At Bitch, we’re proud to publish the work of more than 200 writers and artists every year.
We're always looking 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. 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 We do not publish fiction or poetry.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 Nonfiction essays only, though we do not publish personal essays, experimental lyric essays, or anything that reads like a dissertation.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. We do not accept pitches over the phone.
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 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.
Front-of-book articles include 1500-1800 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."
Bitch List items are 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 podcast.
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 our creative and editorial director with writing samples.
Payment is $200 for features, $100 for front-of-book and book/screen/music features, and $40 for Love/Shoves. Please send all materials to [email protected]. 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.
Money (#70, Spring 2016)
This issue is all about the Benjamins: We want to hear your take on the places where feminism, pop culture, and money meet. The dollars and cents behind politics (Clinton 2016, anyone?); the cash that greases the wheels of pop-culture industries from film to sports to music; the gendered underpinnings of the "sharing economy;" and the everyday economics facing women daily from feminine labor, student-loan debt, and the second shift. We’ll look at insidious (and often ingenious) marketing plans, how our bodies are commodified, and the big business of gentrification and cultural appropriation. But as bleak as it might look out there, we also want to hear about the good things: Resourcefulness! Entrepreneurship! People who want to game the system and/or shift the tide of capitalism! You can take that to the bank.
Keywords: economic justice, marketing, shopping, labor, budgets, feminine economy, class war, consumerism, entrepreneurs.
Pitch Deadline: October 1, 2015
Kids These days (#71, Summer 2016)
Don't get off our lawn just yet: Although they’re often pigeonholed and scoffed at, young people are often the ones on the front lines of activism, combating oppression and pushing for a better world. This issue's goal is to explore childhood as more than just a rite of passage or a target market. We want to hear about parenting, youth culture, and generational crossover today. What does it actually mean to be an '80’s, '90s or 2000s kid, and what does our collective nostalgia say about us? We also want to look across generations—what can kids these days learn from the past, and vice versa? How have cultural products from Sailor Moon to Netflex influenced the framework of our world? What does the evolution of writing—from the elimination of cursive to the universe of emoji—mean for the future of language and understanding? This issue will look lat everything from kitschy advertising and formative cartoons to single motherhood and the school-to-prison pipeline in an attempt to fill out the often overlooked pockets of youth as a culture force.
Keywords: generations, youth culture, games, parenting, children, millennial, nostalgia, Internet
Pitch deadline: December 1, 2015
Online Writer Guidelines
We are always looking for new writers to feature online.
Want to write an online article? Our online editor is excited to hear your idea for a tightly focused 800-1,200 word article about pop culture that includes a timely news hook. We aim to publish fresh, insightful articles that say something new about an issue or that highlight interesting media. We also publish longer, in-depth essays as well as nonfiction comics. Rates vary, but all of our writers are paid.
Please send an email proposing your article or comic, including links to past work and what makes your idea timely, to our online editor at [email protected]
Got a tip? If you have an idea for something we should feature, but don't want to write about it yourself, we're happy to take your suggestions. We promote great writers, artists, and feminist media projects every day on our website, podcasts, and social media. Please feel free to send links and suggestions to [email protected].
We're always looking for new illustrators to work with. We commission people with various styles appropriate for each individual article.
Payment is $200 for features (one full page and one spot), $75 for back-of-book reviews features (half page), and $25 for individual, small spot illustrations.
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 Dr. Mae Jemison. 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 $200.
We commission web illustrations, infographics, and comics too, but less frequently.
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 Response 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.
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 queries to our magazine staff and online coverage queries to our web staff.
Hard copies of film, books, or music can be mailed to:
c/o Andi Zeisler
4930 NE 29th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211