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 We do not publish fiction or poetry.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 Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish personal essays, experimental lyric essays, or anything that reads like a dissertation.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.
In addition to features, we're in search of columns for the front of the magazine. Our front-of-book columns are 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 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 looking for short and snacky pieces (under 500 words) but sharp-eyed and cogent analyses of the latest things in a succinct or creative fashion (lists, blurbs, infographics, etc).
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 columns, and $40 for reviews. 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.
Money (#70, Spring 2016)
This issue is all about the benjamins: we want to hear about where feminism, pop culture, and money meet. The dollars and cents behind politics (from right-wing lobbyists to Hillary Clinton), the money greasing the wheel in the film and television (not to mention sports and music); and the everyday economics facing women daily (feminine labor, student-loan debt, the second shift, wage gap, etc). We’ll look at insidious (and ingenious) marketing plans, how our bodies are commodified, and the big business behind gentrification and cultural appropriation. But as bleak it is out there, we also want to hear the good things: resourcefulness, entrepreneurs, and people who are able to game the system or shift the tide of capitalism. And you can take that to the bank!
Key Words: marketing, labor, rich & poor, consumerism, entrepreneurs, commodities.
Pitch Deadline: October 1, 2015
Kids These Days (#71, Summer 2016)
Although they’re often misunderstood, young people are at the forefront to combat oppression and push for a better world—and it’s probably happening on Instagram. In this issue we want you to explore childhood as more than just a rite of passage. We're interested in what folks born in the 1990s and 2000s are innovating but also what millenials, gen X-ers, elders are instilling in the present. We want to talk about the usefulness and drawbacks of nostalgia. We also want to look across generations—what can kids these days learn from the past, and vice versa? We’ll be looking at everything from kitschy advertisement, cartoons, and emojis, to migrant children, single motherhood, sexual assault on campus, and the school-to-prison pipeline.
Key Words: generations, youth culture, parenting, children, millennial, nostalgia, cartoons, the Internet.
Pitch Deadline: December 1, 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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