Call For Submissions: “On Camp” and More Queer Girl City Guides

click for more on a-camp

Hey-o Yes Homos! Is it ever your lucky day! March’s theme has been “Here/Queer” — stories with a strong sense of place — and ’cause we feel like there are so many more city guides and et cetera to be written and read in this great big world of ours, we’re gonna keep publishing these city guides periodically over the next six weeks or so. We will have an April theme as well though, so hang tight.

First — Moar City Guides!

We’re especially interested in somebody doing a guide for Los Angeles, ’cause a lot of A-Campers will be taking some time in the city at the end of April while journeying to camp!

We welcome submissions from wherever, and we’re especially looking for:

- Manhattan
– San Francisco
– Oakland/Berkeley
– Atlanta
– Houston
– Miami
– New Orleans
– London
– Melbourne
– ANYWHERE IN THE SOUTH!

If you wanna submit a city guide, email Laneia with a letter describing your connection to the city you wanna write about. She’ll let you know if it’s already been taken or not, at which point you’ll be responsible for crafting a comprehensive guide (see other guides for tips) and providing at least five of your own high-res photos (which you own the rights to), links to the places you talk about (and phone numbers/addresses when necessary), and whatever insidery details you’ve got.

I+

Secondly, Our April Theme is “On Camp.”

We’ll be publishing more Here/Queers as well as “On Camp” posts from April 1st – May 15th, at which point we’ll announce the June theme and then take a breather! Isn’t it cute how we like to make things as complicated as possible? I thought so!

“On Camp” is — you guessed it! — about camp, and we chose this theme to celebrate the launch of our first ever A-Camp, taking place the last weekend of April.

On Camp pitches could include anything from “how to build your own shelter” to your favorite trail mix recipe to the history of girl scout camp to a personal essay about how your torrid affair with another lady at band camp helped you accept your homogayness. It need not be explicitly queer, but we do prefer stories that explore or relate to issues that affect queers, feminists and/or outsiders.

Examples of “On Camp”-ish material from around the web:

How Nerd Camp Saved my Life, nerve.com – “The summer I was 14, I went to two different summer camps. The difference between them summed up the central crisis of my life at the time: Was I going to identify as the geek or the Kid With Issues?”

Notes on Camp, nerve.com – “Public masurbation and other things I learned at Vacation Bible School.”

Summer School Is Bunk: Why Camp Shouldn’t Just Be for Rich Kids – “Admittedly, my skepticism about year-long school is connected to my own summers, which were unusually fruitful. My parents were able to afford to send me to a summer camp where I learned not only swimming and sports, but history and politics. “

Jazz Hands, Everyone!, New York Magazine – “The story of Stagedoor Manor, where Robert Downey Jr and Lea Michelle honed their chops.”

+ Beauty Q&A: Pack and Travel, Pack and Travel, the hairpin -“Summer means music festivals and camping. And for me, music festivals and camping mean trying not to look like I haven’t properly showered in three days even though I haven’t properly showered in three days. “

Notes on Camp, rookie – “First kisses, Friendship Night, and the importance of snuggling.”

Camp Out, nerve.com – “The director of the first gay Christian summer camp on turning the political tide.”

+ Ten Movies to Go Watch if You Can’t Go to Summer Camp, Gawker – “As June creeps on, school kids across the nation are getting released from the crumbling prisons that are America’s schools and being sent off to life-guarding jobs, coal mines, or, if they’re lucky, sleepaway camp. Not one of those lucky kids? Well here are some movies to watch that will make it feel almost like you’re there.”

What I Learned at Luxury Boot Camp, Good Magazine – “If you are among [the wealthy who can afford it], wonderful: I highly recommend you explore it as an option if you’re looking to seriously reboot. If you are not, click through the slideshow to read about some of the lessons I gleaned from my week on Ranch time.”

My Imaginary Wet Hot American Summer, The Rumpus – “Even though I’m Jewish, I never went to summer camp. A popular girl in the sixth grade called me “Pizza Legs,” because of my purple spider veins and red splotches and moles—bright, textured flaws that looked like pizza toppings on pale skin. During a pool party, I refused to get in a swimsuit, and a different popular girl called me a lesbian. What did a lesbian look like, I wondered. I guess they looked like me. I tried not to look like me. I’d now like to imagine what summer camp could have been if everything were different.”

Notes on Camp: This episode of This American Life has quite a few examples of what we’re looking for (but in writing, not audio, obvs)

Send your pitches to Laneia [at] Autostraddle [dot] com and cc Rachel [at] autostraddle dot com & Laura [at] autostraddle dot com by April 3rd. Include a resume and three samples (either PDFs from print publications or link to your work published online).

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1795 articles for us.

95 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    i am in desperate need of a city guide for boston because i’m moving there in four months and not exactly over the moon as i was expecting to get into uw, my dream school, and move to seattle, my dream city, and live happily ever after. so i need reassurance that boston is sufficiently queer and wonderful. please.

  2. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    little darlings, little darlings!!!! I love that movie with the lesbian-ish Matt Dillon and an actual lesbian and a political lesbian, yaaaaay!

    On topic: These city guides really do help, I plan to move to NYC and I have printed out the guide(s) that are relevent to the places I will be going to. Also, I fucking love AS, love.

  3. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I’m working on a city guide right now! It will be done soon promise!

    Also I’m super excited about stories/essays/poems about camp. Camp is my favorite thing, probs because I basically grew up in one (in the middle of a state forest).

  4. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I’m going to a school in Minneapolis/St. Paul this fall and I keep hearing that the city is fantastic for lady gays but I really don’t know where to start. Could someone do a guide for that?

  5. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I would ask for an Ann Arbor city guide, but I literally need it by this weekend.

    Would also like to request a Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh, NC (Research Triangle) guide. I might move there in the fall and need to experience at least one gay thing before I commit to being there.

    Also Also – Ithaca, NY.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      The Chicagostraddlers are straddling the heck out of the Chicago city guide. Unfortunately, it’s hard for us to write about partying when we are out doing it (partying, i mean). But have no fear, the Chicago city guide is going to be crazy awesome!

  6. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    As someone looking all over the country for a job, these guides are saving my little queer soul with thought of possibly knowing what’s up when I get somewhere completely new. Anyone know where new nurses are being hired?

  7. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Wait, so does this mean that I don’t get honorary entrance membership for camp because it’s me and well, since camp isn’t in March, it could be like a belated gift for me blessing your walls with my face along with Michelle all of this month.

    juuu know?
    I just. wanna go. before I move off the Mainland. :(

    *sad luna dance in the corner*
    *eats ice cream*
    *watches season 2 of the L word for jenny, specifically*

  8. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    If no one else is already doing it, then I would happily volunteer to do Houston. I love talking about how much I love and hate my city. It’s mostly love though!

  9. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I was hoping to see a Salt Lake City guide to provide some light at the end of the predominantly Mormon tunnel. Born and raised in Utah, but it’s hard to find fellow gays and happy gay places here.

  10. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Anyone want to collaborate on a Northampton/Amherst area one? I think I’m only qualified to write part of it (my friends are’t 21 so I’m lacking in nightlife knowledge mostly).

    I’ll email a pitch or whatever we need to do in if people are interested.

  11. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    #1 Who are these curious people going to LA after camp? I wanna to come too! Really really.

    #2 I would love to write the guide to Melbourne because it is my heart-home and I have many feelings of love and adoration about that place. But I wasn’t out/involved in the homogay scene at all when I last lived there which, sadly, disqualifies me. If it still hasn’t been written later this year though, I’ll jump on it.

    #imissyoumelbourne

  12. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    An additional plea for a Los Angeles guide! I am moving out there this fall for graduate school and while I have gathered that it is a bastion of lady gay glory *ahem the L word* a real-world confirmation that I will have reasons to leave Pasadena would be vastly appreciated.

    (And reassurances that there are, in fact, things to do in Pasadena would be divine)

  13. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Just moved out to Anaheim so an Orange County/Anaheim guide would be lovely…

    Also I am trying to think of gay things about camp because I went to sleepaway camp for 6 years and was staff there for an additional three and I basically lived, breathed and ate camp even when I wasn’t there. JEW CAMP FO LIFE.

  14. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    NASHVILLE. Please please please someone write about Nashville.

    Currently the only lesbian online piece on it is this:http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/when-it-comes-to-lesbian-dating-in-nashville-sadly-the-clichs-say-it-best/Content?oid=2235427

    too depressing for words. I’m gonna be here for two more years and I only know the one gay club and have found on google what looks like the one lesbian bar which is full of middle-aged women with bad highlights and cowboy boots. And now this article says that all six of Nashville’s other lesbians are already dating each other.

    HELP MEEEE. Write about Music City!

  15. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Um….. so I just officially found out I am going to be a camp director this summer like…5 minutes ago
    SO
    I AM GOING TO GET PAID TO DO SOMETHING I LOVE
    AND!
    THIS ARTICLE IS SO RELIVENT TO MY LIFE.

    Also, is anyone doing a Queer Detroit/Ann Arbor/MI post? Because I’ve been thinking a lot about that shit and pretty sure I could colabdrate with some fabulous ladies to write that.

  16. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO CAMP. I HAVE BEEN CAMPING BUT IT WAS A MUSIC FESTIVAL. Does that count?

    Also, I need a London city guide so that come September, I can hit up the queerest of spots.

  17. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Please tell me someone is doing Philly! I’m in my first year of college here and I really want to find out more about the city from a queer perspective. ESPECIALLY if it means getting out of my university’s bubble more often!

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      Ahhh! Philly is fantastic! Kudos for wanting to get out of the bubble more often. I am just finishing up my senior year and while I don’t know much about the queer scene outside of bars/parties (though the gayborhood really shouldn’t be taken for granted) I can, at least, give you some good food reasons to escape your campus. Hopefully someone will write a full post and do Philly justice.

      I don’t know what school you are at so I am going to arbitrarily pick places around Philly worth checking out with a potential bias towards things easily accessible from my campus.

      Great hole in the wall BYO: Vientianne at about 48th and Baltimore (can also call in for pick up and then picnic in Clarke Park)

      Vegan Cheesesteak: Yep, you read that right. A twist on the Philly classic that contains no meat and no cheese, just pure unbridled glory. Can be found at Govindas as South and Broad.

      Restaurants to impress a date with: Farmicia at 3rd and Chestnut(ish) and Abyssinia at 45th and Locust. The first has lots of farm fresh and tasty food and an excellent brunch (happy hour included) and the second is an Ethiopian place with a great bar upstairs.

      Best veggie burger of your life: the Belgian cafe at 21st and Green(ish)

      If you are looking to get (potentially) further off campus you should head to Nolibs. The piazza has a great concentration of more upscale restaurants and they have fun concerts/events there. It is also super easy to get to via Septa.

      I am going to stop raving now because you didn’t ask about food. One final protip: don’t get sucked into restaurant week. You will very rarely find a good deal. It is infinitely better to shell out and spend the same amount of money at a restaurant that isn’t participating. Just trust me on this one.

      Oh one last thing: if you haven’t yet experienced Korean karaoke in ktown you really need to check it out. If you take market-Frankfurt to 69th it is only a few blocks to multiple karaoke places that will allow you and at least 25 of your closest friends to pile into a room and belt Lady Gaga/Tegan and Sara/Florence and the Machine/everything that has been on glee to Korean battle and/or love scenes. Pretty much infinite potential to be queertastic right there.

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        Ahhhh thanks so much! I will definitely be looking into all of these things. I go to Penn, so these seem to cover a fairly good variety of places and distances from campus. Vientiane is fairly (very) close to campus, but I’m definitely looking forward to any BYOs that take place there. Thai food is kind of my favorite (and Banana Leaf is getting old…). And thanks for the tip about Nolibs! That’s one thing I definitely hadn’t heard of before. I’ll be sure to drag a friend along and check that out.

        One sad thing. There was a great tea place in the gayborhood that was my absolute favorite. However, it closed down back in November. I definitely would go over there more often if it were still open. :/

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          Hey Anna and Arabella,

          I live in Philly too! As a suggestion for a replacement tea house, might I suggest Pumpkin Cafe? It’s at 1610 Sounth Street, which you can get to on the 41 bus I think (double check that-) They have lovely teas, coffee and tasty foods. Super queer friendly, it’s owned by my good friend Hillary and they also serve ice cream. They don’t care if you study there all day, every day for like a year…(based on personal experience).

          Also, in the next block there is Jet Bar which is super fun with great appetizer foods but a little pricey. Also in that block is a cool pasta place, a Thai place at the corner and the Baja Room across the street (with a WAY too fun patio in the back, sit outside and drink margaritas, eat the nachos, be happy).

          And let’s not forget that Bob and Barabara’s Bar is in this block as well. An awesome neighborhood place with a wide range of karaoke, jazz etc–also, I think Thursday is still Drag Night.

          See ya there kids!

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          Anna, I go to Penn too! Gear up for another three amazing years. Penn gets even better with age. :) (and get pumped for fling!)

          Oh and if you want to do a tour of Thai BYOs there is another one on South St. at ~8th. :)

          Smartypants, thanks for the tips, I am going to look into that teahouse! I have a thesis to write and a newfound love of tea to explore and it would be great to take care of both at once!

          Also, b&bs definitely still has drag on Thursday and jazz on Fridays.

          • Thumb up 0

            Please log in to vote

            Arabella,

            Have you been to Tamarind?–it’s on South Street but waaayy down by Front Street, basically across the street from the South Street diner–it’s one of my favorites!

            B&Bs does rock. When it’s warm out, I love eating at the Baja Room and then walking across the street for more “adult beverages”.

            Good luck with said thesis!

          • Thumb up 0

            Please log in to vote

            I was born pumped for fling. :D

            And I have to ask, is having a required thesis too horrible? I’m considering IR, sooo…

            Thanks for the tips, Smartypants! I’m a lifelong tea enthusiast, so I’ll probably be at the Pumpkin Cafe all the time now that you’ve alerted me to its presence. Maybe if I head over there to read I’ll finally finish Midnight’s Children. :P

            Do either of you know of any good University City coffee shops? I’m more of a tea person, but I’m really starting to miss good coffee. You know it’s bad when coffee from Starbucks or Williams starts to sound good because “at least it isn’t Commons.”

          • Thumb up 0

            Please log in to vote

            Anna,

            Have you been to the Green Line cafe yet?
            There are two–just google them for locations. Also, the one on Baltimore is across the street from a kick-ass farmer’s market that will so totally rock your world, think queer Moms, kids, dogs, multi-racial errbody, drumming circles, chess geeks, Amish farmers and hipster-aggie types. Yep. It’s a little unbelieveble. Also, Tom’s Taco Truck and coffee in the morning makes life worth living.
            (well, that plus girls.)

            Flowers, honey, fruits and veggie also, BAKED GOODS !
            with the following caveat; I will let you decide for yourself if you want the taste of Shoe-Fly Pie in your mouth ever again as long as you live.

          • Thumb up 0

            Please log in to vote

            That farmers’ market sounds like the ass-kickingest of kick-ass things. Sounds like the best potential weekend excursion ever. Is it open most days, or is it a once a week thing?

            I’m super pumped to check out the Green Line Cafe now! Both locations are so close to my end of campus. Just. Ahhhh. I might have to run over to the one on Locust as soon as I’m done at work.

            Um…what the hell is Shoe-Fly Pie?

            Maybe you should just write the Philly guide. You’ve been really helpful!

  18. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    oh man. I now wish I was more in the “scene” here in Vienna just so I could write an article for AS.

    also, you’ll be my hero forever if anyone would do edinburgh (with st andrews maaaaybe?)

  19. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    So the post from rookiemag.com? I went to Camp Merriwood! my last summer was only a few summers ago but all of my memories are the same!!! Also it was totally awesome and random to find someone else talking about it as like no one really has ever heard of Merriwood.

  20. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I got really excited when I read that the theme was Camp because I’m taking a class on the Aesthetics of Camp in Literature, Film, and Art and thought we were going to be talking about Camp, as in the aesthetic defined by Susan Sontag in her essay “Notes on Camp,” and then I got disappointed that we weren’t.

    Mostly, though, I just got disappointed once again that I can’t go to A-Camp.

  21. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Okay so we all love SF and Oakland but lets not for get the bay area is HUGE and us homogays in San Jose need Love TOO! I moved down here from Portland and I really would like to hear about how i can get sweet lady time over here with out going to the three queer clubs that seem to define this town! ^_^ BTW i wish i was still in SD, Ca where i came from cause I would so be down to volunteer for that!! Yup SD we go hard and my old bartender was actually one of your sexy calendar gals.

  22. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I can’t believe no one’s volunteered yet to write Oakland/Berkeley! Probs ’cause those of us who live here assume that there are like, a gajillion lesbians, so someone will inevitably volunteer and thus we don’t have to. :)

    But seriously, if someone’s taking this on, I would be glad to help (too busy to write the whole thing myself, though…sadly)!

  23. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I blame the baby-sitters club for my firm belief that I was missing out on something by not going to camp, as well as my firm belief that baby sitting is fun, which it is not. Damn kids. It probably didn’t help my overuse of commas either!

  24. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Someone should do Paris. I am so not qualified to do that on my own, but I guess I could provide wingwomanship. Also sarcasm, probably.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.