The Bitter Southerner
Who We Are
For over ten years, The Bitter Southerner has covered the American South with surprising untold stories about our region's people and places. Contributors to The Bitter Southerner live all around the globe, but most always have some tie to the U.S. South. Our editorial team is committed to amplifying a multitude of voices that make up the past, present, and future of this region and our country.
What We Publish
We publish The Bitter Southerner Magazine (three issues in 2024,) the BATCH podcast and stories online. We also publish books. Send us your stories in whatever form of media you are working. We want to read your written pitches but would also like to see your photo essays, listen to your audio projects, watch your documentaries, and more.
Our features typically range from 1500 to 5,000 words. Our longer features are our deeply reported stories with a strong narrative arc. We also publish personal essays, poetry, reviews, profiles, and opinion pieces. (Please submit a complete essays and poems for consideration.)
In your cover letter, tell us what you want to write and why you are the one to write it. If you haven’t written for us before, please send either a full draft or an in-depth, 350-word pitch outlining your approach to the story. Please also include links to your previously published writing.
Submission Guidelines and Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Every story we publish reflects its author's perspective or experience with the U.S. South — even if that perspective is from afar.
- In your subject line, please communicate what is unique about your story.
- Due to the high volume of pitches we receive, please allow up to 60 days for us to read your pitch. If you don’t hear back within 3 months, that means we won’t be able to publish your work.
- We are a general audience publication, please do not send academic essays.
- Few stories in The Bitter Southerner are "timely" in the way newspaper stories are. But sometimes, we publish pieces in response to current events. If you believe your story is time-sensitive — either as a response to a recent event or if it is linked to an upcoming event or milestone — write "TIME SENSITIVE" in the subject line. Keep in mind that for our magazine (where most of our features are published) we work several months in advance.
If you're pitching a written story, we prefer full drafts or pitches in the neighborhood of 350 words. Please ensure your pitch tells the editors:
- What your story is about and why The Bitter Southerner's audience would read it.
- Why do we need this story now?
- What makes you the one to tell this story?
- Please provide links to your website or previously published writing if you have them.