Root Quarterly Call for Submissions
deadline: Friday, September 11, 2020
The WINTER issue theme is “Apocalypse.” We equate “apocalypse” with disaster, but it’s also a means of uncovering, of revelation, of great visions, of a turning point. Pitches and submissions are due SEPTEMBER 11.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
- Artwork and photography from Philadelphia-region artists to accompany articles and essays. Send 3 – 5 images for consideration and keep the themes in mind. We may also pair artists with writers to come up with joint projects, and you can approach as as a team if you’d like; send a three-paragraph pitch.
- Philadelphia photography that captures the spirit of the city.
- Fiction, including experimental fiction and erotica, is welcome. Please send pieces of 500 to 2,000 words.
- Personal essays or articles for our “Switchbacks” section that relate points of inflection in a person’s life that have taken them to an unexpected and new place.
- Cultural criticism and think pieces of 500 to 3,500 words. You can write about big issues, movies, TV, books, art exhibitions or anything else that has sparked a good idea.
- Long-form profiles of Philadelphia region artists who are mid-to-late career. They can work in any discipline. Please send a two-paragraph pitch about your credentials and your proposed artist.
- Recommendations on what we might cover in our “RECOMMENDATION” section, which features Philadelphia makers and experiences. We won’t accept copy from PR firms.
- Recommendations on what we might cover in our “DESTINATION” section, which features hidden treasures in Philadelphia, especially those that have been around for a long time. We won’t accept copy from PR firms.
- We are not accepting unsolicited poetry at this time, though we do have an ongoing poetry series in the magazine.
TONE & STYLE
It’s okay to have a distinctive voice! But we’re also looking for writers who will largely forgo snark, condescension, bullying, point-scoring, self-serving virtue signaling, etc., and will instead try on for size some finesse, awe, grace, wit, and humility. It’s okay to have questions and not answers. Ideas and issues are complicated, and they take time to unwind.
We’re also looking for people who aren’t afraid to write a piece even if people within their bubble might disagree with it. Two great examples are here in The Atlantic and here in Seattle’s Weekly, The Stranger. Both are written by hardcore liberals who are willing to call on other liberals to be more rigorous with their arguments.
Be wild, be funny, be weird, be contrarian. The worst we can say is ‘no.’
This is a volunteer-run project, and it’s a barn-raising in every way. Printing bills are expensive. But we know your time is valuable and that art isn’t free. That’s why we’ve got a subscription-based model and we don’t give our content away online.
We typically give honorariums of $25 to $100 depending on the piece and its length, as well as for artwork contributions that illustrate articles. Longer, assigned profiles or articles will be compensated at 10 cents to 20 cents per word, to be determined at the time we accept a proposal and our current funds. If there’s a piece that absolutely needs to be written but would require more time and research, we’re willing to look into grants that may fund the work; we are a fiscally-sponsored project of Cultureworks in Philadelphia, and can accept tax-deductible contributions.
*If you are suffering from financial hardship and can’t afford a single issue at $12, you may send an email to email@example.com and we’ll work something out.
HOW TO SUBMIT Take in all of the above, do a little reading, cuddle up with an issue, and then send an email keeping all those guidelines and principles in mind. Thank you in advance for considering joining the community.
Learn more here.