- Writer's Guidelines
- Illustrator's Guidelines
- Themes for Future Issues
- Blogger's Guidelines
- For PR Folks
We're looking for anything that can be described as "feminist response to pop culture." Our definition of pop culture is broad, encompassing cultural attitudes and myths, phenomena of the popular imagination, and social trends as well as movies, TV, magazines, books, advertising, and the like. Interviews with feminist culture-makers are welcome, as are book, film, and music reviews and nuanced analyses of particularly horrifying and/or inspiring examples of pop culture. Nonfiction essays only. We do not publish fiction or poetry. Ever. Seriously. Finished work and query letters are both welcome. If sending only a query, please include clips and/or writing samples. And hey, everyone likes a nice cover letter. We prefer e-mail submissions. We do not accept pitches over the phone.
Features are 2,000 to 4,000 words of meaty critiques, essays, and articles on pop culture from a feminist perspective. We're looking for sharp-eyed perspectives on pop culture and the media, brimming with personal insight and wit. Features vary in format: interviews, reported pieces, and critical essays are welcome, as are roundups and graphically driven formats like timelines, charts, and comics. Recent features include a perspective of women whistleblowers across the globe; an interview with author Ursula K. Le Guin; an examination of name, neglect, and notoriety in the Courtney Love family tree; and a comics feature on trans and women comics artists in the industry. We also have shorter features for our book, screen, and music sections, each approximately 2200 words. Recent screen, book, and music features have included an interview with filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu; revisiting The Feminist Mystique fifty years later; and an analysis of Tori Amos' unhip fandom.
In addition to features, we’re in search of shorter pieces for the front of the magazine. Our front-of-book section features 1000-1500-word columns on film, television, language, activism, advertising, publishing, and more, with pieces taking the form of reviews, critical essays, Q&As, and activist profiles. Past columns brought attention to the stereotypes attributed to tall women on (and off) screen, the role of women in the Tea Party movement, and a Q&A with NFL-star-turned-needlepoint guru Roosevelt “Rosey” Grier.
We're always on the lookout for Love It/Shove It items. Love/Shoves are short (under 500 words) but sharp-eyed and cogent analyses of the latest things that either pleased you or enraged you. We're looking for pieces that are timely, and, more importantly, go beyond the sentiment of "Wow, this sucks!" in search of deeper meaning. Love/Shoves are accepted on a rolling basis, and are often printed on our website as well as in the magazine, so send things along whenever the mood strikes. Examples of former “Love-Its” include New Orleans’s “Sissy” Bounce music movement, the PMS Cupcake, and Original Plumbing: Trans Male Quarterly. Some “Shove-Its” took on Epic Meal Time, Dove Promises chocolate wrappers, and PSAs on sexting.
In addition, we have Bitch List items, 100-word pieces highlighting the best of pop culture, whether it's a new DVD box set of I Love Lucy, a labia-shaped skatepark, or a fun, feminist-friendly website. We also feature film, music, and book reviews. If there's a review up your sleeve, pitch it our way (no full draft submissions, please), keeping in mind the magazine's release date and the timeliness of your review. If you're interested in being added to our regular roster of reviewers, contact andi [at] b-word.org with samples.
Payment is $100 for features, $50 for front-of-book pieces, and $25 for Love/Shoves. Please send all materials to [email protected], but if you must use snail mail, include a SASE and reach us at:
4930 NE 29th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211.
We're always looking for new illustrators to work with. We commission people with various styles appropriate for each individual article.
Payment is $100 for features (one full page and one spot), $50 for front-of-book (half page) and $20 for Love/Shove (one spot).
We also accept pitches for our "Adventures in Feministory" back page, where we pay homage to a feminist figure worthy of a whole lotta recognition and love, comic-style. Recent "Adventure in Feministory" heroines include Cynthia Heimel, Lucy Gonzalez Parsons, and Joan Rivers (or check out our ongoing blog series). Pitches for this specific feature should be tied to the theme of the issue, and would be developed in conjunction with our art director.
If interested, please send your portfolio link and any specific suggestions (style, topic) for artwork to Kristin Rogers Brown, or send mail (no originals, please!) to:
Bitch: Feminist Respose to Pop Culture
4930 NE 29th Avenue
Portland, OR 97211
Our themes are intended to be nonexclusive jumping-off points rather than limiting factors, and below we've included a few key words that may help along your fabulous brainstorms. We encourage you not to interpret the themes too literally, and in fact to go ahead and interpret them as loosely as you wish. Furthermore, if you have an idea you think is right for us but that fits no theme, go ahead and pitch it anyway.
Pulp (#58, Spring 2013)
Whether it's a ripe fruit or a retro novel, pulp can conjure everything from the messy to the hard-boiled. From the juicy subjects of a story to the waste that comes from our dying print industry, pulp is both what makes things interesting...and where interesting goes to die. Fleshy, sweet, racy, seamy, and sometimes disposable, pulp can describe what things are made from or how they're destroyed—and even how they're recycled and remade into something new.
Key Words: Smut, processed, juicy, waste, reuse, sexy, soggy
Pitch Deadline: September 1st, 2012
Micro/Macro (#59, Summer 2013)
Big and little; meta and minute. Have our noses been too close to the page to see the big picture? Or is the devil in the details? Does bigger always mean better? Can small be just as powerful? With media, politics, sex, and gender, perspective can make all the difference.
Key Words: Scale, meta, comparison, trends, contradiction, power, grassroots
Pitch Deadline: November 1st, 2012
Gray (#60, Fall 2013)
Rarely are issues black and white—after digging deeper, most turn out to be more muddled. Bitch has already tackled the hues of pink, green, and red, and our most achromatically themed issue ever will no doubt be full of colorful writing about those places where nuanced shading is key to discussing and celebrating everything from science to sports to smut. (And on that note: We decided on this theme before 50 Shades of Gray foisted its badly-written BDSM on the world, just so you know.) So put your gray matter to work and send us a pitch!
Key Words: Neutrality, cerebral, maturity, intangible, obscure, bias, moods
Pitch Deadline: February 1st, 2013
No luscious photos of cake pops and pork-belly banh mi here — with our food issue, we're aiming to look at the feminist side of food, from politics to pleasure. Fat acceptance, labor rights, food-industry politics, and must-eat TV—we're ready to consume it with gusto. We want to read about what food looks like on screen, in our stores, on our plates, and beyond. After all, food isn't just what feeds our bellies—it's also what fuels our thoughts and drives our actions.
Key Words: Snacks, green, sustenance, guilt, taste, appetite, labor
Pitch Deadline: May 1st, 2013 Deadline extended—June 1st, 2013!
Bitch Media is always looking for three types of writing for our blog.
GOT A TIP? If you have an idea for something we should write about, but don't want to write about it yourself, we're happy to take your suggestions. Send links and blog post suggestions to webeditor[at]bitchmedia.org
WANT TO WRITE A GUEST BLOG? If you have an idea for a focused blog series that could fill 16 to 24 posts over the course of eight weeks, you should apply to be a guest blogger. Previous guest blogs have covered topics like portrayals of women working on TV, race and gender in acadmia, and media coverage of science relating to women. Guest bloggers are paid. If you'd like to apply, please send a paragraph pitching your guest blog idea and links to writing samples to webeditor[at]bitchmedia.org
WANT TO WRITE A ONE-OFF POST? If you have ideas for just one or two excellent blog posts, send a quick pitch for your one-off post idea to webeditor[at]bitchmedia.org, along with links to writing samples. Bloggers are paid.
Bitch HQ receives hundreds of review requests each month. This includes authors, artists, and filmmakers. Review requests sent en masse end up in the trash. If you're looking for a genuine review, please be familiar with the publication - we support artists who acknowledge Bitch's mission. For example, bands or musicians up for review should have at least one female or feminist member (we think dude bands get enough attention elsewhere). And as always, a personal query or email is always a nice touch; sincerity is more important than length. Please contact us here.
Hard copies of film, books, or music can be mailed to:
c/o Andi Zeisler
4930 NE 29th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211
Have an idea for the blog? Click here to contact us!