Call For Submissions

Features for “Outside”

We’re now accepting submissions for the summer 2020 issue of Oregon Humanities on the theme “Outside.” Explore the meaning of being outside, the creation of the idea of the outdoors, and who has been invited into and excluded from these spaces. Share a story of people interacting with a natural environment—what are the possibilities and the harms? Tell us about the history of preservation, land reclamation, adventuring and exploring, and the myth of untouched wilderness. We want to hear about climate justice, about land, fire, and water—their meaning and effect. What does the future of our relationship with the outdoors look like?

We’re also interested in broader takes on the theme—stories centered around making a choice to be or being situated outside of a physical or social system. Tell us about racial exclusion, coming out, and more.

We’re looking particularly for stories that relate to challenging questions, diverse perspectives, and just communities. Tell us something we’ve never heard before. Show us something from a different angle. Make us feel, see, hear, smell the world anew.

We welcome all forms of nonfiction writing, including all forms of essays and journalism, and excerpts from forthcoming or recently published books. 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–$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, 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 at this time, we only accept work by writers who reside in Oregon. Then, submit one proposal or one draft by Sunday, March 15, 2020, to

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