Contributors' Guidelines

At Bitch, we’re always looking for pitches that speak to feminist responses 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. In addition to our quarterly print magazine, we publish online content 5 days a week. 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. 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.

First-person essays are great, but please read our print magazine and website to get a sense of how our contributors strike a happy balance between the personal “I” and the larger subject matter at hand. We do not publish fiction or poetry. Ever. Seriously. Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish experimental lyric essays or anything that reads like a dissertation. Finished work and query letters are both welcome. If sending only a query, please include clips or writing samples. If you have not written for us previously and are pitching a Feature or Dispatch piece, please send either a full draft or a 300 word write up outlining your article.  

submit 

Quick Links:
Print Magazine Guidelines
Themes for Future Issues
Online Writer Guidelines
Illustrator Guidelines
PR Guidelines

Print Magazine Guidelines

If you’d like to pitch to the print magazine, please think about what section of the magazine would be the best fit for your idea.

Features are 2,000 to 2,500 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 look at how abortion is depicted in film, the gendered storytelling potential of a new online gaming platform,  tracing representation of Black women in activism, and celebrating a new literary renaissance of trans writers

Dispatches are 1,000-1,200 word missives from the front lines of underexamined or fictional worlds and places. Past columns brought attention to white supremacy in the Harry Potter series, Cuba’s feminist future, and immigration reform protests in Texas.

Front of Book is a section with fun, short pieces that still carry the heft of feminist critique in an accessible format. This section has a recurring slots such as Dispatches, Feminist Fill-In, and listicles.

Payment varies but is generally $200-$650 for features, $300 for dispatches. All of our writers are paid. Please send all materials through our submission manager. Submit to the section of the magazine that best fits your pitch. We do not accept submissions or pitches through the mail.
 

Themes for Future Issues

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.

We will be accepting pitches for our Summer 2018 issue from 12/21/17 through 1/31/18.

Bitch Media seeks to be a fresh, revitalizing voice in contemporary feminism, one that welcomes complex, intersectional arguments and refuses to ignore the contradictory and often uncomfortable realities of life in an unequivocally gendered world. We are independent, we are feminist. We believe in pop culture as a valuable, dynamic site and we do not shy away from the rich and productive tensions that arise when analyzing and critiquing it through a feminist lens.

TRAVEL

CALL FOR SUBMISSION

OPEN 12/20 - 1/30

Nobody does travel like Bitch Media. Sure we want to hear critiques of travel culture in the world, but don’t stop there. No matter the definition of “place,” there is often a critical story behind movement—when a person, tribe, thing moves from from one place to another. Write an analytical feature that explores disability justice and the privileges, logic, and baggage associated to “mobility.” Take a step further out than just exploring problematic “destinations” because the ports, landing pads, doorstep themselves are only part of the story. The access and rights involved needs its own voice. We want to hear the strongest pitches about travel and all the ways it impacts pop culture, politics, and feminism.

The question is: Who or what helps us pass between borders of nation, identity, or acceptance? Or, explore what impedes action and causes, instead, stillness, stagnation, or immobility?

Here are some of our brainstormed ideas, but don’t stop here!

Capitalism

·      Critique class mobility—whose educational debts or loans are forgiven, and at what cost?

·      The hustle—from one gig to another: capitalism and freelance economy

·      Eating globally: transportation of food—resources spent to consume produce from other parts of the world

Identity

·      Being stopped in your tracks because of being misgendered

·      Explicate the what happens as a person of color to be rushing in your car and then pulled over

·      Colorism—passing in communities of color

Sex

·      From partner to partner—why do contemporary movies still shame girls and women/promiscuity in movies

·      Sex workers’ rights and safety in their travel

·      Human trafficking and global sex workers

Excursion

·      Disrupt tourism narratives

·      Options for activists who can’t travel

·      Examine travel bans and stiffening the requires for who can get in and out of this country?

·      Examine TSA’s permission to your personal belongings, your body, viewing everything under your clothes when you travel.

Linguistics

·      Examine the movement of, gentrification of language—what is lost in translation, who owns language when it’s “borrowed” from another culture?

Location and Borders

·      What happens after ICE raids and what do we do with the sky rocketing number of children placed in the orphanage when parents are non-violent offenses and deported?

·      Who is forcibly removed from their home and ordered to relocate?

·      Who is thrust into a pipeline toward incarceration, or whose movement are limited to bars?

Feminist Trends

·      Flyover states, coastalist attitudes that feed national division and perception of who and what impedes “progress”

·      What reprieve or wisdom comes from time travel, afro-futuruism, sci-fi, or a Wrinkle in Time with, for the first time ever in an adaption, a girl of color sets out to save the world?

Key words/phrases: “from this to that”, mobile, borders, tourism, exploration, venture, passport, DACA, passing, fooling, safety, movement, borders, space, negotiation, immigration, digest, destination, trafficking, hijacked, rerouted, home, journey, tracking, tracing, on board, pace, ability, parole, access, lost, graduate, upward, ascension, descension, linear, trapse, project, banned, restricted, land, sea, air, nomadic, passenger, stagnation, stillness, bail, eviction, wander, explore, seek, vehicle, age, international

Online Writer Guidelines

We accept online pitches on a rolling basis. Click below to view open calls and submit your pitches through our submission manager.

submit

Illustrator Guidelines

We’re always looking for new illustrators to work with. We commission people with various styles appropriate for each individual article.

Payment is $300 for magazine features (one full page and one spot), #300 for one-page comics, $75 for large spot illustrations, and $25 for individual, small spot illustrations in a series.

We do commission online illustrations, infographics, and comics too, though less frequently. Payment starts at $150 for online images.

Bitch accepts pitches for our “Adventures in Feministory” series on an ongoing basis. This one-page piece pays homage to a feminist figure worthy of a whole lotta recognition and love, either as a one-page comic or a full-page annotated portrait. Past “Adventures in Feministory” heroines include Vera Rubin, Lucy Gonzalez Parsons, and Dr. Mae Jemison. Pitches for this specific feature should be rooted in history and are usually less well-known than we think they should be. Their work should be tied to the theme of the issue, and once accepted, would be developed in conjunction with our art director. Who has had an impact on your community who we should know about? Let us know your ideas! Payment for Adventures in Feministory is $300.

Illustrators and comics artists interested in our open calls for “Adventures in Feministory” should pitch specific ideas through our submission manager, or email design@b-word.org directly.

submit 

If interested in general illustration for Bitch, please send your portfolio link and any specific suggestions (style, topic) for artwork directly to design@b-word.org. Email is preferred, but you can also send mail (no originals, please!) to:

Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture
4930 NE 29th Avenue
Portland, OR 97211

While we may not be able to respond to every general submission, we’ll keep your work on file if submitted by email or by post.
 

For PR Folks

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 send print magazine and digital coverage queries to our staff.

Hard copies of books can be mailed to:

c/o Evette Dionne
4930 NE 29th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211

Hard copies of film and music can be mailed to:

c/o Evette Dionne
4930 NE 29th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211