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Scalawag is interested in untold stories, fresh perspectives, and original thought covering the nuances of life, politics, and culture in the American South.
March, 2023: We are pausing our submission process while our editors work through a backlog of pitches. Check back soon for more details on how to submit, our pay rates, and response times.
For other editorial inquiries—including corrections and republication requests—email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Scalawag does not accept unsolicited full drafts sent via email.
We pay every contributor before publication and prioritize pitches from BIPOC and queer Southerners.
Scalawag accepts submissions that fall into each of the following coverage verticals:
Arts & Soul:
Scalawag approaches art and poetry with a lens of naming that which otherwise can be almost impossible to articulate. The South has birthed a cataclysm of brilliant and radical visual art, prose, and music, and we want to amplify and share this radical brilliance with our readers.
We welcome submissions from art-makers, cultural organizers, and writers of any level. Multimedia submissions and photo essays are welcome!
We are especially interested in reviews that critically and personally engage artistic work in the context of political and social moments, profiles of established and emerging artists, lyrical essays, celebrations of Southern joy, and reported stories on arts news and happenings across the South.
Race & Place:
Scalawag's Race & Place coverage pushes the boundaries of traditional conversations about incarceration, segregation, gentrification, nutrition, migration, liberation, and more. Our stories help folks better understand both the nuances of how places are made (and for whom) and how we can actualize our dreams and transform power in the places we call home.
We are interested in stories that show the connections between the legacy and lasting role of race in Southern places big and small, from porches and penitentiaries to places of worship and port cities—and everywhere in between.
We welcome submissions from writers who are rooted in community and eager to build on our work exploring food traditions in the South, investigating the way our carceral system continues the legacy of slavery, and illuminating the role of historically Black institutions.
Scalawag's political reporting centers the people and communities rallying collective power to change our political landscape by investigating relationships and power dynamics between people and policy. We look for reporting that stands in solidarity with those pushing back against the systems of oppression perpetuated in the South and beyond.
We especially want to hear from people who are not trained journalists but who feel misrepresented or maligned by mainstream or traditional media coverage.
In addition to reported pieces, we also look for accessible political explainers, essays that explore "the politics of" a thing/place, Q&A's and profiles of radical Southerners, and humorous responses to current events.
Interested in working with us, but don't have a pitch? Feel free to join our contributors' email list, where we periodically send around topics we're hoping to see covered. Thank you for trusting us with your ideas and work!