Starting with Issue No. 5, each new issue of PITH + VIGOR will tackle themes as they apply to the garden world. The themes are creative prompts for stories, content, and contributions, and we hope they will inspire your thinking, your writing, your photography and your art. As always one of the overriding goals of P+V is to re-imagine garden-related writing while exploring inspiring gardens, the people involved in making them (at all levels), plants, food, local places, flowers and other harvests and the stories that bring them to light. We encourage you to explore these topics as they relate to the themes. Here’s what we’d love to see from you for Issue No. 6. (Please, continue to check back as this will change all the time and we will be announcing new themes for future issues!)
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, contact details, and use the subject line specified for each post.
Issue No. 6
Copy deadline November 4th, 2016
(but earlier is always better!)
The theme for issue No. 6 of P+V is ASSEMBLY. Here are some thoughts on the theme, to spark any ideas you may have for an article, news story, photo album, essay, comic, illustration, etc. Email Subject line: ASSEMBLY
- Assembly is often about chosen and un-chosen groups, where circumstances force closeness.
- Forced connections that sometimes become real connections.
- Some Assembly required!
- Assembly lines.
- Assemblies. Conventions. Meetings. Gatherings.
- Synonyms: gathering, meeting, congregation, convention, rally, convocation, assemblage, group, body, crowd, throng, company, informal get-together
- Alternatively, synonyms: construction, manufacture, building, fabrication, erection
- How do you assemble? Recipes, plans, construction drawings, itineraries. Are there others?
- What would happen if….. we put this with that? Plants, places, people, communities, organizations, ideas. What could we invent?
- Does assembly matter?
- How did that come to be?
- Here are some quotes to get your wheels turning:
“There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling.”
“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.”
“It was exactly an assembly line. You could look into infinity down these rows of drawing tables.”
INSTAGRAM – Show-off your garden, a project, a beautiful macro shot, a handy tip, a successful project, cut flowers, a harvest, or simply something beautiful and inspiring. Post it on instagram with the hashtag #lookpithandvigor and we will take a peek and may re-gram it! Follow @pithandvigor to see what types of things we share.
GARDEN TOURS: Does your garden reflect your unique and personal style? have you designed something interesting and special? Do you know of a garden unique to your corner of the world? Is it a reflection of your or someone else’s passions? We love a space that might not be right for everyone, but it is deeply personal or infused with originality and soul. If this is something that you have designed or created, we’d love to see pictures and hear the story. Before and after stories, general garden tours or other pieces that reflect on the place or the making of a garden are all welcome. If sending by email – please only include a couple small images. A much better option: Put them in a dropbox and send a link – in this case, the bigger the picture the better! Email Subject line: GARDENS
FOOD & DRINK: Beautifully photographed recipes for food and drink are always welcome. If you do not have photography, but have a great seasonal recipe, please feel free to send, we can work out the images. The recipe must however feature in season natural ingredients that can be grown or obtained locally (to you). Email Subject line: FOOD & DRINK
ESSAY: Long form essay reflecting on the theme are always welcome. We generally do not publish pieces longer than an absolute maximum of 2500 words. We are looking forward to reading your ideas. Email Subject line: ESSAY
General submissions guidelines:
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
We will respond ONLY to emails sent to email@example.com and that follow the editorial and formatting guidelines we lay out here. We will not consider work submitted through social media or to other email accounts.
Everything will get a response – eventually – but please give at least one month before following up. Constant emails will be viewed as harassing and annoying and are not helpful to making things happen in a timely fashion (so please, don’t).
Please only send completed drafts of unpublished pieces—meaning that it hasn’t run in other publications or on your personal blog or website—accompanied by an introduction to the piece. We do welcome stories that are related to other stories (that are already published in print or online) but they must be different and unique in both thought and form. Include a brief, clear, specific summary and if necessary a short description of how it relates to the theme.
Include your full draft below your intro, attach it as a document, provide a link to a viewable Google doc or use dropbox (have we mentioned? we love dropbox).
We accept all kinds of writing—fiction, nonfiction, essays, rants, raves, humor, poetry, illustration, art, photography, etc.
Please have a familiarity with P+V before sending and don’t send something overly similar to something we have already done. Also – please understand that this isn’t meant to be a conventional garden publication – so if you are pitching the same thing to Better Homes & Gardens, there is almost certainly a mis-match somewhere (not that we don’t love BH&G – it is just that we are different!). We like new formats, interesting layouts and ideas that challenge the status quo. We are constantly challenging ourselves to new things, and want to constantly improve and evolve this publication – we will love submissions and contributors that help us along that path.
How long should my submission be?
It varies but the newspaper has not yet run a story more than 2000 words (but who knows, we might someday). That is a big upper limit though – and generally we prefer something closer to half that (1000 words or less). Worry less about length and more about doing something interesting and sharing a compelling story. If we like it, we’ll figure it out in the edit.
Can I pitch an interview with someone/cover an event/do other reportage for P+V?
Yes – and we especially like when you can cover an industry event or garden show anywhere in the world — but only if you ask first!!!! Unless we’ve given you the official go-ahead, please do not approach people for a “P+V interview,” offer to cover events “for P+V,” or claim that we are involved in a project if we aren’t (yet).
What happens if my written submission is accepted?
Your submission will certainly have two editors – the first for the big ideas, the flow, and to generally work for P+V, and the second for more fine tuning and copy edits. If there is a lot of big idea changes, we will work with you and ask for and suggest changes. This is totally normal and mostly happens to every story. Sometimes though – the changes are minor (just tweaking it to make it read better and general copy edits) and in the interest of time, we will make those corrections without your approval. To help us out, please cite sources for fact-checking. Do not send us documents with lots of hyperlinks and all kinds of special formatting. All the time you take to do that is wasted, as we will be undoing it which takes a lot of time on our end too. Cut and paste the link in full into your document (don’t hyper link in word specifically).
All plants cited should identify the plant by some common name and its latin name (we want to make sure we are all on the same page regarding what plant we are discussing).
We are trying to work further and further in advance, and the more successful we are with that, the longer the turn around time might be…. so be patient (if you are awaiting edits, give us two weeks before chasing).
For photo sets, illustrations, collage, cover ideas, and comics:
Send us a description of what 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 – or use dropbox and send full size). Please also include 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. Again, a dropbox link is great.
We may ask you to send more photos or illustrations, and we may pair the images up with a writer to create fuller story.
We’ll need a signed model release form for anyone in a photo (and in the case of someone under 18, a parent or guardian signature we will send you a copy if you don’t provide us with one), which tells us that they say it’s OK that their image will be appearing in P+V.
Not Everything Works….
There are many reasons why a particular submission might not be right—we may have just accepted something similar, be focusing on different topics, or any number of other editorial concerns.
If we don’t use something, we hope you will send us something else. Just because one things wasn’t right doesn’t mean a future idea won’t be.
Lastly – all of this said — there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules or deadlines — a good idea is a good idea. If we love it, perhaps it will inspire us to make the next theme something that will work. We will keep track of your submission and come chase you down if your submission works down the road.
Do you pay contributors?
Yes. Rates vary depending on the format of a given piece.
What we aren’t looking for:
– Soul-less anything.
– A link to your portfolio or published work without a specific idea or original submission.
– Anything that lacks genuine earnestness. This is a community based on mutual respect.
Which email address do I write to?
To submit your work: firstname.lastname@example.org (Remember to specify the Subject line!)
To request our mailing address, to send a zine, book, or other thing for possible review (Note: do not send anything with asking first): email@example.com
Everything else: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising, partnerships, etc. drop us a line at email@example.com.