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

There are 46 themes for the 15 markets listed here, and they are accepting non-fiction articles or queries. Some of the themes are: haute holidays, careers in cooking, debut fiction and agents, restaurants, forgotten pizzerias, siblings, unsung heroes: profiles of LGBT courage, debt, great summer getaways, naval lessons from World War II, literary adaptations (of films), parenting and food, education, and essays on TV shows, films, or videogames. A few specify their deadlines but most do not, so it is best to get queries in early. Many of them accept queries/work outside of specific themes also. Here they are, in no particular order. – S. Kalekar

Girls’ Life: Four themes
This is a girls’ magazine and some of the topics they feature are beauty, wellness, and books. They have a print and an online version. According to their print editorial calendar, the themes are:
— for June/July, Sizzling Summer;
— for August/September, Back to School Guide;
— for October/November, Amaze Autumn;
— for December/January, Haute Holidays.
Details here and here.

Overland: Two themes
This Australian magazine accepts completed submissions as well as pitches for its online magazine. They are currently reading for two themes. — Smart essays on TV shows, films or videogames
Their guidelines say, “As with books, what we look for is seldom a review that focuses on the merits or demerits of a single text, unless it is uniquely topical or culturally significant. Rather, we favour expansive review essays that make connections between different texts, in an out of their specific, individual art form.”
— Essays about the publishing industry and the craft of writing
Their guidelines say, “This is another area of interest to our readers that is relatively under-represented in the submissions we’re getting at the moment, outside of the recent lively debate on the value of literary prizes.”
They also welcome queries for cultural topics outside these themes, and pay is AUD120. They pay more for work in their print magazine. Details here.

Newcity Network: Four themes
This regional publication wants magazine-style stories about Chicago, its culture, or about almost any topic of interest to the urban dweller. They publish articles about politics, the arts and almost all aspects of social affairs and social policy. Main section features are 1,500-5,000 words, and they publish reviews and art features. They prefer to receive queries. They publish writing for the web as well as print. Some upcoming themes are:
The Big Heat: Who really cooks in Chicago’s food world (April),
Breakout Artists: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers (May);
Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago (May); and
The Summer Issue (June 2020).
There are other themes listed also. Longer FOB and cover features pay $100-500, section features are $75, and web-only stories are $15-25. Details here and here.

Poets & Writers: Writing Contests; Debut Fiction and Agents
This is a magazine for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Their editorial content is divided into four sections: News & Trends: brief articles (500-1,200 words) about pertinent information in the writing and publishing industries; The Literary Life: essays (1,500-2,500 words) on the more contemplative aspects of writing, ranging from creative process to the art of reading; The Practical Writer: advice and how-to articles (1,500-2,500 words) that offer nuts and bolts information about the business of creative writing; and Features: profiles of and interviews with (2,000-3,000 words) contemporary writers in current American literature. Other features include articles and essays (2,000-3,000 words) that look at subjects of interest to creative writers, such as writers conferences and residencies, small presses, regional writing, and the distinctions of genre. They accept both, proposals and articles on spec. For May/June 2020, the theme is Writing Contests; for July/August, it is Debut Fiction and Agents. Details here and here.

The Old Schoolhouse: Fourteen themes
This is a trade magazine for homeschooling families. They have several themes for an upcoming issue, including:
Careers in Cooking (see guidelines for details);
Why Are Colleges Recruiting Homeschool Grads?;
Teach Us to Cook, Easy Recipes, Kids Cooking, Meal Prep;
Freezer Meals, Thanksgiving Ideas;
Easy Science Experiments (Multiple Ages);
Unit Studies or Fun Articles on Bubble Gum & Chocolate (History, Experiments, Recipes, Science);
Homeschoolers and the DMV;
Driver Training;
How to Prepare a Transcript for High Schoolers;
Timelines and History Charts;
STEAM and Smart Toys: Robots Make Intelligent Gifts; and
International Homeschooling.
They have two resource guides also for this issue:
Where Worlds Meet: Science, Math, and STEM Learning; and
Summer Learning Fun: Field Trips, Nature Studies, and Literature. They are accepting queries, and the article submission deadline for this Fall 2020 issue is 31 May 2020. They have themes listed for other issues also. Details here.

Wine Enthusiast: Restaurants; Italy
They welcome pitches from freelance writers. They are most often looking for these kind of stories: Trends and innovations in the wine world across multiple destinations or regions and more than one business; Wine-centric city guides; The story of a grape variety’s history and adaptation around the world; A wine-drinker’s guide to some other beverage category, alcoholic or not; Stories that look at the intersection of wine and culture; and Humorous or serious personal essays centered on a vinous experience. They also look at other pitches in topics of interest to the magazine. They have an online presence, as well. The print magazine issues are worked six months out. For August, the print issue theme is Restaurants and for September 2020, it is Italy. Each issue also has wine buying, spirit buying, and beer buying guides with specific focus (see editorial calendar). Details here and here.

Pizza Today: Ingredient Rundown; The Forgotten Pizzerias
This is a trade magazine for the pizza business. They do not publish writers’ guidelines, but they do give contact details of their editorial team. The theme for their print magazine for May is Ingredient Rundown (trending and soon-to-be-trending ingredients) and for June 2020, it is The Forgotten Pizzerias (tiny, family-run pizzerias that that fight every day just to keep their doors open). Their website publishes news, departments, and recipes. Details here and here.

Cadet Quest: Siblings
This is a Christian-oriented magazine for boys aged 9-14. They publish non-fiction up to 1,500 words – articles about Christian athletes, coaching tips, and developing Christian character through sports are appreciated.  Articles about camping, nature, and survival should be practical — the “how-to” approach is best. God in nature articles, if done without being preachy, are appreciated. They also publish fiction, project/hobby articles, and cartoons and puzzles, and illustrations. Fiction and non-fiction selections are made no later than 4 months prior to publication date. Non-fiction articles do not have to fit the issue theme (though it helps if they do). For April/May 2020, the theme is Siblings. Their guidelines say, “We don’t all have a brother or sister, but for those of us that do we understand it can be a special relationship. While sometimes getting on each other’s nerves, our sibling can be someone who understands our life in a way nobody else can. Whether it’s an older brother or a baby sister, we will look at our family members as a gift from God.” They have several other themes listed including Basketball, Grandparents, and Peer Pressure. Pay is $0.05/word and up for manuscripts (first world with no major editing). Details here, here, here, and here.

The Gay & Lesbian Review: Three themes
This is a bimonthly magazine targeting an educated readership of GLBT men and women. Their tagline is “a bimonthly journal of history, culture, and politics,” and they publish essays in a wide range of disciplines as well as reviews of books, movies, and plays. Features are 2,000-4,000 words, and reviews are 600-1,200 words. They also have interviews, artist profiles, and other columns. They accept both pitches and completed pieces. Themes for upcoming issues are:
Unsung Heroes:Profiles in LGBT courage;
The Social Network Revisited: What has changed?; and
The Science of Sexuality: New findings and perspectives. They also invite suggestions for topics. Pay is $100 for original feature articles. Details here.

Ninth Letter: Debts
They are accepting essays, fiction, and poetry on the ‘Debts’ theme for their online edition. Their guidelines say, “To what are we beholden? Of course mortgages, student loans, credit cards and car payments. And with them the fraud and inherent large-scale crises that extract from and shape generations in unique ways. But also our loved ones and colleagues, the earth and the seasons, inventions and collectives, and ancestors as well as strangers. What do we owe, and to who or what is it owed?” Pay is $75 for a story or an essay, and $25 per poem for the online edition. They are also accepting work for their unthemed print issue, for which they pay more. Deadline for the online issue is 20 March 2020, and for the print issue, it is 28 February 2020. Details here.

Business Jet Traveler Magazine: Four themes
This is a magazine for those interested in private air transport. Topics they cover include lifestyle, and interviews with business aviation users, reviews of new and used aircraft, luxury auto reviews, and vacation travel reports. They publish 4 issues a year, and also have an online edition. According to their editorial calendar:
— their Summer edition themes include an aircraft buyers’ guide and great summer getaways;
— the Fall edition themes include cabin tech and furnishings, and 9th annual book of lists.
They do not have writers’ guidelines, but they do have a contact mail ID for editorial. Details here and here.

Naval History Magazine: Naval Lessons from World War II; Europe’s Ironclads
This is a magazine of the US Naval Institute and they accept articles on naval history. They accept completed articles, but accept queries only for book reviews and pictorals, which are commissioned. Articles have to be fewer than 3,000 words. They also accept anecdotes. Topics for forthcoming issues are: Naval Lessons from World War II (July/August issue), and Europe’s Ironclads (September/October issue). There are other themes listed too. Pay is $25 for anecdotes, $75 per review, $250-500 for pictorals, and $60-150 per page (1,000 words) of articles. Details here and here

Bright Wall/Dark Room: Literary Adaptations – Redux
This online magazine offers a different lens on film: no hot takes, hype, movie news, clickbait, “content,” pop-ups, or ads. They explore the relationship between movies and the business of being alive. They are looking for thoughtful analysis and wholehearted engagement, as opposed to standard reviews, or hot takes. They publish interviews, profiles, formal analysis, cultural criticism, personal essays, and humor pieces. On the current theme their guidelines say, “we’re less interested in whether the book or the movie is “better” than we are in how the book and the movie interact. What changes have to occur in bringing a literary work to the screen, and what do those changes say about the ultimate impacts of either work? When is fidelity to the book a virtue, and when is it a limitation? How can a movie honor the spirit of a book even while changing its shape? And how might a movie even defy the cliché and end up improving on the book?” Pay is $50 for completed essays, and the deadline is 2 March 2020. They are also looking at unthemed work. Details here.

Motherwell: Life as a Single Parent; Parenting and Food
This is a magazine on parenting. Apart from personal essays and perspective pieces, they are accepting work for two new themes.
For Life as a Single Parent their guidelines say, “We are looking for new stories, up to 1,400 words, that tackle all aspects of what it means to parent on your own. Interpretations might include: choosing to have a baby by yourself, via IVF, adoption, or otherwise; parenting after divorce, with a co-parent or without; parenting after the death of a partner; parenting in the face of a partner is who is very rarely home. We are open to a range of styles; this is a paid opportunity.” For Parenting and Food their guidelines say, “We are looking for new stories, up to 1,400 words, 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. We are open to a range of styles; this is a paid opportunity.” The deadline for both themes is 1 March 2020. Details here.

High Country News: 50th Anniversary Issue; Big Ideas/Education Issue
This magazine focuses on the modern American West. Their lead time can be up to six months for short pieces and up to a year for features. They accept pitches for in-depth reportage, analysis, opinion, essays or criticism under a number of broad frameworks, ranging from science and nature, conservation and preservation, food and agriculture to environmental justice and racism, and economics. FOB stories include in-depth news and analysis (800-2,100 words). Features include investigations, long-form narrative, deep-dive explainers, or big-idea essays (2,800+ words). The back of the book is where they explore the ideas that shape the West, through reviews, criticism and short essays (800-1,500 words). They have some special issues – 50th Anniversary Issue (in May) and Big Ideas Issue/Education Issue (in August). They also have other themes listed. Pay is $0.25-1.50/word and they pay a kill fee. Details here and here.

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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