This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

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Writers’ Guidelines

This Magazine welcomes queries. A good This Magazine article offers background and context to ongoing national issues, a challenge to the mainstream media perspective, or an important story that hasn’t been told elsewhere. Subject matter includes politics, culture, the arts, social issues, labour, feminism, mental health, race/racism, Indigenous issues, and sexuality, with a focus on quality writing and in-depth reportage. Please note: This Magazine publishes Canadian residents only

Before you submit anything to the magazine, be sure you are familiar with its approach. Pay particular attention to writing style and content. Articles for This Magazine should have a journalistic approach, and be written in language simple enough to be comprehensible to a high school student, with enough research and insight to be interesting to a PhD. Assume that you’re talking to knowledgeable readers (because you are). We encourage writers to grapple with big ideas, but they must be conveyed with wit and style, avoiding artistic, journalistic, or academic jargon.

Things to note:

2019 Editorial Schedule
November/December: Culture issue — Now accepting queries!


Features

A good This Magazine article offers background and context to ongoing Canadian issues, a challenge to the mainstream media perspective or an important story that hasn’t been told elsewhere. Our readership is Canada-wide, so local issues are only covered when they have national interest or implications. International stories must have a strong Canadian angle.

We love printing stories like:

Generally, we are likely to favour stories that stake out strong positions, feature compelling characters, tell an untold story (or tell a well-known story from a novel perspective), and propose concrete solutions to pressing problems.

Send pitches and questions to editor at this dot org

This & That

Our front section provides readers with political inspiration and ammunition. Writing is sharp, stylish and alive with wit. Topics include: Canadian party politics/legislation, legal issues, labour, the environment, Indigenous affairs, social services, public policy, education, health care, foreign policy, defence, race/racism, youth, media, science, queer issues, feminism. This section also includes the bulk of the magazine’s more visual stories—pieces that require imagery of some sort to aid in their telling. To get a better sense of the type of stories we run in the This & That section, please check out our archives.

Keep in mind that our audience is national. Stories should be so important that they deserve support from progressives across the country; emblematic of struggles going on from coast to coast; evidence of a significant systemic problem; or demonstrate something that progressives across the country can learn from.

Word counts for This & That pieces are generally 200-400 words.

Story pitches should include or link to at least one writing sample and should detail which of the following departments the story should appear in:

Send pitches and questions to news at this dot org

Columns

Have a hot take on a current event? Want to write a first-person memoir that taps into the state of modern society and politics? Our columns section is for you. We assign both 800- and 1,200-word opinion-based columns each issue, ranging from personal stories to third-person op-eds. Each story, regardless of its tone and voice, is thoroughly researched and well supported by a strong thesis.

Send pitches and questions to editor at this dot org

Arts & Ideas

This Magazine’s arts section covers Canadian independent artists and cultural issues overlooked by the mainstream press. The section provides readers with cultural inspiration and showcases the individuals who make independent culture happen in Canada. Writing is sharp, stylish and alive with wit. It should be interesting to art practitioners and enthusiasts, but accessible to the merely curious.

Subjects/topics covered include: independent and underground film, video, books, music, zines, websites, e-zines, dance, art, photography, performance art, theatre. Is it art? If you have to ask, it probably is. We like work that has a political edge, a cheeky sense of humour—or both. Keep in mind that our audience is national and stories and issues covered in the section should be timely.

Story pitches should include or link to at least one writing sample and should detail which of the following departments the story should appear in:

Send pitches and questions to arts at this dot org

If you are looking to review for us, please conact reviews at this dot org

Back page letter

This Magazine‘s back page is devoted to writers who want to write an open letter to a person, thing, place, idea, or concept. This piece showcases a strong voice and a compelling thesis, and addresses a thought or issue that is relevant to Canadians today. The piece is no longer than 600 words.

Send pitches and questions to editor at this dot org

 

Poetry & Fiction Submission 

Startle us, pull our heartstrings, or make us laugh. This Magazine wants to read your exceptional poems and short stories. We want work that pushes the boundaries of storytelling and redefines what these genres can do to challenge the landscape of CanLit. So send us your best!

There is no fee for submitting and simultaneous submissions are more than welcome; just let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere by replying to your original submission e-mail. This will save us from falling in love with your story and getting our hearts broken. Also, please do not submit more than once every 12 months, unless requested by the editors.

Multiple submissions are not accepted. Please do not submit to the poetry editor and the fiction editor at the same time. No previously published work, either, please.

We pay $125 per accepted short story up to 2500 words. We pay 60$ per flash fiction story under 1000 words (we will run two flash stories in an issue in this case).

We pay $50 per accepted poem. 

We acquire first serial rights (print and web). 

Submissions by BIPOC, Q2ST, disabled, and other marginalized writers are especially welcomed. Feel free to tell us if you are a marginalized writer—although there is no requirement to do so. We recognize that CanLit needs to change. We believe in representing the many writers’ voices who live within Canada’s colonial borders. We believe in structural racism and want to work to actively dismantle it here.

Responses should be expected within 4 weeks of submission; but up to 8 weeks may be required during extremely busy times. Please feel free to check in by replying to your original submission e-mail after 8 weeks have passed. 

As a reminder, we only publish Canadian residents.

Thank you for trusting This Magazine with your work!

 

From the Poetry Editor, David Ly:

All writers will work with our Poetry Editor. He will ensure your poem’s voice and form stays true to what you intend, and will mainly give suggestions to further refine details in your writing. We will not publish anything if you are not happy with, though. This Magazine publishes in print so please be mindful of what the physical page allows for your poem(s). 

To submit please email poetry editor David Ly at poetry at this dot org and attach no more than 3 poems in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file, where each poem starts on a new page. Including a short cover letter and biography would be nice, but isn’t required. 

 

From the Fiction Editor, Jenny Ferguson: 

Stories that engage with contemporary Canadian and Indigenous issues or themes and compliment the kind of work we publish elsewhere in the magazine are always in high demand. We’re also interested in seeing more speculative work. Stories that engage with genre tropes by expanding them/exploding them/transforming them/playing with them are heartily welcome! 

For the sake of our fiction editor’s mental health, please do not submit stories that include graphic violence against people, animals, the land, etc. or stories that use rape/sexual assault as a plot device or for character growth.

All writers will go through a rigorous revision process with our fiction editor. She thinks the editing process refines stories, so the best possible version of a writer’s vision is shared with readers. She is kind and careful with your work and will push you to dig deeper but will always respect that she is collaborating with you on your story.

To submit please email fiction editor Jenny Ferguson at fiction at this dot org and attach your story in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Including a short cover letter and biography would be nice, but isn’t required.

 

Illustration & Photography

If you are interested in contributing visual work to the magazine, please contact our Art Director, Valerie Thai, at [email protected]

Other things we don’t publish

This Magazine does not publish celebrity profiles, product reviews, crossword puzzles, word games, trivia quizzes, humour columns, horoscopes, academic theses, or predictable rants. These submissions will be discarded without reply. Nothing personal! We’re sure you’re all lovely people, but we just don’t publish that stuff.


Internships

Under Ontario Ministry of Labour legislation, This Magazine only accepts applications for internships supported by post-secondary institutions in Canada. Please contact us for more information if you have any questions about whether you qualify.

Why be a This intern?

This Magazine is an exciting place to be. Our interns are able to see the entire process of putting together the magazine, from researching stories to newsstand marketing campaigns. Because the magazine has a small staff, interns at This Magazine are given a substantial amount of responsibility. The small staff also means that self-motivated interns will benefit most from the program. Past interns have gone on to positions at the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Now Magazine, Xtra, Saturday Night, enRoute, Canadian Forum, Precedent, Quill & Quire, Columbia Journalism School, Reuters, the CBC, editorial or communications positions at book publishers and non-profits, and more.

What This interns do

Part of our mandate as a magazine is to foster the next generation of writers, reporters, photographers, illustrators, poets, and editors. So the interns work with the editor and publisher to make almost every aspect of the magazine happen. They help with the creative, administrative and, yes, sometimes even the menial tasks necessary to putting out a national magazine. You’ll get a chance to help with assessing story ideas, fact checking, copy editing and proofreading, event planning, fundraising and learning how to run a magazine on a shoestring budget.

The internship also provides a chance to sharpen your writing skills. Bylines are expected, both in print and online. Additionally, you will be given an opportunity to learn and practice key research skills (reporting, library and online background research, and more) that will serve you well for a career in magazine publishing.

The work as an intern is plentiful and varied, and so is the range of skills and aptitudes needed: the ability to produce snappy, sharp writing for stories and press releases, patience for the detail-oriented world of fact-checking and circulation, and the financial savvy necessary to pull together an event with next to no budget. And of course, publishing a small, independent magazine requires an ability to take risks and work under the pressure of deadlines.

Interns often take on projects in their own area of interest, after getting a taste for each of the areas of magazine publishing. In addition, interns will help prepare for board meetings, help with display writing (headlines and coverlines), customer service, sorting mail, updating subscriber files, running errands and some tasks like envelope-stuffing—but no coffee-fetching!

How to apply

Send us a package, containing the following:

  1. Your resume.
  2. A cover letter, stating when you are available and explaining why you would like to be a This Magazine intern. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your concerns and interests, and how your political views affect the way you interact with the media.
  3. Three—five writing samples of published or unpublished editorial or promotional writing you’ve done in the past.

Any other questions?

We accept applications by mail or by email. Our mailing address is 417-401 Richmond St. West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3A8. Please email applications to editor /at/ thismagazine /dot/ ca. Please feel free to ask us your questions about the internship program by calling 416-979-8400 or emailing Tara-Michelle at editor at this dot org.