CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Open: June 7, 2019 to August 6, 2019
Peace is an elusive, intangible, and oftentimes impossible-to-attain concept that most people are encouraged to find and hold onto. Though there is no one guidebook for finding peace, sanctuaries—places that exist specifically to provide refuge, safety, or community—can provide an inroad to discovering something that’s supposed to bloom within us but often eludes us. Though the term “sanctuary” has a fixed meaning, there are myriad places, concepts, and pop culture figures that help us feel safe—from literal cities that provide safe haven for undocumented immigrants to virtual communities that shelter underrepresented people from the internet’s often unrelenting vitriol.
In November 2018, Bitch released our Devotion issue—a thorough and complex analysis of what drives our individual and collective dedication to BDSM, Beyoncé, Black women, and other topics. The Devotion issue’s content skewed distinctly toward religion and spirituality; in issue 85, however, we’re homing in on both literal and figurative places, people, and things that offer ports in the storm and room to reflect—or that reimagine the idea of sanctuary itself.
This issue calls for out-of-the-box explorations of what it means to seek peace and find it: How do traditional and chosen families shape our understanding of love? What role can social media play in helping us shape our mental health? How do we locate places in which we can escape, disconnect, and simply be ourselves? How does pop culture help us grapple with inevitable grief? What happens when our sanctuaries no longer feel like they belong to us—or are actively taken away?
KEY WORDS: haven, asylum, shelter, retreat, community, safe space, sacred, refuge, connection, stillness, grief, stability, home, embassy, nomad, land, protection, intention, peace, fandom, family, mourning
SECTIONS: Features, Culture, Front-of-Book
Dispatches (1200 words) are missives from the frontlines. We’re looking for underreported and fascinating stories from across the country, the globe, and the realms of fiction that introduce Bitch readers to stories and topics they might not have encountered before. A great dispatch could be from Argentina or Tennessee just as easily as Westeros or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Features are deep dives into the intersection of feminism and culture. Everything is culture to Bitch, including pop culture, social-justice movements, and technology. Longform and essay writers examine, ruminate, and push boundaries. The writing is tight, top-notch, and original. We are looking for pieces that not only dive deep, but dive where no one else is looking.
Investigative Essay (2500) You smell a buried story and want to tell the world what’s going on. Complete with research, reporting, and clear, concise writing, this piece braids information and intrigue and takes the readers on a journey through something underreported, unknown, or in need of a spotlight.
Cultural Feature (2200) Nonfiction feminist critical essays are not about the “I” statements—a Bitch essay critiques a larger systematic or cultural problem by centering a marginal community and exploring the impact of that issue for a particular demographic. At its heart, it's a soaring cultural critique. This feature establishes your chops as a writer who is unafraid to go there. It’s an essay that demonstrates that you have cultivated your own distinct voice and your work unapologetically expresses an unforgettable message that centers your community, resistance, and establishes new ground with unchartered possibilities for how to live free.
This section is where Bitch brands and solidifies its cultural authority. From celebrating significant pieces of pop culture that are turning 20 to analyzing the Impact Of directors, producers, and screenwriters (600 words), Culture examines elements of our lives that show up in books, on screens, in music, and all over the internet.
Culture features three essays (800 words) that look at themes springing up in books, screen, and music, and explore the cultural context for that theme and why it’s significant. Are multiple TV shows depicting abortions? How is YA literature handling sexual assault? We want to know.
Culture wants to know the people behind-the-scenes who are making television and movie magic (1000 words). Who’s the next Ava DuVernay, Joi McMillon, or Shonda Rhimes? These interviews highlight voices that are rarely tapped into.