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. We do not publish fiction or poetry. Ever. Seriously. Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish personal essays, experimental lyric essays, or anything that reads like a dissertation. We are looking for discussion-provoking critical essays that are well researched with evidence to back up claims, timely statistics, and connections between one's personal experience and larger social forces. First-person essays are great, but please read our magazine and blog to get a sense of how our contributors strike a happy balance between the personal "I" and the larger subject matter at hand. 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 strongly 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 an examination of rape jokes as told by female comedians; an analysis of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter's public persona and the response from both feminist and mainstream media; an interview with veteran sex-worker activist Margo St. James; 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 1500-1800 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 links between fatphobia and homophobia, the role of women in the Tea Party movement, and an analysis of Pinterest as a "women's website."
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 the "Not Your Baby" phone app. Some "Shove-Its" took on anti-abortion legislation, faulty ‘g-spot’ science and Urban Outfitters’ appropriation of Navajo culture.
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 $200 for features, $100 for front-of-book and book/screen/music features, and $40 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 $150 for features (one full page and one spot), $50 for back-of-book reviews features (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. Past "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. Payment for Adventures in Feministory comics is $150.
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
While we may not be able to respond to every submission, we'll keep your work on file if submitted by email or by post.
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.
Blood & Guts (#68, Fall 2015)
This issue isn’t for the faint of heart. We’ll be exploring themes of internal workings, livelihood, health, lineage, and bravery. We carry a lot in our bodies—not just blood, but history and identity. Guts provide us with fortitude, stamina, and ways of coping. They also represent death, war, and gore. What does it mean that, in our language, we mingle images of intestines and bowels with heroism and determination? What assumptions do we have about the relationship between a person’s physical make-up and their moral fiber? We’ll be looking at everything from menstrual product advertising, to horror films, to the healthcare system.
Key Words: body, health, heart, bravery, coping, ancestry
Pitch Deadline: April 15, 2015
Nerds (#69, Winter 2016)
Nerdiness manifests in many forms, often characterized as an unflappable commitment to specialized knowledge paired with a charming lack of social grace—but we know it’s so much more. In this issue we want to examine the many genres of nerdhood. We’ll be celebrating feminist achievements won hard by nerds, the subversive side of geekery, and highlighting self-identified nerds who are out there making a difference. But we’ll also take a look at the darker side. Who do we typically think of as a “nerd” and why are those representations harmful? For that matter, who do we consider experts and who is allowed to be one? Why is some expertise valued over others? How have aspects of nerdiness both created more inclusive spaces and pop culture—while others have simply reinforced traditional power structures? Lastly, of course, we want you to dig deep in your geekery and give us your best takes on the pop culture you nerd out on, from cult classics to comics.
Key Words: geekery, expertise, niche, academia, STEM, technology
Pitch Deadline: *EXTENDED* June 1 June 8, 2015
Bitch Media is always looking for two 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 an online article? 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!
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