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

There are more than 35 themes for non-fiction pitches/articles for the 21 magazines/websites listed here. While a few specify deadlines, most don’t, so it is best to get queries in early. Some of the themes are: climate activism/injustice; on the hunt for exoplanets; Earth Day; Star Trek and the Black Lives Matter movement; LGBTQ and science/health; best of fall; race and money; Halloween; labor in the pandemic; and privilege and power. Many outlets accept pitches outside of these themes also. – S. Kalekar

Ours to Save: Climate activism/injustice
This is a website that documents climate change and activism. They have called for pitches about short profiles of climate activism/injustice local to you, and also longer, research-based, investigative features. They are particularly interested in work to support their #plasticfreepints campaign. They accept crowdsourced (unpaid) material as well as paid-for work, so make sure to email/query the correct contact. They pay £30-80. Details here (pitch call on Twitter) and here (website/contact).

Muse Magazine: Three themes
Cricket Media’s Muse Magazine is a discovery (science, non-fiction) magazine for 9-14-year-old readers. They publish feature articles (800–2,000 words, including sidebars), profiles and interviews, particularly of underrepresented STEM professionals (500–800 words), activities and experiments (500–800 words), photo essays (100–300 words), science fiction or science-focused fiction (800–1,200 words), and infographics.

They are currently reading article pitches for several themes, including these:

— January 2021: Superpowers. Their guidelines say, “Where do fictional superpowers intersect with real fields of science? 

Possible  topics: The magic and science of psychic abilities; Animals’ special  senses and amazing abilities; Real inspirations behind fictional comic  book characters; Superheroes and genetics; Mutations and startling or  unique genetic variations; Technology that gives us “superpowers” ’ Queries by: June 15, 2020. 

– February 2021: Good Sports. Their guidelines say, “How do inventors, athletes, and tech professionals work together to develop new sports or games—and improve  existing ones? 

Possible topics: Profiles of under-recognized  sports-adjacent inventors, past and present; Gear and games that  increase inclusion, especially for differently abled athletes;  Competitive advantages such as improved footwear: OK or against the  rules?; The future of e-sports; Interactive game design activities” Queries by: July 15, 2020.

– March 2021: On the Hunt for Exoplanets. Their guidelines say, “What are exoplanets, and how and why do we learn about them? 

Possible  topics: Habitable zone and implications for alien life, space  colonization; Exoplanet discoveries, breakthroughs, and unanswered  questions; Astronomer profiles; Deep dives into Kepler mission,  telescopes; History of “human computers” in astronomy” Queries by: August 17, 2020.
There are several other themes listed. Details here.  

Cobblestone Magazine:
Clara Barton; Earth Day
This is an American history magazine for children ages 9-14 from Cricket Media. They are currently accepting queries on some themes, including Clara Barton and Earth Day; there are other themes listed as well. Articles should have historical accuracy and lively, original approaches to the subject at hand – they publish features (in-depth non-fiction, plays, first-person accounts, and biographies), and supplemental non-fiction (subjects directly and indirectly related to the theme — editors like little-known information but encourage writers not to overlook the obvious). They also publish fiction (authentic historical and biographical fiction, adventure, and retold legends relating to the theme), activities (crafts, recipes, woodworking, or any other interesting projects that can be done either by children alone or with adult supervision), theme-related poetry, as well as puzzles and games. The query deadline is 1 July 2020 for both themes. Details here.

Sub-Terrain Magazine: Isms
They accept commentary, social or otherwise (up to 4,000 words), as well as creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. For the Isms theme their guidelines say, “In a time of acute social activism, and some might say, division, issue #87 invites writers to ponder “isms.” Racism, classism, conservatism, pacifism, feminism, sexism, atheism, capitalism, dualism, fascism, neoliberalism, optimism, populism, etcetera.” Online submissions are charged, but there is no fee for mailed submissions. They pay CAD0.10/word for prose up to CAD500, and CAD50/poem. The deadline is 7 August 2020 for this theme. Details here.

Mynah Magazine: Untold Singapore Stories
This is an annual longform print magazine covering untold stories about Singapore. Their call on Twitter says that they value original reporting and research, and writers don’t have to be based in Singapore or be Singaporean to pitch. They want pitches for features, profiles, critical essays, photo essays, and comics. About what counts as an untold Singapore story, they say that stories in past issues have included a profile of a bomoh, a critical examination of the Samsui woman figure in Singapore’s history, and a discussion of racial politics in the soap opera Tanglin. Don’t send time-sensitive pitches. Rates are SGD250-400, depending on the story’s complexity. The pitch deadline is 22 June 2020. Details here.

Economic Hardship Reporting Project: Intersection of the Coronavirus and financial suffering in America
They are offering assignments to independent journalists for stories on the intersection of the Coronavirus and financial suffering in America, with an emphasis on writers and photographers who are themselves experiencing significant economic hardship caused by the pandemic. They generally pay reporters roughly $1/word or a $300-$500 day-rate for photojournalists. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and are subject to approval and available funds. To apply for this grant, journalists should send them a brief note of less than 350 words in English or Spanish, explaining their financial situation.

They are also offering a limited number of emergency hardship grants from a newly-formed emergency relief fund, of between $500-$1500 to professional journalists based in the US. Details here and here.

StarTrek.com: Four themes
This CBS Entertainment-owned website accepts pitches for essays, reported work, features, and more. There are some evergreen topics they always look for pitches on, which include timely responses to recent Star Trek episodes, interviews with one-off Star Trek guest stars, Trek related essays, personal essays that relate back to Trek, any reported work that ties current events back into Trek, deep dives, and listicles. For July 2020, they’re asking freelancers to pitch pieces specifically linking Star Trek to current events – the BLM movement, Black culture, and Black stories, and they say that going forward, this will be an evergreen topic. They’re also accepting pitches for Star Trek and Canada Day (which is on July 1), Independence Day (July 4), and National Video Game Day (July 8). Details here.

Inverse: LGBTQ science/health
Inverse is part of the Bustle Digital Group and they cover various topics related to science, innovation, entertainment, mind and body, gaming, and culture. Right now, they are accepting pitches for LGBTQ science/health stories, according to their editor on Twitter, who is looking for narratives with characters, spotlights on important work, and personal essays that integrate research. Pay is $0.50/word. See the call here, and the magazine website/general contact is here.

Input: Pride pitches related to streetwear/design
Input is a Bustle Digital Group owned website and they cover tech, gaming, culture, design, and style. They had a call on Twitter recently for Pride pitches, as related to streetwear/design. Pay is $0.50/word. The Twitter call is here and website/general contact is here.

Chatelaine: Best of Fall; Spark Joy
This is Canada’s leading women’s magazine, and they cover a variety of issues, including health, current events, food, social issues, fashion and beauty, and decor. Their lead time for pitches is between four and six months. For September/October, the overall magazine theme is Best of Fall; and the November/December theme is Spark Joy. Both themes cover several sub-topics – see the Media Kit for details. Writers’ guidelines are here.  

Today’s Parent: Several themes
This is a leading Canada-based parenting magazine. They don’t seem to have writers’ guidelines, but have several themes listed for upcoming issue in their media kit. The themes for September/October are:

  • Living: Back To School! How To Prep, What To Buy, Hacks + Tips; Education: The Ultimate Homework Guide;
  • Sleep: Shhh!—Or No? The Ideal Sleep Environment For Babies & Toddlers;
  • Discipline: Why “Redirecting” Your Toddler isn’t the Magical Behaviour Solution It Seems to Be;
  • Recipes: Halfway Home-Cooked.
  • For November/December 2020, the themes listed are:
  • Food: Age-By-Age Guide to Getting Kids in the Kitchen;
  • Parenting: Should Parents Actually ‘Go With Their Guts,’ Though?;  Living: Whole-Family 10 Day Screen Detox: A Diary;
  • Toys: 2020 Toy Guide;
  • Beauty: Post-Partum Hair Loss: What Can Be Done?!;
  • Trying to Conceive: Secondary Infertility: When Baby #2 Just Isn’t Happening;
  • Recipes: Bring Back the Sunday Roast!

See their Masthead and contact for editorial here, and media kit for theme details here (scroll down).

Metro Parent: Four themes
This is a resource for parents in Southeast Michigan. The September issue is on Music and Art; for October, it will cover Halloween, fall, and planning birthday parties; for November, the themes are Family health, pregnancy and newborns, and Thanksgiving/charity; and the December 2020 issue will be on Winter activities, toy reviews, and holidays. Short articles are generally 600-800 words. Features are 1,100-1,500 words. They suggest writers aim to pitch two months before the issue appears. They publish features, as well as regular articles. Apart from these themes, they always welcome a variety of articles covering timely parenting topics and useful information. They are particularly interested in features and human interest stories using local sources. Essays are also welcome. They do not publish fiction or poetry. Payment is issued after article is published; amount is determined by article length. It may also be repurposed for one of our ancillaries and appear online at metroparentmagazine.com. Details here.  

AMC Outdoors: First-person essay pitches about connection to the outdoors, wildlife, outdoor spaces & rec
This is the magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club, which promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. For features, they publish stories that showcase an outdoor activity in a new and exciting way, offer a tangible sense of place and meaning, or profile individuals with unique approaches to conservation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Departments are designed to be short, in-depth articles that provide readers with news and advice on a variety of outdoor recreation and conservation topics. The magazine retains all rights to the story in perpetuity. Pay depends on length and complexity of the articles, and writer experience; they generally pay $750 for features, $150-350 for departments, and $50-300 for photographs. Recently, they announced a call for pitches on Twitter – they want first-person essay pitches about one’s connection to the outdoors, wildlife, outdoor spaces & rec. These can be about race, or not, and mid-Atlantic / Northeast focus is a plus. Length is 500-700 words, and they pay $250 for these. Also see their editorial calendar for other themes. Details here (general editorial guidelines), here (pitch call), and here (click on editorial calendar).

Planning Magazine: Water; Artificial Intelligence is already changing planning – what’s next?; Equity economics
This magazine of the American Planning Association has detailed writers’ guidelines. They publish news and analyses of events in planning, including suburban, rural, and small town planning, environmental planning, neighborhood revitalization, economic development, social planning, and urban design. They publish features, short news stories, book reviews, news about APA activities and members, viewpoint essays, and news of projects in the works. Writers should pitch first. For August/September, they have a special issue on ‘Water: Too much, too little, too polluted. PLUS: Tools and data for water management’.  For October, the theme is ‘Artificial intelligence is already changing planning—what’s next? (Part of the Pace of Change series). PLUS: A planning education’. For November 2020, the theme is ‘Equity Economics: Inequal opportunity, segregation, exclusive zoning. They all have costs. PLUS: Drones and you.’ They also have other themes listed. They do not pay for articles by practicing planners, attorneys, or university faculty members. For others, fees are worked out individually, usually $100-1,000, and $50-300 for photographs and drawings. Details here (writers’ guidelines) and here (editorial calendar).

Business Insider: Race and Money
For this business magazine, the editor recently called for essays/stories on race and money – about financial inequality, and racism, and the oppressive systems that ensure the racial wealth gap stays cavernous. Rates start at $200 for this theme. The Twitter call is here.

Pit Magazine: Sausage
This is a UK-based independent food magazine and they recently had a callout for their next theme – sausage. They accept BBQ ideas, and are open to articles, recipes, interviews, opinions, etc. on the theme. Details here (call) and here (website/general contact).

Fish on Friday: Seafood
This website aims to reconnect the British public with their local fisheries and their coastal communities. They want to share “inspiring stories of the skill and innovation that brings Britain’s seafood onto our plates. Whether it’s a story of inshore fishermen selling direct to British homes and restaurants, adapting the way they fish to protect our oceans for future generations, or fishmongers working with their local fleet to get the best and freshest seafood to the public, we want to shine a light on the industry and show the public the amazing work that goes into our seafood.” Pay is £80 per “high quality copy” (250-1,000 words), with photos. Details here.

Enemy: Abuses of power in news deserts/underrepresented communities
This is a new print magazine dedicated to reporting on abuses of power in news deserts and underrepresented communities across the United States. They want pitches on stories that shed light on abuses of power and they pay $1/word. They said on Twitter that though the magazine is focused on the US, if writers had any exceptional international stories, they would love to hear them.
Details here (website, general editorial contact), here (initial pitch call on Twitter) and here (pay details on Twitter).

Briarpatch Magazine Special Issue: Labour in the Pandemic
They publish writing and artwork on a wide range of topics, including current events, grassroots activism, electoral politics, economic justice, ecology, labour, food security, gender equity, indigenous struggles, international solidarity, and other issues of political importance. They read completed submissions also but they prefer pitches. Some suggested topics for this theme are: Why unions matter during the pandemic; lessons from labour movement history; Militant and creative labour tactics: direct action, strikes, exposing bad bosses, digital union organizing drives, and mutual aid between workers; Zero-work; anti-work; anarcho-labour; shortening the work week; Stories from industries in flux: food and agricultural workers, nurses and health care workers, cleaners, teachers, postal workers, transit workers, airline workers, gig workers and app-based workers, etc.; Migrant workers and undocumented workers’ organizing; Care work; gendered work; Government responses to the pandemic: interventions into the economy and supply chains, austerity, nationalization, regulation; and Working-class art and culture. Pay is $100 (Canadian) – Profiles, short essays, reviews, blog posts, and parting shots; $200 – Feature stories, photo essays; and $300 – Research-based articles and investigative reportage with extensive primary research. For the special Labor in the Pandemic theme, the pitch deadline is 29 June 2020; first drafts are due around 10 August. Also, they’re hoping to work with more writers of colour, especially Black and Indigenous writers. Writers of colour who wants more support in crafting a pitch or developing an angle for their stories can mail them before 15 June. They are also reading work for several unthemed issues, with later deadlines. Details here (theme details) and here (general guidelines).
Also see their call for young editorial assistants (deadline: 15 June 2020).

Artlink: Biopic
This is a quarterly themed magazine on contemporary art from Australia and the Asia-Pacific. They welcome proposals for essays, articles and reviews and information on associated projects and exhibition programs that relate to forthcoming themed issues. For December 2020, the theme is Biopic (working title). Their guidelines say, “Placing the subject, real or invented, at the centre of the narrative is fundamental to the production of creative texts as life stories. Taking its name from the filmwork as biopic, this edition looks to examining the cross-overs between the various forms and genres of the portrait as an artform in its own right, and the enduring motivation to portray the public or private figure, often the creator figure, as the ultimate work in progress.” Details here (general writers’ guidelines) and here (themed issue guidelines).

Horozons: Ecology; Faith & Politics; Privilege & Power
This is a Christian magazine. It is published by Presbyterian Women, Inc. for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They seek articles, stories, and poems on specific themes. For July/August, the theme is Ecology; for September/October, it is Faith & Politics; and for November/December 2020, it is Privilege & Power. Articles/stories should be 600-1,800 words. Pay is at least $50/page, depending on the time and research required. Details here (download submission guidelines), and here (themes).

BONUS: Bitch Media Fellowships
Bitch Media has announced fellowships on four topics – Sexual Politics, Pop Culture Criticism, Technology, and Global Feminism. It is for emerging writers, who can be based anywhere in the world; pay is $2,000 for three months, and the deadline to apply is 30 June 2020. Details here. Also see their callout for pitches on the theme of Power – pay is up to $1,000 for the print magazine, and the deadline is 24 August 2020 (online pitches are ongoing).

Author 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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