Call for Submissions

Spring 2023: Joy and Pain

The theme for our Spring 2023 issue is “Joy and Pain.” We want to hear stories about experiences that bring both happiness and suffering. Consider, for example, the pleasures and burdens of parenthood, the ecstatic highs and lows of adolescence, the satisfaction and bodily harm of physical labor, or any other human endeavor that is at once bitter and sweet. We’re also interested in pieces that explore activities that bring joy to some while inflicting pain on others, such as tourism, agriculture, professional sports, and the service industry in general.

In this issue we hope to see personal narratives that illuminate universal experiences alongside broader explorations of society and history.

We welcome all forms of nonfiction writing, including essays, journalism, and excerpts from forthcoming or recently published books. Successful submissions will reflect our vision of an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, invites challenging questions, and strives for just communities. We encourage submissions from writers of all levels of experience.

We encourage stories created with or by communities—classrooms, neighborhoods, congregations, or any other group with shared interests and experiences. Some examples follow:

Please send drafts of personal essays, which should push beyond simple narrative and consider larger thematic questions. If you’re pitching a journalistic or researched piece, please send a proposal, links to your clips, if any, and tell us why you’re the person to write this story. Features generally range between 1,500 and 4,000 words. All contributors are paid between $500 and $1000, depending on the length and complexity of the piece. Currently the magazine is distributed free to 12,000 readers. Work from Oregon Humanities has been reprinted in textbooks, the Pushcart Prize anthology, Utne Reader, High Country News, and Best American Essays, and featured on public radio programs Think Out Loud, State of Wonder, and This American Life.

If you are interested in contributing to this issue, please read past issues and the guidelines for writers. Please note that we only accept work by writers who reside in Oregon, though no proof of residence is required. Then, submit one proposal or one draft by December 21 to


Cover Art

If you're an artist and have work that we might consider for the Spring 2023 issue, "Joy and Pain," we'd like to know about it. Please consider the constraints of a magazine cover (e.g. vertical orientation, nameplace, and cover lines). We are most interested in work by Oregon-based artists. 

Please send us the following:

  • A high-resolution digital image (300 dpi at 8"x10"; scans or photographs, JPEG or TIFF)
  • Your name, the title of the work, the type of media, as well as contact information (email and phone number)
  • A description of how the image relates to the theme

Send submissions to by March 6, 2023. Payment is $300 for the selected image. 

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