Contributors' Guidelines

At Bitch, we’re always looking for pitches that offer a feminist analysis of culture. 

Our definition of culture is broad, encompassing cultural attitudes and myths, phenomena of the popular imagination, and social trends as well as movies, TV shows, web series, books, internet subcultures, and the like. For Bitch, culture also includes politics, science, health, and life, including food, parenting, chronic illness, relationships, religion, activism, education, climate change, and different elements of our lives that we all consider as we decide who we are as feminists.

In addition to our quarterly print magazine, we publish online content five days a week. We are looking for discussion-provoking critical essays and reported features 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 We do not publish fiction or poetry. Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish experimental lyric essays or anything that reads like a dissertation.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, please send either a full draft or a 150-word write up outlining your article. 

We are unable to respond to every pitch submitted. There is also no guarantee that we will read every pitch submitted. Given that the news cycle moves quickly and we focus on culture, there is a likelihood that you will pitch an idea that others have also pitched. 

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 between 2,200 and 3,000 words of meaty critiques, reported features, and articles on culture from a feminist perspective. We’re looking for sharp-eyed perspectives on everything from pop culture to politics to health that are rimming with a nice balance of personal insight, analysis, and expert opinion. Features vary in format: interviews, reported pieces, and critical essays are welcome as are roundtables. Recent features include a  look at the rise of adult summer camps, a deep-dive into the emergence of crowdfunding for medical expenses, a personal essay about gender-confirmation surgery, a posthumous ode to Erica Garner, an investigation into the colonization of ayahusca, and an examination of the Black-woman-as-savior trope.

Dispatches are 1,200-word missives from the front lines of real, imagined, or fictional worlds and places. Past columns brought attention to incarcerated firefighters in California, the gaming industry’s exploitative crunch culture, and Queer Eye’s selective editing.

Culture is where Bitch brands its cultural authority through essays about books, music, and screen; profiles of individuals and those who are creating and defining cultural moments; and interviews with those working in publishing, Hollywood, podcasting, and other areas who are helping us imagine new possibilities for representation and inclusion.

Payment varies but is generally $700-$1000 for features, $350 for dispatches, and between $250-$700 for culture stories. 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.

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.

Monster (#89)

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Open: June 15, 2020 to August 24, 2020

We all know about the things that go bump in the night: ghosts, werewolves, vampires, boogeyman, Bigfoot, and the other nasties that keep children up at night and make us hold our breath as we drive down dark streets and highways. We’re so aware, in fact, that every October, we pull scores of stories from our archives about the literal monsters that have long dominated the pop culture we consume—from Frankenstein and Dracula to serial killers and aliens. What do we make, though, of the everyday monsters that terrorize our waking lives with impunity? Monsters like capitalism and voter suppression, monsters like white supremacy and the alt-right, monsters like climate change, toxic masculinity, and platitude-spouting “girlbosses.” These monsters seem immortal, impacting generation after generation and requiring much more than holy water and a cross to ward off. 

In this issue, we aim to examine the monsters we all know but are often too terrified to speak of, like healing spaces—houses of worship, for instance—that perpetuate violence; abusive family dynamics that isolate us in cycles of trauma; systems—like foster care—that are meant to  protect but are too often used to torment; and anti-union efforts that encourage us to oppose the very organizing that will deliver us from pay inequity and poor working conditions. We are seeking interviews, cultural analysis and criticism, and reported features that take an expansive, incisive look at the monsters that live among us (and, in some cases, inside us) and what it means to slay them, once and for all.

How can we reimagine the lives of women demonized for defying sexist and racist norms? Who benefits from the media’s continued unwillingness to condemn white supremacy? How—and what—does media and popular culture teach us to fear, and can we unlearn it? What does aging look like in a world where technology is determined to keep us young and productive?  How do conspiracy theories shape our understanding of media, politics, and identity? 

There’s more to our understanding of monsters than the stories we’ve been told for centuries. Give us real-life scary stories that can help us better interrogate the monsters that have emerged from under our beds and into our lives, relationships, and beliefs.

KEY WORDS: family, trauma, poverty, inequality, religion, white supremacy, masculinity, violence, marketplace feminism, science fiction, fantasy, capitalism, voter suppression, climate change, workplace abuse, girlbosses, aging, conspiracy theories, fear, identity, safety, technology, politicians

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. Due to the volume of pitches we receive, we are unable to respond to every pitch and will only respond to the pitches that we accept.

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 varies (existing work vs. commission-based) but is generally between $300 and $600 for magazine features, $200 and $400 for spot illustrations, and $600 for a photo essay.

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

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 Media
401 NE 19th Ave. Suite 200
Portland, OR 97232
 

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:

Bitch Media
c/o Evette Dionne
401 NE 19th Ave. Suite 200
Portland, OR 97232
 

Hard copies of film and music can be mailed to:

Bitch Media
c/o Evette Dionne
401 NE 19th Ave. Suite 200
Portland, OR 97232