In August of 2018, Autostraddle announced its renewed commitment to quarterly theme issues with the launch of Bad Behavior, “a two-month deep dive into LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people’s experiences of defiance and/or deviance, of yearning for connection while stuck on the fringes, of the secrets we hold close to our chest, hearts beating still, nervous or maybe even eager for the next chapter.”
Our next theme issue is “But Make It Fashion.” My original proposal was “The Costume of the Day,” but it turns out Grey Gardens is not, in fact, a film all humans are familiar with. But this picture is the spirit of the theme — a woman defining and inhabiting herself, proudly posing in front of the decaying house the neighbors want condemned, adorned in what she has personally decided is “the best costume for the day.”
We’re looking for:
Personal essays, opinion, humor, literary analysis, comics or sets of illustrations, feature reporting and photoessays that address topics related to fashion, clothing, beauty, costuming, getting dressed and style — the only requirement is that you are saying something new that relates at least tangentially to LGBTQ+ and/or feminist issues.
Things that are actual fashion guides or style guides would not be appropriate for this call and should be submitted through our typical submission portal.
Examples of the kind of writing we’re looking for
The best way to explain what we’re looking for is with some examples, as promised by that header right there.
- Fedora, by Dayna Tortorici for n+1
- Model Behavior, by Laurie Penny for The New Inquiry
- Dressing Like a Madwoman, by Maayan Goldman for Vestoj
- The Beautiful Ones, by Momtaza Mehri for Real Life Magazine
- The Lez Look Book, by Kristin Smith & Ariel Dunitz-Johnson for The Bold Italic
- (Re)View: Grease (1978) – A Study in Lesbian Fashion, by Alice Lesperance for Shakespeare and Punk
- Laneia’s These Shirts series
- Drag Has Gone Mainstream: But Where are the Kings?, by Nicole Phelps and photographed by Stef Mitchell for Vogue
- Lingerie Ads Have Always Been Homoerotic, by By Jeanna Kadlec for Racked
- The Queer Art of Failing Better: “Queer Eye” For the Capitalism-Damaged and Toxically Masculine, by Laurie Penny for The Baffler
- Wildfang Wants Its Feminism to Be Bigger Than a T-Shirt, by Katie Heaney for Racked
- A Bridge Between Love and Lipstick: Queering the Beauty Industry, by Arabelle Sicardi for Buzzfeed
- What The Well-Dressed Dyke Will Wear, by Liza Cowan for COWRIE (1973)
- DYKE_ON is the lesbian fashion mag you’ve been waiting for, by Emma Hope Allwood for DAZED
- Erin’s What I Wore series
- The 1920s lesbian power couple who transformed Vogue, by Miss Rosen for DAZED
- Digging Through Kathy Acker’s Stuff, by Dodie Bellamy for Lithub
- A Day in the Life: Anita Dolce Vita of dapperQ, by Molly Adams for Autostraddle
- The Subtle Power of Lesbian Style, by Guy Trebay for The New York Times
- I Dress ‘Straight’ to Protect My Clients, by Bea Bischoff for Racked
- I Took Sephora’s Beauty Class for Trans People — And Loved It, by Mey Rude for them dot us
- The Queer History of the Fanny Pack, by Sonny Oram for Qwear
We are an independent publication currently hanging on for dear life! So our rates aren’t the best out there but relative to our budget they’re quite good. Depending on the piece (length, edits required, reporting involved if relevant), payment is between $50 – $200. Theme issues are also one of our favorite ways to find new regular contributors and staff writers — that’s how writers like Sarah Fonseca, Mey Rude and Reneice Charles first graced these pages. We are looking for new fashion writers in particular right now.
We are, as always, especially interested in submissions from trans women and people of color.
The deadline for submissions is October 22nd, but we will possibly be accepting things on a rolling basis, and will let you know by November 1st.