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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 January’s roundup, please email it to us by Wednesday, February 15, with the subject line: Poetry Roundup.
2. Advice questions. These can be sent in any time. Life ’n’ love go to email@example.com, and beauty ’n’ style go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Instagram. We want to see your artwork and photography! Post it on Instagram with the hashtag #lookrookie and we will take a peek and may regram it or spotlight it in our weekly newsletter!
4. February’s theme is INTUITION, about about valuing intuition, learning to act on it, determining whether your intuition is on the right track or not, and making your intuition collaborate with rationality. Here are some thoughts on the theme, to spark ideas you may have for an article, photo album, essay, comic, or any other project you’d like to send our way.
- Having a gut reaction and the ways we act on them don’t happen in a vacuum. Stories about what influences the way you follow your intuition. Pieces on intuition, mental illness, and mental health. Stories on intuition as interpolated/regurgitated from what you’ve been taught and raised to believe.
- Stories about identifying and confronting your inner critical voice—the one that can shut down ideas before they have time to develop, or make you retreat in a social situation you’ve been looking forward to for months. Inner Voices Not to Listen To: about subduing, riding out, or learning to coexist with your critical voice.
- Pieces about catching your intuition’s message the second or third time around.
- Exploring ways that intuition may be shared—like when you and a friend arrive at the same idea or feeling at the same time when you’re far away from each other; or when you randomly pick up a book and just happen to read, at exactly the right time, a passage that feels like it came from inside yourself.
- We’ve published stories about trusting your brain, following your heart, and getting to know your inner voice, but we’d like to see more! Especially ones that offer advice for tapping in when you feel lost or overwhelmed by noise.
- Stories, visual and otherwise, about working with animals.
- Tarot/astrology as a way of making contact with the voices/parts of ourselves that we tend not to listen to because they seem irrational or impractical, and are feminized and undervalued in white Western culture. A way of bridging the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves.
- A guide to dream interpretation. Pieces on nightmares, on moments when dreams have intervened in waking life. Visual pieces on dreams. Snapshots from dream journals. Also, dreams in creative work: As reference, what the filmmaker Barry Jenkins has said about dreams and creating characters that inhabit every layer of consciousness.
- A list of exercises/questions to ask yourself When Looking at Magazines/Instagram/Tumblr Makes You Feel Like Trash.
Photographers/illustrators: Imagery to follow—veins, palm readings and mystical Tarot imagery, wrinkles in skin and fabric, detailed embroidery, textured fabrics, threads, tapestries, the dashes of a hem of a garment, constellations, cat’s cradle, quilts, wobbly lines on a map, all intricate forms of connection, of connecting the dots. Color palette: chalky pink, purple, orange, yellow and green; some deeper peaches and reds. The only visual that comes to mind: Missoni fall 2011 embroidery (view here and here).
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@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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@example.com
To request our mailing address, to send a zine, book, or other thing for possible review: firstname.lastname@example.org
Music and entertainment pitches: email@example.com
Questions about life and love: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about beauty: email@example.com
Questions about style: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friend Crush nominations: email@example.com
Questions about advertising or partnership opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org
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@example.com.