Who We Are
For more than six years, The Bitter Southerner has covered the American South from a modern perspective. Our goal is to tell stories about places, organizations, and people that do not fit the national media's standard narratives and stereotypes about the South. We aggressively try to bring multicultural voices and points of view into The Bitter Southerner, so that it can reflect the many cultures that together create the modern culture of the South.
What We Publish
Currently, The Bitter Southerner publishes three written stories per week, one in each of the following categories. Please use the appropriate form beneath the guidelines to submit.
Our Tuesday features typically range from 2,500 to 5,000 words. Base rate: $500. We also hire a photographer or illustrator for many Tuesday features. Base rate: $500.
Notes on the process for Tuesday Features submissions
In an effort to better manage our communication with writers, we accept Tuesday features submissions only during the first seven days of every month. This allows us to review all feature-story submissions and either accept or reject them within a month.
Tuesday Features submissions will next be open on this page January 1-7, 2020. (To add a reminder to your calendar, choose the appropriate link: Apple, Google, Outlook.)
Every Wednesday, we publish a personal essay/story from a Bitter Southerner reader, typically ranging from 500 to 1,500 words. We sometimes publish photographs, audio recordings, and — effective January 1, 2019 — videos of no more than five minutes. No compensation, but much love.
From the Southern Perspective
Every Thursday, we publish a short feature story, cultural perspective piece, interview, or opinion piece. These stories range from 1,000 to 3,000 words. Base rate: $150.
Occasionally, The Bitter Southerner publishes standalone films on Fridays. Base rate: $100.
A Note to Public Relations Professionals: Please do not use this system to pitch story ideas to the editors of The Bitter Southerner. If you believe your client's story is worthy of our Tuesday feature slot, your chances will increase if you first convince one of our regular contributors to pitch that story to us — instead of pitching directly to the editors. If, however, you believe your client's story should be brought to the attention of BS staff, you should contact our social media editor.
One Exception: If your client is a band or solo musician, and you would like us to consider debuting a music video, we occasionally do that on Fridays in our Moving Stories section. Please use the specific form for video debuts.
- Every story we publish should reflect its author's perspective on the American South — even if that perspective is from afar. But the writer should always have a felt connection with this region, regardless of time lived here.
- Make every effort to write a subject line for your submission that, by itself, communicates why we might be interested in your story.
- The guideline above proceeds from the fact that the volume of our submissions exceeds our staff's capacity to evaluate all of them quickly. We do our best to respond to submissions within three months, but we frequently fall short.
- We allow profanity, but please ensure it serves the story's effectiveness.
- Few stories of any kind in The Bitter Southerner are "timely" in the way newspaper stories are. But sometimes, we must publish pieces in response to events in the news. If you believe your story is time-sensitive — either as a response to a very recent event, or if it is linked to an upcoming event or milestone — please forgo this system and use this link, calendly.com/schedulechuck, to schedule a 15-minute call with our editor-in-chief as soon as possible.
For this section, we accept personal essays, photographs, sound recordings, or — effective January 1, 2019 — videos of five minutes or shorter. You do not have to be a "pro" for your work to be accepted into The Bitter Southerner.
We regret that The Bitter Southerner does not yet have sufficient budget to pay contributors to our Folklore Project. But if your submission is accepted, it will be treated with respect and broadcast to a growing audience.
Every Thursday, we publish a short feature story, cultural perspective piece, interview, or opinion piece. These stories range from 750 to 3,000 words.
We prefer writers for this section to pitch us an idea in this form. However, we also review completed pieces, and at the bottom of the form, you will find a place to upload your file.
If you are pitching, as opposed to submitting, please include at least one writing sample. This form allows you to upload files of samples (limit: three files) and to share with us up to two URLs for online work.
This form is reserved for filmmakers who would like to publish their finished work in The Bitter Southerner's Moving Stories section.
This form is reserved for music publicists or artists requesting a debut in The Bitter Southerner's Moving Stories section.