C Magazine is accepting pitches for features and reviews for Issue 148 (Winter/Spring 2020).
Feature and Column Deadline: September 30, 2020.
In light of the sea changes over the past six months, we’re issuing a rare call for pitches that doesn’t lead with a theme. Rather than trying to cast ourselves into the beginning of next year, and sliding a fully formed concept across the table, we’re opting for a listening process, giving our contributors a chance to tell us what they want to give life to in this time of trenchant irresolution. Below is a set of questions that reflect some of the thinking, conversations, link-sharing, and sparks flying among our editorial team and advisory. We look forward to seeing what a more open-ended prompt culminates in at this unparalleled time of close, careful, and critical examination—of our selves, of our practices, of our relationships, of our environments, of our fields, of our societies.
How does uncertainty (re)model our priorities? How do new demands for plasticity in all our activities fundamentally challenge the idea of planning, of working, of art-making? How has the widespread slackening of the capitalist clock transformed our understandings of what we’re doing and what’s being done to us? How has this enforced chapter of pause allowed us to see the trouble, wealth, and wonder that stirs behind frantic facades? How have recent events forced us to reconsider the ages-old tension between art and politics? Which artistic-activist discursive modes from days past are still relevant, and which no longer serve us? How do we cope with the low-lying, persistent thrum of destruction? What’s hope? What’s doom? What’s giving in, what’s putting up a fight, and what’s it like to oscillate between these states? How are artists digesting, translating, and re-mediating data, hard facts, and statistical information in ways that productively complicate its reception and produce new meanings? Not merely from numbers to what numbers imply, but to the ways our internalizations of such material (re)shape our realities. How do such works externalize, engage, or elide politics? Dovetailing from something the writer, artist, musician, and astrologer Johanna Hedva wrote recently in an essay about the artist Patrick Staff—“Sometimes I think that the history of the world is the history of trying to cope with this thing called the body”—how does the body figure in? Where does the mind go when the body encounters new restrictions? What are some ways to honour the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of those who have prevailed despite the neglectful norms of ableist culture? How are concepts of care, transformative justice, and healing (rife in art speak) actually activated in art communities and institutions (or not)? How are we establishing new protocols with which to deal with conflict in the attempt to stop perpetuating harm? How has mass vulnerability refashioned our ideas about punishment, whether in the justice, medical, or legal systems, or in the art world? In the words of the poet CA Conrad, “what kind of fear stands in the way of love?” Where do we go from here?
Feature, artist project, and column pitches due by September 30. We are also accepting review pitches until Oct 10.
Send pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a subject line that starts with the word PITCH and clearly indicates the submission type (essay, interview, One Thing, Composition, for example) and subject. Please see below for more details.
INFORMATION FOR WRITERS
C Magazine welcomes writing on contemporary art and culture that is lively and rigorously engaged with current ideas and debates. C is interested in writing that addresses art and its various contexts, and looks at trends and emerging perspectives through a mix of editorials, columns, in-depth essays, interviews, artist projects and reviews. We accept pitches for features, artist projects, reviews and columns. See below for details on each.
If you are interested in writing for us, please send us a pitch with a subject line that starts with the word PITCH and clearly indicates the submission type (essay, interview, One Thing, Composition, for example) and the subject. Pitches are sent in the body of an email and must include a description (max. 250 words) of your proposed contribution, the artists and artworks you plan to write about (with hyperlinks, where relevant), what ideas or issues you plan to explore, and intended word count.
Include a link to your website—or, in the absence of a website—a copy of your CV and one or two writing samples (ideally ones that have already been published, and written in a style similar to your proposed piece). Email all pitches to Jaclyn Bruneau, Editor at email@example.com. Submissions are vetted by the editorial team.
Note: Each issue includes articles and reviews commissioned directly by the editors, as well as pieces originating from unsolicited pitches. We accept pitches on an ongoing basis up until the deadlines indicated above (and on occasion, after the deadline). We may have already fully commissioned the issue before the pitch deadline, so please write to us as soon as you can if you're working on an idea you'd like us to consider. We do not accept unsolicited, completed manuscripts.
We pay all contributors a minimum of 35 cents/word.
Living Style Guide:
Final submissions of content should generally conform to the Canadian Press Style Guide, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the Oxford Dictionary.
In acknowledgement of the ways that orthographic conventions have the potential to perpetuate colonial thought, expression, and ways of knowing, C Magazine maintains a Living Style Guide. While the Canadian Press Style Guide, Chicago Manual of Style, and Oxford Dictionary inform our editorial work broadly, this guide allows for a more porous, sensitive, and receptive approach to the politics of language as they continually evolve. In many instances, we’ve opted to establish looser baselines, which function as entry points for conversations with our authors. We remain open to feedback about this process and the choices that follow from it.
Feature texts (essays, interviews, roundtables, experimental texts) necessarily explore some aspect of the issue's theme and focus on concepts and ideas in visual art and culture, especially of lesser-examined practices, positions and perspectives.
1,200 – 3,500 words, accompanied by a series of images.
Each issue includes one commissioned artist project which engages the site-specificity of the magazine’s format in some way. Each artist project is accompanied by a commissioned text by a writer selected by the artist(s) and/or Editor. The project spans the first six and final two pages of the magazine (including a page for the accompanying text), although we are open to discussing other possible formats. While artist projects are often solicited by the Editor, we do welcome and consider all submitted proposals. We only accept proposals for the creation of new work.
We publish reviews of exhibitions, publications, moving image works, performance art and symposia, and various alternative platforms for the dissemination of artworks and critical ideas. Each issue’s set of reviews reflects the diversity of art practice within Canada, and among Canadian artists showing internationally.
Reviews cover events that have occurred within three months of the pitch deadline for an exhibition, performance, or symposium and within two years for publications and moving image works.
800 – 1,000 words, accompanied by a single image.
Each issue features a small selection of letters to the editors (and to C Magazine readers) printed at the front of every issue. Letters engage the previous issue—its theme, articles, images—and related things beyond the magazine’s pages. They may be informal, informative, creative, inquisitive, speculative, critical, or any other number of things imaginable in the epistolary form. The column is intended to create space for dialogue on and around contemporary art, and to continue conversations between issues, themes and writers.
Letters are selected for publication from those submitted and may be edited lightly for length and clarity. An honorarium will be paid to each writer whose letter is selected for print.
200 – 400 words.
A space for creative writing practices that are adjacent to art writing, but which may engage or address the forms, styles and contexts of it.
800 – 1000 words.
As the name suggests, this column gives the writer an opportunity to indulge the contours of one specific thing—an artwork, memory, garment, text, encounter, film, person, object, building, historical event, etc.—in relation to the given theme. The thing likely has, or has had, some kind of impression, effect or pull on the writer or their practice, either in a longstanding, deep way, or in a fleeting, flash-in-the-pan way. This column makes space for curiosities, obsessions and musings on things that productively complicate our notion of what constitutes thinking about art, and allows the writer to explore things that aren't beholden to the "new."
700 - 900 words, accompanied by a single image.
We’re looking for original insight and analysis into ideas and practices within contemporary art as they relate to culture at large, and not exclusively in relation to art history or specialized debates.
We’re interested in the institutions and social groups that make up and exert influence in the art world, such as galleries, residencies, audiences and critics, as well as those contexts the art world engages with and integrates. These include social communities, physical geographies, the economy, systems of communication, and everyday practices as basic as working, eating, thinking, bathing and breathing.
Strive for a careful integration of description and informed analysis. The ideas should be apparent in the work itself. While we like submissions to be idea-driven and to include endnotes when needed, avoid lengthy discussions of academic theory, and also avoid including more endnotes than absolutely necessary.
Avoid academic formalities, such as “I will argue that…” or “in summary…” as well as didactic phrasing like introducing sentences with “compare” or “consider.” Strive for prose that is lively and engaging.
Don’t use lots of complicated jargon. While our readers are sophisticated, they come from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, and don’t all have the specialized knowledge that you may have. Write in an accessible, compelling manner, for an educated audience.
Use plain language as much as possible, avoid complicated sentence structure, and vary sentence length.
Avoid the use of clichés and generic concepts, as these often masquerade as critical content. It isn’t enough to say that an artwork “addresses global inequalities” or is “revolutionary” without explanation. And avoid using overused and meaningless adjectives like “groundbreaking,” “whimsical” or “transcendent.”
All drafts should be written as cleanly as possible, with attention to structure, organization and grammar. We will reject submissions that require more editing than our resources allow, and writers will not be eligible for a kill fee if the work does not meet our minimum standards.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
- Being employed by or sitting on the Board of Directors of the museum, gallery, festival, publisher, or entity presenting the subject under review.
- Being the curator of the subject under review, or curating a forthcoming project of the artist(s) under review that will be publicly mounted in the six months immediately following the publication date.
- Being represented by the entity presenting the subject under review (ie. artist by gallery, author by publisher, filmmaker by production company).
- Presenting any public programming related to the subject under review.
- Writing for any other publication about the subject under review.
- Being a significant collector of the artist’s work.
- Being related to the artist(s) or curator.
- Taking payment, or making non-remunerative gains in any form from the artist(s), curator, or presenting entity, including having your travel expenses paid for, in exchange for reviewing the subject.
Given the significant social and professional interconnectedness of the Canadian artworld, there may be grey areas around these matters. If you’d like to discuss a potential conflict of interest, you’re welcome to write the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exemptions may be made at C’s discretion.
C Magazine, established in 1984, is a contemporary art and criticism periodical that functions as a forum for significant ideas in art and its contexts. Each print issue explores a theme that is singularly engaged with emerging and prevailing perspectives through original art writing, criticism and artists’ projects. Our content focuses on the activities of contemporary art practitioners residing in Canada and Canadian practitioners living abroad—with an emphasis on those from Black, Indigenous, diasporic and other equity-seeking communities—as well as on international practices and dialogues. We are committed to facilitating meaningful, pluralistic, interdisciplinary, historically-engaged and imaginative conversations about art.
C Magazine acknowledges that the majority of discourses pertaining to contemporary visual art have been informed by Western European thought, values and practices. The inclusion of perspectives from diverse groups is central to the vitality of contemporary art, art criticism, its communities and more broadly, society. In all of our activities, we aim to challenge historical bias by empowering voices from the diverse art communities and equity-seeking groups we serve, including Indigenous, persons of colour, deaf, mad and disabled, 2SLGBTQIPA+, early-career and regional persons, without barriers or discrimination. Please see our Accessibility and Equity Policies
C Magazine is published three times each year in February (Spring), June (Summer), and October (Autumn) by C The Visual Arts Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization established to present ideas, advance education and document contemporary visual art and artist culture.