The MAYDAY Culture section is looking for enthusiastic, incisive cultural commentary and critical analysis. With an emphasis on diverse or marginalized perspectives, Culture explores politics, race, gender, sexuality, and ability across literature, cinema, television, music, art, and theatre, in contemporary and historical contexts. We also appreciate arts criticism that amplifies unique perspectives and complicates our understandings, and we regard this type of writing as an art form in its own right.
We’re seeking well-rounded, literary pieces that challenge us and our readers. Please avoid academic style and tone. There's no minimum length, but we prefer submissions with fewer than 6,000 words. Please send only one Culture submission at a time.
We accept pitches, too! Review our editors’ statements below, and feel free to pitch to us via email.
Carla is interested in pitches ranging across topics of representation, race and racism, life and death, American policing, democracy, and more, according to writers’ passions and prerogatives.
Clement is interested in pitches for enthusiastic and incisive arts criticism and theory, especially focusing on film, television, video games, and music.
Sophia is interested in pitches about literary and cinematic trends, intersectional feminism + social justice, queer histories, internet discourse, articles rooted in archival research, and anything else, as long as it’s well-argued or funny, preferably both.
Pew Research has found that almost 80% of editorial staff, “those who work as reporters, editors, photographers and videographers in the newspaper, broadcasting and internet publishing industries,” are white.
This is one reason why countless stories written by, for, and about black people don’t make it to publication.
MAYDAY Culture Editor Carla Bell founded the Black Writers program to end this longtime discrimination and the white-washed media it produces.
Carla is committed to delivering a new experience for black writers, including those seeking first-time publication. With authenticity, curiosity, compassion, well-rounded criticism, and courageous storytelling, submitted works may range across topics of representation, race and racism, life and death, American policing, black civil rights and American Government, and more, according to writers’ passions and prerogatives. Writing may take the form of personal, first-person, braided, or reported essay; opinion, or analysis, all in contemporary or historical context. (Subjects and formats may be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
Writers may be of any citizenship status and reside anywhere in the world. Submissions written in English only, please.
Story ideas may be submitted by pitch and works may be submitted on speculation by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also submit using the Culture submission form here at Submittable. Please check the "Black Writers" box when you submit.
There is no pay for published stories at this time.