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):
- Maiden Voyage (a story about quinceañera cruises @ Topic)
- Aging Ghosts in the Skincare Machine (essay @ Medium / Unruly Bodies)
- Stars—They’re Just Like Us! (some thoughts on astrology @ n+1)
- A Girl’s Guide to Egg Freezing (a cool photoessay @ Topic)
- VIDEO: Queer Mama for Autostraddle Episode Eleven — My Birth Story Wasn’t At All What I Expected (video + essay + photography @ autostraddle)
- Monstrous Births (“Pushing back against empowerment in childbirth” @ the hairpin)
- Sunday Comic: Happy Birthday to Me (a comic @ rookie)
- Birthday honour (Haruki Murakami @ the guardian)
- What 36 Looks Like (personal essay @ the new inquiry)
- Today I Am Woman (history of the bat mitzvah @ the forward)
- 26 Years of Automatic Living (self-indulgence @ marielynbernard.blogspot.com)
- The Key(chain) to a Great Birthday Gift (humor @ the hairpin)
- May 21: The Rapture Meets My 40th Birthday (“As lead-ups to fortieth birthdays go, I recommend steering clear of subway preachers who forecast the Rapture for the very day you’re most dreading” @ the awl)
- The Peekaboo Paradox (abt a birthday party entertainer called the great zucchini @ the washington post)
- Are You Coming To My Birthday Month? (humor @ the reductress)
- What Do a Bunch of Old Jews Know About Living Forever? (journalism @ new york magazine)
- A Road Trip With Your Father In Honor of His 74th Birthday, In Playlist Form (a personal essay @ autostraddle)
- The Joys and Sorrows of Watching My Own Birth (personal essay @ longform)
- A Birthday Party No One Else Was Invited To (personal essay @ auotstraddle)
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 January 22nd, but we will possibly be accepting things on a rolling basis, and will let you know by February 1st.