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 five 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 We do not publish fiction or poetry.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 Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish experimental lyric essays or anything that reads like a dissertation.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.
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 1,500 and 3,000 words of meaty critiques, essays, and articles on 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 women’s suicides became a cultural phenomenon, the colonization of ayahusca, questioning the perpetrator-victim binary in sexual-assault narratives, examining the Black-woman-as-savior trope, and celebrating a new literary renaissance of trans writers.
Dispatches are 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 recurring slots such as Dispatches and Feminist Fill-In.
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 $150-$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.
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.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Open: December 5, 2019 to February 24, 2020
What’s the first fictional place you ever escaped to? For some of us, it was a bridge to Terabithia. For others, it was through a wardrobe and into a fantastical, frozen realm where children are tasked with saving the day. For millions of us, it was the wizarding world of Harry Potter and his friends, who learned how to cast spells in a school that resembled a castle and had a treasure trove of its own secrets. But whatever the entry point we have all delved into a fantasy at some point in our lives.
But our everyday lives, too, are infused with fantasy, whether we’re daydreaming about someone we pass on the street or envisioning lives free of crushing capitalism, climate change, and political clown cars. In this issue, we bring together the imagined and the real to get at the heart of a single question: What purpose do fantasies serve in our lives? We are excavating the very concept of “fantasy”—how they develop, what we do with them, and how we decide who and where is worthy of being fantasized.
This is one issue that shouldn’t be taken literally—we’re sure your imaginary psychedelic sex romp with Idris Elba and Helen Mirren is awesome, but this isn’t the place for it. Rather, we’re interested in criticism, reporting, and analysis that take an unconventional approach to the above mentioned question and consider a few others. What would a world where people earn more while working less look like? What lessons can be gleaned from Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurism, and other genres that envision oppressed communities in worlds of their own making? ? How has social media and other ever-changing avenues of communication blurred the line between our fantasy personas and our real selves, and is that line even possible to delineate in this time? Who is able to access fantasies and who is excluded from being one? In pop culture, who gets to decide how much “reality” should go into building fantasy worlds? What happens when your erotic imagination is at odds with your real-world beliefs and politics? Who is prioritized and excluded from our fantasies? Whose fantasies are prioritized and whose are excluded?
KEY WORDS: Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurisms, science fiction, sex, clothing, pleasure, vacation, bondage, mystical, astrology, magic, lust, Hollywood, Instagram, novels, planets, wizardry, Hollywood, paintings, social media, beauty standards
We accept online pitches on a rolling basis. Click below to view open calls and submit your pitches through our submission manager.
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-$600 for magazine features, $150-$350 for spot illustrations, and $500 for a photo essay.
We do commission online illustrations, infographics, and comics too, though less frequently. Payment starts at $100 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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