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 We do not publish fiction or poetry. Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish experimental lyric essays or anything that reads like a dissertation.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.

Power (#88)

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Open: March 25, 2020 to August 24, 2020

Power is a concept most of us engage with constantly, though it isn’t always obvious—even to ourselves. Work environments are sites of power dynamics, for instance, between ourselves, our bosses, and our coworkers: Perhaps we ponder power as we attempt to negotiate promotions and raises (who has the leverage?); perhaps it features in weighing the risk of interoffice romances (who has the most to lose if the relationship leaks into workspace consciousness?); perhaps it impacts our ability to do our jobs remotely (who benefits most—and least—from establishing telework policies?). Some of us deal with the concept of power as it relates to feminism, oppression, and the matrix of domination, while even more of us must consider power within our interpersonal relationships (between partners, parents and children, and even children and teachers). How do our relationships impact our earning power, our mental health, and our physical safety?
 
These conversations and negotiations are inescapable, but engaging with them, rather than hiding from them, helps us orient ourselves in an ever changing world. Who is expected to take power, and who is expected to wait until it is given to them? What does it mean to be empowered and how can we account for power imbalances, even among the famous and wealthy? What does it look like to challenge power in a time when most of it is concentrated in an increasingly small number of people and institutions? How can we challenge power as news cycles become shorter, pandemics can change the very routines of our daily lives, and the world always seems much less sure than it did even yesterday?
 
We want to bring those conversations—about power itself, what it demands of us and from us, and how we hold it accountable—to the pages of this issue. So send us criticism, reporting, and analysis that goes beyond literal power struggles, frustrations with Trump’s daily shenanigans, and individual upsets about Congressional leaders. What would it take to live in a world where economic parity is a given? How does pop culture codify power, particularly through representation? What can questioning the portrayal of relationships as heterosexual, monogamous structures teach us about the importance of abolishing hierarchy? What would it be like to live in a world that centers the needs of trans and nonbinary people rather than relegating them to the backseat?
 
Power goes beyond the obvious, so pitch us out-of-the-box ideas that both speak to this theme and expand it.
 
KEY WORDS: politics, poverty, dominance, authority, control, money, representation, pay equity, legacy, injustice, economics, competition, law, leadership, imbalance, exploitation, influence, strength, virtue, inevitability, natural disaster, force, omnipotence, girl power, empowerment feminism, electric outages, coercion, submission, supernatural abilities, relationship anarchy

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