Call for Pitches for COMMUNITY
C149 (Summer 2021)
Accepted until: January 31, 2021
In 2020, questions around “community” in the art world were supercharged. While artists and arts workers have always been influenced, inspired, and supported by the communities of which they’re part, in the face of a global crisis, everyone was forced to consider the role of art therein, and understand the sector’s inseparability from issues of healthcare, housing, food safety, fair wages, and safe working conditions, among others. The art world—comprised as it is of many sub-communities, each with its own mores, codes, and rules of engagement—saw folks out at marches, ad hoc Instagram art auctions crop up to funnel money to communities in need, and non-profit arts organizations encourage their audiences to donate to social justice projects. At the same time, however, in light of forced gallery closures and ensuing financial burdens, many institutions chose to cut staff in areas of public programming, education, and outreach—in essence, the very people responsible for strengthening the connective tissue between “the community” and the institution. With the mass uptake (however meaningful) of equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives—including the embrace of practices that aim to disinter forgotten histories and renovate the canon—many curators, programmers, and organizers have realized the need to look beyond familiar contexts. Some have found that essential contributions to community-centred work lie just beyond the line that delineates “the art world” from “the rest of the world” and many others have spent their entire practice straddling this border—or rather, in the rich terrain that has been perceived as one. The work here might take shape as “outsider art,” traditional craft practices, DIY aesthetics in the name of activism, or the work facilitated by community arts organizations—which have previously been kept at arm’s length from contemporary art, and even snubbed. Is the wall between so-called high art and community practice slowly dissolving? How are those new to this blurring reckoning with it, and how might a pursuit of its affordances change the fabric of art as we know it?
Feature, column, and review pitches accepted on a rolling basis until January 31. We suggest pitching before then to avoid disappointment.
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.