

— Angels: Their guidelines say, “True personal stories about how an angel has touched your life – stories of true wonder and awe from people who have directly encountered or received help from angels. … Have you experienced something otherworldly or celestial? Or had a personal experience with an angel or divine being? How did your angel manifest himself or herself to you? Were you the only person who saw your angel? How did your angel protect or guide you?” The deadline is 15 December 2020.

— Eldercare: They are only seeking stories from family members providing eldercare for this book, not professional carers. Some suggested themes are: Accepting the new reality; Convincing the person that he or she needs help; Cleaning out the old residence; Finding the blessings and gratitude in eldercare; Dealing with the rollercoaster ride of emotions; Taking care of yourself, too, and your marriage and other relationships; and The lighter side. The deadline is 30 January 2021.

— Counting Your Blessings: Their guidelines say, “Please share your stories about handling challenges in your life, finding the silver linings, and counting your blessings, whether the challenges you are facing are COVID-19 related or other kinds. … Attitude adjustments, finding contentment and gratitude, a new way of handling your daily life, and other great ideas to inspire readers to find their own paths to happiness and to remember to count their blessings every day”. The deadline is 28 February 2021.

Send true, nonfiction stories or poetry on the above themes, of up to 1,200 words. Pay is $200. Details here (themes) and here (guidelines).

Salvation Army: The War Cry – Kindness; Character Counts; Suffering
This Christian publication requires themed articles (800-1,250 words) to be submitted 60 days prior to the issue publication and for special issues of Easter and Christmas, submissions should be six months in advance. They publish articles, reprints, news, non-fiction, (limited) fiction, Use New Living Translation, and photographs. Some of their upcoming themes are:
— Kindness (for the September 2020 issue): The world needs this ingredient now more than ever.
— Character Counts (October 2020): Guideposts for character development. Values on which to build a life.
— Suffering (November 2020): If God is good all the time then why does He let me suffer? The problem with pain, disease, and suffering in the modern world.
Pay is $0.35/word for original work and $0.15/word for reprints. Details here

Minding Nature: Growing systems of care for a more just and resilient future?
Minding Nature is the free online journal of the Centre for Humans and Nature. They are
especially interested in submissions addressing novel ways to imagine our relationship to the whole community of life along with practical directions for improving these relationships. They are accepting essays, poems, and artwork, including comic art, for their Fall 2020 issue, and the theme is, ‘Growing systems of care for a more just and resilient future?’ Their guidelines are extensive, and include the following:The twin storms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd have brought about widespread questioning of the structures on which our society is built. … These tragic conflicts will ease, pass away, and order will be restored while social and personal expectations can be fulfilled again. But what if the social and economic order at work prior to these storms not only cannot be restored, as many suspect, but also should not be restored because it is fundamentally flawed and unsustainable—socially, psychologically, biologically, and ecologically? From this point of view, this moment presents an important opportunity to imagine and work toward visions of what new institutions, practices, values, and aspirations we should nurture as we live forward. That is, what new systems can we grow for a more just, equitable, inclusive, and resilient future? Their readership is interested in discussions that bear, directly or indirectly, on the areas of conservation, evolutionary biology and ecology, environmental ethics, environmental philosophy, law, and policy, and the environmental humanities. The deadline is 17 July 2020, and they will pay an honorarium. Details here.

Faces: Central America; Fun for All; Clara Barton and Global Health
Cricket Media’s Faces magazine is for children ages 9-14 years, where they can learn about important inventions and ideas from other cultures through articles, folk tales, recipes, illustrations, and hands-on projects. They want feature articles – in-depth non-fiction highlighting an aspect of the featured culture, interviews, and personal accounts, supplemental nonfiction – subjects directly and indirectly related to the theme. They also accept theme-related fiction, activities, and puzzles and games. They are reading work on three themes:
— Central America (January 2021): This issue will have an introduction to the countries of Central America. Queries by 31 July 2020.
— Fun for All (February 2021): Their guidelines say, “Sports and games have been modified through time to ensure a fun, fair, and safe experience for all.” Queries by 17 August 2020.
— Clara Barton and Global Health (March 2021): Their guidelines say, “More than 1,500 health organizations across the globe provide critical services, such as training health-care workers, doctors, and nurses; educating people about disease; feeding people; providing sanitary drinking water; vaccinating; developing new beneficial drugs; and providing medicines.” Queries by 14 September 2020.
There are other themes listed, as well. Details here

Wired UK: Science
Their articles “run the gamut through politics, science, culture, security, business and a bunch of other sections. But they’re always about change — and the people who are altering the world for better or worse”, according to their pitching guidelines. See their editor’s call on Twitter recently for science pitches. Details here

New Scientist: Coronavirus
The New Scientist publishes “science and technology stories from around the world that will intrigue, entertain and inform the widest possible audience, be they physicists, biologists or people with no science background at all. We cover fascinating bits of pure science with no possible application as well as high-impact stories such as weapons technology and the psychology of terrorism. Besides reporting the latest research, we also try to find interesting scientific or technological angles on major news events.” They had a recent call for pitches on Twitter from an editor who will be heading Coronavirus-related content across news and features. See the Twitter call here, and general submission guidelines here.

Book XI: The Body/Embodiment; Dialogue
This is a journal of literary philosophy. They publish personal essays, memoir, fiction, science fiction, humor, and poetry with philosophical themes. They are reading work on two themes.
— The Body/Embodiment: Their guidelines say, “We are interested in prose and poetry that touches on the relationship between mind and body, aspects of embodiment including race, gender, sexuality, ability, and size, and how physical existence informs experience.”The deadline is 20 July 2020 for this theme.
— Dialogue: Their guidelines say, “We are presently looking for submissions on philosophically informed creative work in the form of a dialogue or that reflects on dialogue.” The deadline is 30 September 2020 for this theme.
Length guidelines for prose are 2,000-7,000 words, and pay is $200. Details here.

Dwell: Social and political forces that shape housing
This is a publication dedicated to modern design – their issues explore ways in which good design thinking can deliver a better life. Their editor had recently issued a call to home/design/architecture writers on Twitter, for home tours and essays on social and political forces that shape housing. Pay is $200-400+. The Twitter call is here, and the website, with general contact details for editorial, is here

Color Bloq: Worldbuilding – Imagining Worlds of Justice & Joy
Color Bloq is a not-for-profit platform for queer & trans people of color. They’re currently reading on the ‘Worldbuilding: Imagining Worlds of Justice & Joy’ theme. “Today, within our collective reach, is an unprecedented opportunity to seed change. In the wake of ongoing political unrest, worldwide economic instability, and a deadly pandemic we are witnessing a seismic cultural shift toward something new and yet unseen. This historical moment has illuminated the deeply rooted, unfurling legacies of white supremacy and colonization in ways that have sparked a radical challenge to remake the world. … The WORLDBUILDING collection from Color Bloq invites you to explore what it would mean to imagine a world that centers both justice and joy. What liberatory practices does the future hold? How is healing a part of our day-to-day? What new political systems arise and which ones fall?” See guidelines for further details on the theme. They publish feature-length articles and cultural critiques, personal essays, and alternative formats: interviews, reviews, round tables, etc. They accept both complete submissions and pitches. For this theme, they are also accepting fiction. Pay is $500-1,000 for non-fiction articles/essays and for alternate formats, and $275 for personal essays. The deadline is 20 July 2020. Details here.

New Mexico Magazine: The Definitive Guide to Chile; Ghosts, Aliens, and Bigfoot
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. The theme for September is The Definitive Guide to Chile; for October 2020, it is Ghosts, Aliens, and Bigfoot. 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 and here.

Tribal College: Climate Change and Sustainability

They are reading for their Spring 2021 issue, and the theme is ‘Climate Change and Sustainability’. Their guidelines say, “Today, we are faced with unprecedented environmental degradation and climate change, with Indigenous communities around the world bearing much of the resulting burdens. As Indigenous peoples’ institutions of higher education, what can tribal colleges and universities do to help mitigate this crisis and prepare Native communities for an uncertain future? What are some of the sustainability programs and initiatives being implemented at TCUs? How can tribal college students be change makers and contribute to conversations on climate change?” Features are 1,500-3,000 words, and they have several departments. The deadline for feature story suggestions is 7 September, features deadline is 16 October, and On Campus news shorts deadline is 23 October 2020. Details here and here.

Room Magazine: Summer Lockdown Edition
This magazine accepts work by women (cisgender and tranasgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people. They are currently reading pitches for their blog, ‘The Summer Lockdown Edition’. Their guidelines say, “With cafés and restaurants shut temporarily, shopping malls, theatres and water parks closed for the hot months, the summer of 2020 has marked a noticeable shift in the pulse of our everyday rhythms. Yet, time has proved itself to be anything but uneventful. While some of us have staged alterantive ways to stay productive indoors: working, writing, protesting, and producing, all the whilst staying connected with our family and friends, others have taken their time to focus on self-care and reflection. In most cases, managing entails a careful balance of both.
What is on your mind, lately? Ideas churning?” They want pitches on the theme. They are looking for 800-1,200 word articles written on any topic of relevance. They are open to any style, including, but not limited to interviews, essays, creative work, or a mix of elements. The pitch deadline is 14 July 2020. Details here.

The Victorian Writer: Chrysalis – emerging writers, emerging from the margins, transformative reading/writing
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 October/November 2020 issue, the theme is ‘Chrysalis – emerging writers, emerging from the margins, transformative reading/writing’. This issue will also feature Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers prize winners. They welcome both pitches and submissions. They accept non-fiction, articles and extracts of 800-1,600 words (fiction and memoir submissions are open to Writers Victoria members only). Commissioned articles are paid AUD150-250. The deadline for this issue is 24 August 2020. Details here.

New Jersey Monthly: The Future of High School Sports; Fall Day Trips

This magazine covers people, places, and issues of New Jersey. They are interested in timely stories about current issues; local personalities; healthcare; education; politics; business; the environment; science and technology; real estate and development; arts and culture; Jersey history and attractions; restaurants and food; shopping; beauty and fashion; home and garden; music and nightlife; local sports and athletes; and recreation. They are looking for pitches for service articles, but are also interested in investigative stories from qualified reporters. Profiles are typically 1,000-1,200 words; features are 2,000-3,000 words. For September, the issue theme is The Future of High School Sports (Plus: Top 100 High Schools chart) and for October 2020, it is Fall Day Trips, according to their editorial calendar. They have other themes listed as well. Details here (writers’ guidelines) and here (editorial calendar).  

A Public Space: Memory
Their guidelines say, “Memory is a tricky thing. Whether it’s obsessing over our failures, surveying the tokens that trigger us, or considering our past and where we come from, our memories, collective and individual, can tell us about ourselves. Why do we hold onto certain things—failures, archival materials, family trauma—and not others? …submit prose, fiction or nonfiction, that thinks about inheritance or legacy, broadly considers memory, or incorporates archival history.” They’re looking for works of 1,500-10,000 words. The deadline is 20 July 2020. They will pay an honorarium. Details here.

Northern Woodlands: Winter
Their audience consists of conservation-minded people with an interest in all aspects of the forests of the Northeast. Articles and columns range in scope, and may include subjects such as woodlot management, wildlife species, woodworking, and reflections on natural landscapes. This is not a trade or advocacy magazine. They publish book reviews, various columns, poems, and features. Pay has increased, and now begins at $0.15/word for features (see guidelines) for writers new to the magazine; poems pay $35; A Place in Mind Column pays $150; and for the Knots and Bolts Column, pay varies (average payment is approx. $50). They also pay for photographs. They are reading now for their Winter issue. Stories are contracted by 1 August and the copy deadline is 1 September 2020. Details here.

Paper Angel Press: Heartwreck – Romantic Disasters at Sea
Their guidelines say, “Life at sea presents many challenges, and finding (and keeping) love is one of the biggest. Heartwreck: Romantic Disasters at Sea is a collection of true and semi-true stories about love gone wrong on the high seas… Rough weather, small spaces, long days in the boatyard, and an eclectic mix of personalities make personal relationships among the seafaring community challenging and rife with struggles. We’re looking for personal essays and memoir/creative nonfiction pieces about your experiences. … Maybe a relationship fell apart and you got stuck with a boat you didn’t think you wanted. Maybe, after five days at sea with a partner and five months to go, you realized you can’t possibly live with that person on a small boat. Whatever the disaster, if it happened on or around boats, we want to read about it.” Length guidelines are 2,000-5,000 words, and pay is $0.02/word. The deadline has been extended to 30 August 2020. Details here.

Smithsonian Magazine: Secrets of American History; End of the Year
This premier magazine accepts pitches from established freelance writers for features and certain departments. For September, their issue theme is ‘Secrets of American History’; for December 2020, it is ‘End of the Year’. They have a print and an online section. Details here (contact form for freelance pitches) and here (editorial calendar – scroll down).

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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