Witches & Pagans is a magazine for all people who share a deep love and commitment to the Earth and to the Pagan community. Witches & Pagans gladly accepts contributions of essays, factual articles, fiction, poetry, rituals, interviews, artwork, and photographs relevant to our subject matter and goals. (Separate guidelines are available upon request for poetry, reviews, interviews, and debate essays; and for those wishing to submit review copies. We also have a stylesheet for punctuation/usage.) Please include your preferred contact information and a brief bio with all submissions. At minimum, we need your pen name and email address or phone number; preferably your check-cashing name, pen name if you use one, postal address, Website (if you have one), phone number, and a brief bio. Put it on the manuscript itself, not just the email message to which the file is attached. We cannot accept submissions without a way to reach you! See below for details about anonymity.
General Parameters: Witches and Pagans is dedicated to helping explore our spiritual, emotional, and practical lives in a way that respects all persons, creatures, and the Earth while offering immediate application to our everyday lives. Folks of all paths may send their work, but our focus falls on material expressing a Pagan spirituality. We refuse to accept material that demeans persons or practices; we do not publish personal attacks, gossip, or diatribes: Witches & Pagans is a tool, not a weapon. Check out a previous issue of our magazine or visit our Website to see what kind of material we like to buy.
All submissions must be the original work of the author/artist. If you collaborate with other folks, we need to hear from all parties concerned or else be assured that you have the legal authority to assign rights to the work. Witches & Pagans valiantly supports and defends the rights of creative people to control their own material; we do not condone plagiarism or copyright infringement of any kind and will take action in that regard if necessary. This also means that we require citations for factual submissions – if you quote someone, mention a specific theory or argument, etc. then you must give its origin. Please double-check your sources; when writing about historical examples, always refer back to ancestral traditions and original documents, not to modern literature or coven texts alone. See our stylesheet for examples of how to format footnotes and so forth.
We do not accept simultaneous submissions within the Pagan market. This is due to the difficulty in obtaining first rights to manuscripts that are in what amounts to the public domain. Several times previously we’ve run into problems where a work we bought or planned to buy has appeared in another magazine or on a website in our market in advance of our publication of the piece. However: if you feel that your material is appropriate to more than one market (for example some “nature” articles might be appropriate for magazines such as Sierra as well as Witches & Pagans) we may be able to make an exception to this rule. If you feel such an exception may apply to your piece, please inform us of where else you have submitted it when you send it to us, so we can make a decision at the time we evaluate your work.
We are aware that you have worked hard on your writing, it is personal and special to you, and contains your unique voice. Nonetheless, we usually find it necessary to edit for length, clarity, and grammar – sometimes at the last minute before publication. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that your article will appear precisely as you submitted it. If you do not want your material edited in any way, please do not submit your writing to us. (Also, please inform us of deliberate uses of non-traditional spelling so the tone of your work does not get accidentally altered.) We will do our best to make you and Witches & Pagans both look good in print.
Please send us the final draft of your manuscript. Once you have submitted a manuscript, do not send a revised version of it unless specifically requested by the editor. We may ask for a revised version of the original manuscript – but we may also just start editing it ourselves, and ask you for additional information that we can simply paste in, such as footnotes. Multiple versions of the same manuscript in our files can cause confusion over which one is supposed to be published.
If you have previously contacted Witches & Pagans about your piece, please reference that prior contact in the cover letter accompanying your manuscript! I deal with dozens of people every month and, as much as I’d like to, I just can’t remember everyone off the top of my head. So remind me when and how you made contact before.
Witches & Pagans maintains contact with a number of regular contributors, but happily accepts freelance submissions. The easiest way to get your foot in the door is by writing letters to the editor, reviews, or short articles; you can work up from there, so don’t feel that you have to begin with a huge feature piece. On the other hand, if you have a longer piece, go ahead and send it in; there is no prerequisite for writing for us. Don’t be shy if you do not consider yourself a “professional” writer or artist. Witches & Pagans depends upon the contributions of our readers to make this magazine a reflection of the Pagan community as a whole.
Acceptance: When a manuscript meets our needs, I will notify the author of my interest. This means that I want to hold the item for possible publication; it doesn’t guarantee publication because sometimes I have to make last-minute changes in an issue. I do not accept anything based on a proposal or sample alone; if I like the idea, I will ask to see a full manuscript and base my decision on that.
Compensation: Witches & Pagans is proud to be a paying market. We offer a standard range of about $.025 per word for all written works except letters to the editor, as well as a contributor’s copy of the issue in which your work appears. Occasionally we accept reprints (almost always solicited by us) at a rate of $.01 per word. These rates are inclusive of non-exclusive reprint and electronic rights. We have a minimum payment of $10 per piece, so short works such as poems and reviews typically get a flat fee of $10. Payment for artwork, photography, and other visual works is negotiated individually; other exchanges, such as subscriptions or advertising space, may be possible and may be much more generous than cash payments.
Features (articles, essays, fiction, interviews, and rituals) should range between 1000 and 5000 words. We most often publish items between 1500 and 3000 words; we prefer in-depth coverage to tidbits in most cases, and the upper ranges are usually reserved for lead pieces assigned to specific writers. Sidebars can be 500-1300 words or so. For poetry, we suggest a maximum length of 100 lines per poem; please bear in mind that we are more likely to publish shorter rather than longer poems. The average length for a poem is 22 lines; most are between 20-30 lines; we’ve published a few gems under 15 lines. Ideally a poem should fit in one column of one page. Reviews have specific lengths and formats, email editor2 (at) bbimedia.com.
Format: Submit all written material in electronic format. Our first choice is Open Office writer file attachments emailed directly to editor2 (at) bbimedia.com, other acceptable file attachment formats include text files and commonly used word processing programs; you may also paste the text of your manuscript directly into an email message. Use a plain, legible font or typeface large enough to read easily.
Diversity: Witches & Pagans seeks to represent the whole fascinating spectrum of humanity as relevant to our subject matter. Therefore we want to publish material by members of all different ethnic traditions, racial heritage, sexes and sexual orientations, religions, ages, body shapes and sizes, levels of physical ability, lifestyles, degrees of experience, geographic locations, and so forth. We neither encourage nor discourage submissions based on the author's age. If you are under 18, you may submit your work for our consideration; however, if it is accepted for publication, you will need to have a parent or legal guardian co-sign the contract.
Topics: Leadership, organization, techniques, and infrastructure in the Pagan/Gaian community; ecology, gardening, herbalism; scientific mysticism, magic, shamanism, liturgy, and ritual; activism, social issues, and political concerns; personal development, prayer, and insight experiences; spiritual fiction (including science fiction and fantasy); scholarly research, history, anthropology, legends, folklore, mythology, God and Goddess lore; recipes; interpersonal relations, and sexuality; celebrations of Nature, love, birth, death and other transitions; humor; interviews/profiles of individuals, groups, or sacred sites.
In selecting an angle, consider some basic points. First, the above topics are general – you need something more specific before you start writing. Narrow down the broad subject area to a single incident or argument, or to a set of related ones. Second, say something new and interesting. If you have seen a given subtopic covered more than once in a Gaian/Pagan magazine within the last year or two, think twice before trotting it out yet again. Third, follow through on what you present – never just complain about some awful problem and then conclude your piece without suggesting a response or solution. Tell readers what they can go do about it. The same holds true for more positive articles where readers may want to learn more about your subject. Fourth, no advertorials! If you want to recommend a product, write a review, and not for your own product. (We need an objective opinion on your product, so please contact us if you’d like something you make or sell to be reviewed and if we are interested, we’ll find a contributor to review it. Specific review copy submission guidelines are also available.)
There are some things we always love to see because we don’t get enough of them: anything that includes an innovative and effective solution to a ecological/theological problem; humor, particularly if it pokes fun at religion or government in a lighthearted rather than snide way; and serious scholarship which is delightful instead of dry. We’d like to see more high-quality fiction and poetry too. Then there’s a nebulous category of stuff that defies description but which immediately grabs our attention, particularly if it seems likely to have the same effect on people browsing the newsstands. See our separate article on Upcoming focus topics, under Submission Guide, to match your interests to a specific issue.
Columns: The regular columns are each written by a specific author. Occasionally a columnist retires and we have an opening for a new column. Most of our columnists began as feature writers. If you have been writing features for us and want to write a column, please submit a proposal complete with column title, proposed topic, length per installment, and outline of the first eight installments. (We typically sign new columnists for eight issues, after which we may choose to renew the contract.) Should we approve the proposal, you will be asked to submit the first four installments, and we will make our final decision based on that sample.
Departments: Witches & Pagans currently has two regular departments whose installments are written by different authors in each issue. “Insights” presents personal essays about topics within our general field of coverage. These are usually in first-person perspective, and offer a chance to share your own worldview and experiences with other people. “Arts & Crafts” showcases Pagan crafts, with an emphasis on spellcasting, creating tools and other crafts of the Craft.
Fiction: Exercise your imagination. Show us the kind of world you’d like to live in, or the kind that scares you silly. Lately we’ve been receiving a lot of gloomy, dystopic stories. That doesn’t mean we’ll never buy any of those again, but you’re swimming upstream if you send us one. We’d like to see more positive stories with a hopeful tone. All short fiction must include explicitly neo-Pagan themes and/or neo-Pagan protagonists.
Please, no “fantasy” or “Dungeons and Dragons” material about ancient matriarchal warriors or large-breasted sorceresses; if it is appropriate for Fantasy and Science Fiction, send it there; Witches & Pagans’s forte is magic in the modern world. (We’ve been known to make exceptions to this rule, but not often!) Retellings of myths or fairy tales are also unlikely to succeed. The story you send us needs to link closely to our magazine’s overall field of interest.
Upcoming Focus Topics
- #26: Element of Fire, due 07/01/12
- #27: Element of Water
- #28: Element of Earth
For inquiries: call 503-430-8817
For submissions: BBI Media, P O Box 687, Forest Grove, OR 97116.