Call For Submissions: The Birthday Issue

It’s 2019, which marks Autostraddle’s tenth year of tenuous existence on this scorched earth! In honor of this occasion, everybody should join A+ and also our first theme issue of the year will be “Birthday.”

You can really go wild with this theme. You hear the word “birthday” and what do you think? Write that thought down, it could be an essay! Or perhaps a work of Real Journalism, or a humor piece, a photoessay, a comic. Here’s some topics that came into our minds: giving birth, aging, birthday parties, birthday-related pop culture (e.g., Sixteen Candles, the worst birthdays depicted on film, that depressing AIDS movie “It’s My Party,” the Lesley Gore song “It’s My Party”), birthday presents, astrology or birthday-adjacent celebrations (quinceañeras, sweet sixteens, bat mitzvahs), any stories that have birthdays in them.

Here are a collection of links that we think are good examples of what we’re looking for if all of them were more queer (some of them are but most of them are not):


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 FonsecaMey 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 January 22nd, but we will possibly be accepting things on a rolling basis, and will let you know by February 1st.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

The Editors

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  1. Happy birthday Autostraddle! I joined A+ last month and I’m annoyed with myself that I didn’t do it sooner.

    I also just wrote and fleshed out the entire idea for a submission for this issue, so like, thank you to my new medication because I’ve wanted to submit to AS for ages but haven’t been able to write for like a year.

  2. I just wanted to thank you all for existing. I’ve checked auto straddle pretty much every day the past year. It inspired me to keep going and get through.
    Alyssa andrews comics spoke to me as someone with a chronic illness who had not one but 6 surgeries last year in 2018.
    Stef’s Vapid Fluff made me smile on dark days,
    Riese’s queer history and jewish identity stories filled me with validation,
    Rachel helping me sit comfy in the bi/pan/queer realm and having more confidence in my identity.
    and Al(aina)’s essays on identity and gender really helped me understand and relate to my partner who went through tough gender stuff( I asked my partner if it was ok to mention this btw).
    There’s so many amazing contributors too that I can’t thank enough for sharing.

    This year I started in a psych hold after an episode because I didn’t know what was wrong with me and no doctor could figure it out. Finally I discovered through a new GYN, rare sarcomic tumors in my breasts and had a lumpectomy then a double mastectomy plus reconstruction at 27. (DIDNT JOIN THE 27 CLUB!!!!!) I had more bouts with extreme depression and psychosis which was sad and embarrassing but a side effect of my health trauma and several meds.

    During all this my boifriend transitioned, broke his back caring for me, then was also bedridden, and had to have back surgery. I helped him find a top surgeon who could take medicaid and do it the same year!!!! We are so lucky to live in NY. 100% covered by one of the top surgeons! Through this time it was so horrible for both of us going through so much pain at the same time. We had to ask my family for financial help-it put immense strain on myself, my partner, and family- this country is terrible towards those who have any misfortune fall upon them!!!!.

    Then I still was symptomatic and discovered I had Stage IV endometriosis. In between all of this I’ve navigated horrifying waters as a queer jew in the 20-teens, where increasingly there’s hostility everywhere even in NY.

    I worked through past trauma in therapy from bad exgirlfriends, boyfriends, and partners (who i chose willingly) and my part in it as well.

    I ended the year with a surgery for my endo.

    I now have a cool job that uses media to advocate for chronic illness-choosing not to continue in fashion for now, and a healthier relationship to myself, my partner, the world around me, and those I love.

    I have no idea how I made it out alive, but I’m glad I did and Im so glad auto straddle was there to keep me entertained and engaged through months of being bed ridden. (god that sounds so sad-i promise its not as sad! disability is dynamic and difficult and cool!)

    Anyways this was a long feelings dump-but thanks for being you-your amazing!

  3. Wow has it been 10 years already?

    Thank you for everything you’ve done, I’ve checked autostraddle (more than) daily for 10 years (since I was 18) and this website has shown me and taught me so much! You pretty much made me the young queer feminist adult I am today :)

    Happy Birthday!!

  4. I got very close this time however it’s deadline time rn I’m mucking thru a conclusion with very messy gallows metaphors that look very insensitive, and I’m STILL locked out of my email account.
    Also maybe it’s not as on topic for the theme just cause it happened on my birthday, BUT I feel very celebratory because I who failed compositional English a truly ridiculous number of times wrote a coherent essay that by the first draft looked worthy enough to DARE to submit it to professional people.
    Don’t think it’s quite the actual spirit of Do the Damn Thing for a person with dysgraphia to try to write an essay as that’s not really reasonable expectation but I was inspired…so uh thank you Heather Hogan.

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