32 Themed Calls for Submissions to Magazines & Websites

There are 32 themed non-fiction calls for pitches/submissions in the 24 markets listed here. Some of the themes are: Dyspraxia and the holidays; freedom of expression; letters I’ll never send; crimes of the famous & infamous; the long tail of COVID; openings and closings; certainty; Blackness and parenting; the future is female; and overlooked writers. Some outlets do specify pitch or submission deadlines, but some do not. – S. Kalekar

Gray’s Sporting Journal: The Bird Hunting Edition; The Big Game Edition
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. They also publish one poem per issue. 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 completed manuscript should reach the editors at least six months prior to that. Features may be fact or fiction, hunting or fishing, long or short but no shorter than 1,500 words. Yarns are campfire tales, fact or fiction, and should run from 750 to 1,500 words. Expeditions are travel pieces of 2,500-3,000 words. Pay is $600 to $1,250 for features, based on quality, not length; yarns average $600; poems, $100, and photos are $50 to $300. For Expeditions pieces, they pay $850 to $1,000 plus $75 per picture published. According to their 2022 Media Kit, the theme for the August 2022 issue is The Bird Hunting Edition; and for September, it is the Big Game Edition. They have other themes listed, as well. Details here (submission guidelines) and here (Media Kit).

The Deadlands: Humanity and death
They publish essays, speculative fiction, and poetry on death and related themes. For critical, academic, and personal essays, their guidelines say, “We are looking for essays that explore the relationship between humanity and death. We are looking for a wide range of subjects, including but not limited to: cultural funerary practices, rituals of remembrance, historical explorations of death imagery, death imagery used in art and by artists, death imagery found in graveyards and on tombstones.” They’re not interested in reviews, or examinations of death portrayed in media. Essays should be between 1,000-4,000 words. They want “clear, thorough work that shows an appreciation not appropriation of culture.” Pay is $100 for essays and art, $0.10/word for fiction, and $50 for poetry. The deadline is 18 December 2021; they plan to re-open submissions a month after that. Details here.

Dyspraxia Magazine: Holiday-related topics
They are looking for pitches for various topics, including: New Year resolutions planning; Wrapping gifts with dyspraxia; Managing a busy festive home when neurodivergent; Mental health during the winter months; and Working from home (the highs and lows), according to a recent Twitter tread. Writers can suggest other topics they deem relevant. All writers must be dyspraxic or have very close relations to dyspraxiam.


Bright Wall/Dark Room: The Best of 2021
They want writing on cinema, and they publish themed issues. For ‘The Best of 2021’ they have extensive guidelines, including “Send us your writing about movies from this year that surprised you, moved you, riled you. More than anything, we want to read about movies that made you feel something this year, a year when it was often easier to feel nothing. Feel free to get meta, go long — make it your own.” Longer, creative essays are 2,000-4,000 words. Pay is $100. The deadline is 13 December 2021. Details here.

Letters I’ll Never Send Anthology
Submissions are open for the ‘Letters I’ll Never Send’ anthology. Their guidelines say, “This anthology will be a compilation of first-person accounts including letters, prosaic poems, diary entries, postcard letters, very short personal essays, and other genre-bending experimental pieces.
“letters i’ll never send” is meant to serve as a sentimental linkage between the writer and the reader. It should lure the reader in emotionally, so that they can resonate in some meaningful way. Simultaneously, all pieces inside the book should connect with the others in vulnerable, open, or spiritual ways – or all of those ways. Essentially, just write as if you’re writing to whoever, and run with whatever comes up – whether it’s an angry letter, a love letter, a breakup letter, a friendship letter, a self-reflection letter, a letter to yourself, a postcard letter to a friend/significant other, etc.” Pay is $50 for submissions of up to 1,000 words. The deadline is 12 December 2021. Details here.

The Commonwealth Foundation: adda – Freedom of Expression
This is a call for writers in Commonwealth countries. adda, the Commonwealth Foundation’s magazine, is looking for submissions of literary nonfiction (2,000-5,000 words), as well as fiction, poetry, and graphic fiction on the topic, ‘Freedom of Expression’. They want pieces “that are in conversation with the Commonwealth’s commitment to freedom of expression. This could include freedom to express your beliefs, sexuality or politics. While the call is open to all Commonwealth citizens, the foundation encourages submissions from young people and writers from small and vulnerable Member States.” Writers will be paid the standard adda fee. The deadline is 5 December 2021. Details here.

The Best New True Crime Stories: Crimes of the Famous & Infamous
The editor is accepting pitches a true crime anthology: “Nonfiction, true crime accounts of the “famous and infamous.” Criminal subjects can be from the performing and literary arts (including actors, musicians and composers, radio and TV personalities, authors, journalists, artists, etc.), politicians, sports figures, members of royalty, business entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and so forth. Criminal subjects must already be in the public eye when committing their crimes, not made famous after the fact. Stories can take place anywhere in the world and can cover a wide range of criminal activity/historical time frames. First-person accounts are especially welcome from writers with a connection to their cases. Add something new to the story, a different viewpoint or angle, particularly if your chosen case has received extensive coverage.” The final word count has to be 4,000-7,000 words. Pay is $130 for submissions. The final submission deadline is 1 January 2022 (or until filled) for Crimes of the Famous & Infamous. It is best to pitch early, as these are accepted on a rolling basis, and submissions may close early if the anthology is filled. Details here.

Dilettante Army: A Spectre is Haunting…
They publish pieces that involve visual analysis, critical theory, and close text reading. Their preferred topics center around issues of social justice, politics, the art world, and quirky historical stuff. They also promote imaginative pieces, poetry, and visual essays. They have extensive guidelines for the current theme, including: ““A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of Communism.” This line opened the gate to another world and ghosts rushed through, filling the crevices we thought were empty. The Communist Manifesto gave us language to describe how things that seemed clear and permanent realities–ideological assumptions, aesthetic commitments, material conditions, institutions, social and political forms, economic structures–could be revealed as spectral: “all that is solid melts into air.” …. Topics might include: the logic of late capitalism, haunted houses, mourning, the long crisis of the present, pastiche, palimpsest, institutional memory, sampling, pop music, failed movements, outdated genres, things that go bump in the night, Goosebumps, echoes, literal or figurative waking nightmares, literal or emotional blackmail, guilt, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the intimacy of algorithms, and the ghost in the machine.” Submissions are generally 3,000-4,000 words and pay $500; visual essays and poetry are considered separately. The pitch deadline for this theme is 7 December 2021. Details here and here.

Are We Europe: The Lie of the Land
This is a themed, quarterly publication and they commission articles and photo series from young journalists in Europe on underreported topics. They’re commissioning pitches for feature pieces (1,200-2,000 words), photography, illustration, short stories, podcasts and infographics on a rolling basis for their quarterly themes. Their pitching rounds are open for magazine entries as well as pitches for personal, in-depth multimedia stories. They have extensive guidelines on the ‘The Lie of the Land’ theme, and some of the angles they’d like covered are: “Who are the people working the land today, and under what conditions? What does the journey of a product of the land, be it fruit, plants or flowers, into our homes look like? Does the meaning of land change from one part of Europe to another? What is the connection between land and identity?” The pitch deadline is 10 December 2021. Details here.

National Geographic: Travel pieces
The magazine is “still open to nat geo-y travel pieces”, according to a recent Tweet, on 22 November, from an associate editor (a follow-up to an earlier Tweet, on 8 November). They are no longer looking for holiday travel pitches (also, they are “Leaning away from first person narratives, profiles, and listicles”, so do not pitch those). Pay is $800-1,000.

Oregon Humanities: Care
This magazine publishes work from Oregonian writers – features, journalism, personal essays, and more. They publish work online, as well as for their themed issues. For the Spring 2022 issue, the theme is ‘Care’. “We want to hear stories about responsibility and custody, attention and affection, worry and grief. What do you care about, and why? Who do you care for, and who cares for you? Is caring a burden, a privilege, or something in between? Where do you see care, and where do you notice its absence?
We’re looking for nonfiction articles and essays exploring what it means to provide care and to receive it, to care about and to be cared for. Tell us how care shows up in our communities and the systems of our society. Share a fresh perspective on health care or childcare or eldercare or tender loving care.” Pay is $500-1,000 for personal essays and features (lower for online works). The deadline is 21 December 2021. Details here and here.

Type Investigations: Six themes
This is a nonprofit newsroom of independent investigative journalism that works in partnership with print, broadcast, and digital media outlets. They’re open for pitches for investigative projects for 2022. They do not publish international stories that don’t involve a U.S. policy, institution, or corporation. They have extensive guidelines, and are specially interested in these topics:
Communities, corporations, and governments responding to the climate crisis. “As the climate crisis becomes increasingly severe, we’re interested in how people and institutions are reacting to a rapidly warming planet: who’s profiting, who’s getting left behind, and what new systems of power are emerging.”
— The long tail of COVID. “The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated systemic inequalities throughout society. We want to continue to highlight how COVID-19 has affected vulnerable groups and examine the failures of companies and U.S. government agencies charged with safeguarding workers and the public.”

The radical right. “In the wake of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, right-wing extremism remains a powerful and ascendant force. We want to continue to track this movement and uncover how it is influencing politics and society on a local, state, and national level.”
Labor and economic inequality. “We want to continue our long track record of exposing workplace discrimination and unsafe labor practices — highlighting the disenfranchisement of workers in the current gig economy, scrutinizing longstanding abuses, and holding individuals, companies, and regulatory agencies to account.”

— Threats to democracy. “Particularly in the run-up to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, we are interested in stories on disinformation campaigns, efforts to suppress voting rights, how partisan political firms are working to identify and influence voters, and more.”
Reproductive rights. “The intensifying battle over abortion rights has its roots in decades of conservative activism. We’re interested in stories that expose the connections between government and the Christian right — and how their agenda is evolving.”

Written features generally run between 4,000 and 6,000 words — though they do publish articles that are shorter and longer. Pay is $3,000 to $6,000 (expenses and reporting fee). Details here.

SOLRAD: Comics-related pitches
This is an online literary magazine for comics. They are open now to submissions and pitches related to comics. They publish comics criticism, original comics, essays, and interviews. The magazine focuses on comics arts outside the mainstream genre comic. Currently, they are accepting pitches for:
Reviews/Criticism – reviews that provide a critical analysis of the work being reviewed. Their reviews and essays focus on the theme of the work and how cartoonists use their tools to convey that theme;

Interviews – with artists, comics writers, and those in comics-adjacent fields (e.g. publishing, comics sales);

Essays – original journalism and investigative work, personal essays, profiles, memoirs, and other creative non-fiction.
Pay is $75 for works of 1,000 words. Details here.

In The Fray: Openings and Closings
They published original themed non-fiction of 1,000-4,000 words. They prefer pieces – including review essays — with a strong connection to the magazine’s themes of understanding other people and cultures, encouraging empathy and compassion, and defying categories and conventions. They want work on the ‘Openings and Closings’ theme. “For many people, life nowadays is a state of continual transition. Economies shut down, then reopen, then shut down again. Practices of business and leisure are in flux, responding to ever-changing local conditions. The pandemic continues to foreclose some possibilities while opening others, and it is anyone’s guess what the new normal will eventually be.
In The Fray magazine is looking for essays, reportage, and photo essays that examine experiences of upheaval and realignment—of whatever variety, and however construed.” They publish news (in-depth profiles and other reportage): $50-100; commentary (personal essays, op-eds, and travel writing): $25-75; art (photo essays, artwork, videos, multimedia projects, and accompanying photos/art): $25-75; interviews (Q&As): $25-75; and reviews (reviews of books, film, music, and art): $20-50. Blogs (shorter pieces, in any genre): unpaid – they will determine after seeing the first draft, which pieces will go in the blog section. They do not publish fiction or poetry. The pitch deadline is 15 December 2021. Details here and here.

Brink: Certainty
This literary magazine wants submissions on the ‘Certainty’ theme. “We are looking for contributions that engage both the particular theme of each issue as well as the idea of being on the brink.” On the Certainty theme, their guidelines say, “How do you know when something is undeniably, inevitably true? What does certainty feel like in your body? Is it a firm knot of conviction deep in your core? Does it manifest as clarity or courage? Can you grasp certainty? Are you sure? What happens when certainty crumbles? When the home, the relationship, your own body, break and you must reckon with the reality that what was once indisputable is now disrupted? … We are interested in work that focuses on the edge, the brink, of certainty.“ Apart from nonfiction, they also publish fiction, poetry, and hybrid works. Pay is $50 for works under 1,500 words, $100 for works over 1,501 words, and $25 for poetry. The deadline is 15 December 2021. Details here and here.

Novara Media: Pitches on UK university strikes
Novara Media “is an independent media organisation addressing the issues that are set to define the 21st century, from a crisis of capitalism to racism and climate change.” They are commissioning pieces on the strikes/pickets at UK universities. A recent Tweet from their commissioning editor says, “Commissioning opinion, analysis and reporting on the #GoldStrike, as well as the #UCUStrikesBack actions taking place at universities across the UK this winter”. Pay is £100-175.

Brain Mill Press: Voices – Makers on Making
They are looking pitches for their online ‘Voices’ section, for ‘Makers on Making’ column. These are emotional, radically authentic essays of 750-1,500 words. This column features a different maker each month — printmakers, writers, knitters, crafters, painters, photographers, textile artists, and anyone else involved in art — with essays about their process on a particular project. These pieces delve into the psychology of making, the lessons we learn from success and (often more usefully) failure, and what it is to be a human authentically and emotionally involved as a maker in our world. They exclusively invite submissions from people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ writers. Other interested writers for Voices can also pitch them and they will consider these pitches on a case-by-case basis. Details here.

Inside Waterloo: Affordable Housing and Homelessness
insideWaterloo is a Canadian publication, based on the part of the Haldimand Tract known to settlers as Waterloo Region. They will accept pitches from anyone: unpublished writers, seasoned freelancers, front-line activists or the average person, and are prioritizing submissions from equity-seeking writers based in Waterloo Region. They are reading for their next issue on the region, and the theme is ‘Affordable Housing and Homelessness’. “Waterloo Region’s red-hot housing market is out of reach for many, and the number of people experiencing homelessness feels like it’s swelling every week. All our shelters are at capacity, with some closing their doors or are at risk of closing. People who live in tent cities are being demonized and criminalized.
How did we get here? How is this crisis impacting you and your community? What’s the solution? Our first issue of 2022 focuses on the theme of housing and homelessness. We’re keen to read long form pieces that delve into this topic through analysis or lived experience. Max 3000 words.” The pitch deadline is 5 December 2021. Pay is CAD150-500 for solicited articles or those based on the current theme; for unsolicited articles, it is CAD80-120. Details here.

The Monitor: Undoing the transit death spiral
This is the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ bimonthly policy and current affairs magazine, covering issues of critical importance to the related goals of social, economic and environmental justice. They have issued a submission call on ‘Undoing the transit death spiral’. They have extensive guidelines on the theme of plummeting transit ridership and associated problems, including “The March/April issue of the Monitor explores saving, reinvesting in, and reimagining Canada’s public transit systems. We are accepting pitches that explore the following questions (and more!): Can we apply a racial equity lens to Canada’s transit systems and, if so, how would this work begin? How can we develop truly affordable transit that extends beyond the current inadequate model of opening a single tier of affordable passes up? How do we fund a better transit system? What does a functional intercity transit system look like? What does a thriving accessible transit system look like? Where can we draw inspiration from? What lessons can we learn from Ottawa’s P3 experience?” They want feature articles, investigative journalism, illustrations, and book reviews, that are rooted in an intersectional analysis between 700-1,500 words. The writing style should be accessible (not academic or theoretical). The pitch deadline for this issue is 15 December 2021. Details here and here.

Parents: Blackness and Parenting
The senior editor of Parents.com recently Tweeted, “we’re looking for pitches from black writers! we want your reported stories on everything and (almost) anything at the intersection of blackness and parenting. please, dm me for more details.” Details here.

(Also see the Tweet about pitch calls for The Financial Costs of Childcare for Parents magazine; pay is $200-300 for 800+ words.)

The Rumpus: Funny Women
Submissions are again open for work by women and non-binary writers for its short conceptual humor column, ‘Funny Women’, of 650-1,000 words. They do not accept personal essays/stories/anecdotes for this column. They want evergreen over timely pieces (holiday themes, weather, politics, etc.) They do not want pop culture. The editor’s favorite submissions are literary and feminist at the same time. The guidelines also say that writers have to follow the editor on Twitter. The Rumpus also open for submissions in a few other categories. Details here.

Sasee: Three themes
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 three upcoming themes: The Future is Female (submission deadline 15 December 2021); Best Buds (deadline 15 January 2022), and Express Yourself! (deadline 15 February 2022). Details here.

DAME Magazine: Newcomer Corner
DAME Magazine has a ‘Newcomer Corner’ – their guidelines say, “DAME’s ‘Newcomer Corner’ provides a designated platform for writers with no prior professional bylines to publish reported features, interviews and narrative essays. The goal of Newcomer Corner is to introduce new writers to the DAME audience, and help foster emerging talent through one-on-one training and an interactive and collaborative editing process.

As with all content published on DAME, we’re looking for pieces on politics, reproductive rights, policy, civil rights, race, sex, class, gender, LGBTQ, disability, class, media, law, cultural trends, health, science and more.” They have specific reading periods for pitches for this section, from 1 January to 15 February 2022; details here for the Newcomer Corner, and rates for this section are $150-300. For general pitches, details are here, and pay is $150-500.

Ploughshares: Look2 Essay
Ploughshares literary magazine publishes essays in the Look2 series. “This series seeks to publish essays about underappreciated or overlooked writers. The Look2 essay should take stock of a writer’s entire oeuvre with the goal of bringing critical attention to the neglected writer and his or her relevance to a contemporary audience.
The writer can be living or dead and from anywhere in the world (if there are good English translations available). Essays should make note of biographical details that are pertinent to the writer’s work.” Ploughshares also publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry – there is a submission fee to submit work online, but there is no fee for postal submissions. For Look2 essays, there is no fee to submit online. Pay is $45/page, up to $450 for Ploughshares, including for Look2 essays. The deadline is 15 January 2022. Details here and here.


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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