Call for submissions! Here’s what we’d love to see from you, Rookies! (And continue to check back, as we’ll keep adding to this list.) All of these must be sent to [email protected] Please include your name and age, and use the subject line specified for each post.
1. Poetry Roundup. Each month, we publish a roundup of poetry written by you. If you’d like us to consider your work for April’s roundup, please email it to us by Monday, April 17 with the subject line Poetry Roundup.
2. Advice questions. These can be sent in any time. Direct all questions (including ones related to life ’n’ love and beauty ’n’ style) to [email protected]
3. Instagram. We want to see your artwork and photography! Post it on Instagram with the hashtag #lookrookie. We will take a peek and may regram it or spotlight it in our weekly newsletter!
4. Rookie’s April theme is LUST FOR LIFE. On one hand, it should feel very LUSH and Dionysian (as in Dionysus, Greek god of wine/fertility/PARTYING), but we can’t forget about that lust part, that tug, that ache. And the ache isn’t just for “life” as in euphoria and catharsis, but for “life” as in something more human. Here are some thoughts on the theme to spark any ideas you may have for an article, photo album, essay, comic, et cetera:
- Comics about being on the brink and breakthroughs. The final breakthrough tends to get the shine, not the moments (or years!) that lead up to it.
- Essays on the internal and external pressure that come with being on the brink of something—”success,” graduation, et cetera.
- Writing on how having a “lust for life” can get conflated with doing all the things all at once.
- Abstinence and indulgence, and how they’re equally lusty states. Abstaining from something you don’t desire—that’s really just not caring, and wouldn’t that be nice? Stories about how the lusts of our lives are often so polarized, and the ways we attempt to manage and make sense of that.
- Stories about cutting school/shirking some responsibility or obligation in the pursuit of doing stuff that feels more “real” or intense.
- Joining societies (fraternities/sororities et cetera) as a way of making some version of yourself more possible, or making possible the kind of person you’d like to become.
- Writing/comics about being one of the only of your friends/peers who hasn’t done some seemingly important/milestone-y thing. That feeling of being somehow outside or just beyond the threshold of life. What realizations are possible from that space?
- “I’m here for a good time not a long time” —Drake lyric from “Blessings,” and the meme it’s become. Reflections on that feeling that life is not long (or that you feel you won’t live long) and there is a lifetime to fit in a limited time.
- Consuming things as marking a desire for life and its delights now now now, as soon as possible, in abundance.
- Pieces exploring the fear of or obstacles to one’s own lust for life/drives/desires/ambitions. The experience of existing in proximity to someone who seems just more alive than you, somehow.
Photographers/illustrators: In the moodboard, which you can find here, you’ll find photos of Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud” exhibition; stills from American Movie, Network, A Face in the Crowd, and Lost in America; portraits of young people on the brink—lust for life like lust for EXPERIENCE; William Blake’s illustrations and engravings. The color palette this month is red, white, and blue; lush purples and greens and magentas (grapes); and silver and gold. Motifs-wise, we’re looking at the image in that folder called “Shit” and how it’s a mix of the luxe/Dionysian and “trashy.”
Send your LUST FOR LIFE-related work to [email protected]
General submissions guidelines:
We’d love to hear from you—and check out your writing and artwork!
Due to the number of submissions we receive each day, we can respond ONLY to emails sent to [email protected] that follow our editorial and formatting guidelines (below). We do not consider work submitted through Rookie’s social media or to other email accounts.
Please include your name, age, and if you like, your pronouns, with your submission. Rookie accepts work from people 13 years old and up. We are mostly looking for submissions from teenagers, but are also happy to consider work by adults!
How do I submit written work to Rookie?
Please send a complete draft of an unpublished piece—meaning that it hasn’t run in other publications or on your personal blog/Tumblr/website—accompanied by an introduction to the piece. Your email should include a brief, clear, specific summary of your main idea (please, say more than “this is about love/school/anxiety/butts/growing up”—in what way is it about that thing?). Ideally, your submission will give us a solid understanding of why your work + Rookie = a perfect match.
Include your full draft below your intro, attach it as a document, or provide a link to a viewable Google doc.
What kinds of written pieces do you accept?
We accept all kinds of writing—fiction, nonfiction, essays (not school essays), rants, raves, humor, poetry, etc.
Please search the site to see if something similar has been published on Rookie in the past! We get a lot of submissions about topics that we’ve already covered.
How long should my draft be?
It varies from piece to piece—what’s most important is that we receive a draft of your work.
Can I pitch an interview with someone/cover an event/do other reportage for Rookie?
Sure! As long as you ask us first. Unless we’ve given you the official go-ahead, please do not approach people for a “Rookie interview,” offer to cover events “for Rookie,” or claim that we are involved in a project if we haven’t given our OK.
What happens if my written submission is accepted?
We have a kinda-intensive editorial process, and will ask for changes and work with you on making your submission shiiiine. When we give notes on a written piece, it doesn’t mean it’s BAD. It means we see places where it can be even stronger. Every single written piece on Rookie goes through at least one round of edits (and usually more). Nonfiction pieces will be fact-checked, which means we need to contact the people you mention in your story—and if not them, someone who has firsthand knowledge of the events described—to confirm certain parts of it, like dates, quotes, and other logistical stuff. We will never reveal how you characterize those things—we just need to make sure they happened. (If your submission is accepted, we will provide more info about our fact-checking policy.) Most of our editorial calendar is planned far in advance of when pieces are published, so there’s a chance it will still take quite some time to receive edits—feel free to follow up if we accept something and you haven’t heard back after two weeks!
How do I submit visual work to Rookie?
Photo sets, illustrations, illustration and collage sets, and comics: Send us a description of the post you have in mind and a selection of sample illustrations/photos/what have you that are representative of the whole project (small, web-friendly files, please). Feel free to also include any links to your visual artwork/portfolio. Please don’t use file-sharing services with links that might expire or that require us downloading your work in order to view it.
Videos: Please only send video submissions that have not already been published online—this includes YouTube, Vimeo, etc. (if you’re using one of these platforms, please send us private or password-protected links). Since we use Vimeo to host our videos, your submission should follow their super-easy compression guidelines.
Generally, videos should be shorter than 10 minutes long. We can’t publish or use videos that include unlicensed music or images, so if your video has other people’s work in it (music, visual art/graphics, sound effects), we need their permission to publish it.
What kinds of photos do you accept?
Pretty much everything except: photos that include drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and/or nudity.
How do I submit my or my band’s music?
To submit your music or band for a premiere or theme song, please email [email protected], and link to your Bandcamp/Soundcloud/Facebook page, or attach the song to an email with info about the song and when it’s coming out. Themes and premieres are booked two months in advance, so please send it with plenty of notice. Music videos and lyrics need to be suitable for all of our readers (see above re: drugs, nudity, etc.).
What happens if my visual submission is accepted?
We may ask you to send more photos or illustrations, or request that certain images be omitted from the final set. Sometimes we request other edits. We’ll need signed model release forms for anyone in a photo (and in the case of someone under 18, a parent or guardian signature), which tells us that they say it’s OK that their image will be appearing on Rookie.
For written AND visual pieces: We’ll send you a contributor’s agreement, which you’ll need to sign to grant us permission to publish your work. If you’re under 18, we’ll also need a parent or guardian’s signature.
How will I know if my submission is rejected or accepted? How soon will I hear back?
We’re a small editorial team, and we receive hundreds of submissions each week, so while we try to respond to all of them, we’re not always able to do so personally or immediately. Sending a submission more than once will slow the process. We aim to send replies within one month of receiving a submission. Thanks for being patient!
What happens if my submission is rejected?
There are many reasons why a particular submission might not work for Rookie—we may have just accepted a similar piece, be focusing on different topics, or any number of other editorial concerns.
Send us something else! Just because THIS piece wasn’t right for us doesn’t mean a future idea of yours won’t be, either. A rejection isn’t a reflection of your worth as an artist/thinker/human being. This is true of getting a rejection from any publication. KEEP AT IT, you champions.
When’s the deadline for submissions tied to one of Rookie’s monthly themes?
There aren’t hard-and-fast rules and deadlines for what you should send to Rookie. A good idea is a good idea, so if your piece is a fit this month, our editors will try to find room for it, or, if we think it could work for another theme, we’ll let you know!
Do you pay contributors?
Yep! Our rates vary depending on the format of a given piece.
What we aren’t looking for:
– A piece sent without any context or description of what it is.
– A link to your portfolio or published work without a specific idea or original submission intended for publication on Rookie.
– An email that says, “Hi! I’d like to contribute to Rookie. I think I would be great at it. OK, bye!” We get a lot of messages that don’t include submissions and/or examples of what you do. While we’re willing to bet that your work is, in fact, awesome, there’s no way for us to know that unless you show it to us.
Which email address do I write to?
To submit your work: [email protected]
To request our mailing address, to send a zine, book, or other thing for possible review: [email protected]
Music and entertainment pitches: [email protected]
Questions about life, love, beauty, and style: [email protected]
Friend Crush nominations: [email protected]
Questions about advertising or partnership opportunities: [email protected]
None of the above, or if you would like to send us $10 million to fund a summer camp for teenage girls on a private island, definitely drop us a line at [email protected]