Reading Frenzy ~ An Independent Press Emporium

Bitch Magazine is Seeking Submissions

August 14, 2007: Bitch is looking for submissions for future issues with themes of Lost & Found, Wired, Genesis, Loud, and Noir. See below for more detailed theme information. Query letters and finished drafts are both welcome.

Features are 2,000 to 3,000 words of meaty critiques, essays, and articles on pop culture from a feminist perspective. If you're familiar with Bitch, then you know what we want -sharp-eyed perspectives on pop culture and the media, brimming with your personal insight, brilliant analysis, and sparkling wit. 

Features vary in format: interviews, reported pieces, and critical essays are welcome, as are roundups and graphically driven formats like timelines and charts. (Features from the recent past include interviews with Janeane Garofalo, Alison Bechdel, and Coco Fusco; a roundup of female visual artists and the domestic realm; an analysis of woman's political humor; and an exploration of how guilty pleasure is marketed to women.) We are not looking for personal essays unless personal narrative is tied strongly to the pop culture topic at hand.

In addition to features, we're looking for shorter pieces for the front of the magazine. Our front-of-book section features 1000-1500-word columns on film, television, language, activism, advertising, publishing, and more, with pieces taking the form of reviews, critical essays and activist profiles. Recent columns have covered the rise of online "humilitainment" pornography and the stigma of choosing to be childfree.

We also have a back page to fill, generally with a brief history of a pop-culture phenomenon, in our "Annals of..." column. Recent back page topics have included a look at how female actors can win an Oscar (hint: playing a battered woman often helps), the the many homages to Jane Austen, and how the classic sitcom alpha male has been usurped by a slew of funnier, shrewder beta males.

And that's not all -- we're always on the lookout for Love It/Shove It items. Love/Shoves are short (300-500 words), and cogent analyses of the latest things that either pleased you or enraged you. The section has in the past included everything from an appreciation of how an episode of Degrassi Junior High covered the topic of rape to an examination of the Curves exercise franchise and its ties to the Christian right to a critical analysis of Dove's body-friendly marketing. We're looking for pieces that are timely, and, more important, go beyond the sentiment of "wow, this sucks!" in search of deeper meaning. Love/Shoves are accepted on a rolling basis, and are often printed on the Bitch website as well as in the magazine, so send ideas along whenever the mood strikes.

Please send all materials to, or attn: Submissions, 4930 NE 29th Ave., Portland, OR 97211. (Don't forget your SASE when sending by mail!)

On to the upcoming themes:

  • Lost and Found (#38, winter 2008) Like a lost-and-found box in an elementary-school cloakroom or your local public-transit hub, this issue promises to be a mix of the delightful, the perplexing, and the inspiring. The word "lost" conjures up everything from adult anomie to lost idealism to arcane minutiae from our childhoods; "found" can imply the elation of religious faith, the joy of dumpster diving, or the sense of finally belonging to a community. Pitch deadline: August 22, 2007
  • Wired (#39, Spring 2008) The world is a wired place, whether you're wired to the Internet, wired on coffee, wired into the latest political information, or wired up on methamphetamines. With such a multiplicity of meanings for the word, the Wired issue can't help but be a fast-paced tour through some pretty varied terrain: Women in the information age, the joys and terrors of cranking up your metabolism, unplugging with the simplicity movement, the electricity of atrraction, building your own circuit board. Pitch Deadline: October 1, 2007 
  • Genesis (#40, Summer 2008) In the beginning, there was Peter Gabriel. And although we could do an issue entirely dedicated to the immortal prog rock band, that call for submissions would probably get No Reply At All. (Get it? Get it?) Instead, we're opening Genesis up to pieces that explore beginnings. Bibles, birthing, creationism, history, Star Trek. How did we get where we are today? Look to the issue of Genesis for answers. Pitch Deadline: January 1, 2008 
  • Loud (#41 Fall 2008) Pee-Wee Herman encouraged us to "scream real loud," and ever since then, we've been doing just that. This issue turns up the volume on culture, politics, and the implications of a once-reputed-to-be-quiet sex finding its voice. Add your screams to the mix, on topics ranging from music to elections to An American Family. And don't ignore Loud's flipside -- the power of silence. Pitch Deadline: April 2, 2008 
  • Noir (#42 Winter 2009) Are you afraid of the dark? Our super-special Noir issue will cure you. In it, we explore the dark side of the culture: the dames and broads of cherchez la femme noir films and paperback novels, the occult and women in cults, blackness in America, little black dresses, and what happens after we use up all the oil and and the lights go out. Do you have a dark vision to share? Tell us more. Pitch Deadline: July 1, 2008 

Our themes are intended to be nonexclusive jumping-off points, so we encourage you not to interpret them 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.

Payment is $100 for features, $50 for front-of-book pieces and back-page pieces, and $20-$30 for Love/Shoves. And don't forget, we always, always need submissions for the Bitch List -- those pay $5 each.