For those writers who just can’t seem to specialize in one single thing, who don’t have the discipline to zero in on the minutia because so many other considerations factor in, who live with the constant discomfort of knowing that what you know is a) relative and b) preceded by a history much bigger than yourself: we welcome you to join this repository of clever misfits, also known as cultural generalists.
With the intent of providing continued intelligent and entertaining content in the PopMatters’ Columns section, we are looking to broaden our staff of columnists and the voice of our writers’ community. We’re particularly interested in writers who live and work outside of the US, but that is not a deciding factor; in all cases, no matter the writer’s locale, we’re looking for those who can approach an array of cultural subject matter from their patch of the world with an international sensibility; that is, contextualize the local with an awareness of its place, historical and current, in the broader world.
Qualified writers for these posts are already readers of PopMatters (as but just one vital supplement in their varied intellectual diet). They are familiar with the work of our current columnists, as well as other areas of the magazine, and they have a solid sense of what we’re looking for in content and caliber in these essays. We deliberately use the terms “essays” and “columns” interchangeably; as pieces are broad in scope yet grounded in real-world examples, and they are tied to regular deadlines and an established identity (and therein lay the “columnist” element). With these expectations in mind, we have monthly and every-other-month column slots available. Suitable writers are dedicated to regular deadlines and enjoy participating in friendly, ongoing communications with their editor.
If this opportunity appeals to you, here’s how you get started: send links or pdfs to three magazine-style writing samples, preferably published work. Write a 2-3 paragraph column proposal providing a clearly-defined concept for your column that will guide you through limitless topics. That proposal should include 5 future topics you are eager to write about, should you work as a PopMatters columnist. Indicate why the regular deadline of a column appeals to you over the option of submitting an occasional feature piece for PopMatters’ consideration, as well as the publishing frequency offered that appeals to you.
Write your first column that, if accepted, will be your debut issue. Note: The first column should not be about what the column is going to be about. Rather, dive directly into the subject matter. Provide a few column titles that you think succinctly capture your column concept. Also, provide your bio and any personal information about yourself that you would like to share. Proposals not providing complete information, as outlined, will not be considered.
Many of our writers are called upon for their opinion by notable members of the media such as the BBC, NPR, MSNBC, Radio Australia, and VH1. Publications such as USA Today.com, Alternet.org, and Movies.com regularly pick up links to PopMatters articles and post quotes from PopMatters writers. Many PopMatters stories are carried across McClatchey-Tribune’s wire services with more than 60 US newspapers and 1,200 media clients worldwide and MCT Campus, a national wire service reaching more than 1,000 college and high school newspapers.
This is an open call. Applications are welcome throughout the year.
Send your PopMatters Columnist Application to: Karen Zarker, Senior Editor, zarker at popmatters.com, Subject line: PopMatters Columnist Application.
Note: we are unable to pay you monetarily for your work at this time. But you would not go uncompensated in some form; your ‘pay’, as it were, is the privilege of publishing with this reputable magazine, wherein you are rewarded with this platform to broaden your readership, currently over 1.2 million unique readers per month, and counting.