Hyphen has limited resources, but we can pay for in-depth, feature stories. We're looking for writers who can depart from the predictable daily-news structure and tell a story well, with keen observations and strict accuracy. We welcome investigative reporting as well as literary journalism, thoughtful pieces as well as tongue-in-cheek ones.
We've got a bit of a split personality, so we want both fun and serious writing. As long as it's well written and solidly reported, we're very open. Bonus points if the story takes place in the South or Midwest. Asian America doesn't exist only on the coasts, you know.
We are interested in issues that affect Asian Americans, but, please, no Asian American Studies 101. We are also interested in tangentially Asian American stories, in quirky stories, and in stories about emerging artists rather than established ones. We don't have many rules, but here are a few. Ignore them, and your submission will be rejected:
Craft proposals for articles that would interest our readers, provoke dialogue and enrich our readers' learning experiences. Articles must be jargon-free and attributable to unassailable sources. We frown upon clichés and embrace original thinking. We prefer articles rich in color and driven by narrative scenes.
Keep in mind that Hyphen readers range in age from early 20s to mid-30s, but they share an intellectual curiosity that was fused and fueled by their experiences as Asian Americans. This restless curiosity fundamentally shapes our consideration of articles for Hyphen.
As a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization, Hyphen has limited resources, but we can pay (an amount commensurate for a nonprofit) for in-depth, feature-length stories that can carry the theme for each issue. Unfortunately we cannot offer compensation for articles in other departments.
To submit an article query, send us a two-page proposal by email (preferred) or standard mail. The proposal should include the following:
1) An overview of the central message of the article you propose. Preferably three or four paragraphs — preferably anecdotal — that introduce us to your point of view.
2) Declare what is new, innovative, useful, counterintuitive, or controversial about the topic.
3) What are the implications both in the near and long term for Asian Americans and others?
4) Why are you proposing the article? How did you happen upon the topic?
5) How did you go about researching the topic? What further research must you do? Describe your sources or other connections.
6) How long do you propose the article will be?
7) What makes you uniquely qualified to write this article?
Please send submissions by email as a ".doc" attachment; the subject line should read "[Name of Department] Submission." All submissions should include the above proposal query. We will not read any submissions that do not meet these criteria.
Send your query letter, three clips and a resume to editorial(at)hyphenmagazine.com.
Pitches that don't follow steps 1 through 7 and include a resume and clips may not be read at all. We do read each correctly submitted query, but we may not be able to respond right away. In fact, it's rare that we respond quickly. All our staff are volunteers who work day jobs elsewhere, so please be patient with us.
Features: We want substantive, solidly-reported stories. These can be investigative pieces, or cultural explorations on Asian American issues, or issues that may not be specific to Asian Americans, but affect Asian Americans significantly. We'll also consider in-depth profiles and think-pieces. Politics. Business. Culture. Ethnography. No first-person. (Well, never say never, but trust us, it's a rare occurrence.) 1,000 to 2,000 words.
Food: We won’t just write about eating in restaurants, because food involves much more than that. Instead, we’ll focus on all aspects of the "food system:" the cultivating, harvesting, distributing, preparing, enjoying and disposing of food and its by-products. Along the way, we’ll want to introduce fascinating players in the Asian American food scene.
Film: We want to highlight new trends, indie filmmakers, Hollywood and how the nuances Asian American life are being portrayed in cinema of 800 to 1,000 words. We're also looking for reviews of DVDs of Asian American related movies.
Lazy Susan: In the front of our book, we report on topics that make light of the absurd and the not so absurd in a series of tightly written stories. We need stories that are smartly written, entertaining and enlightening. 200 to 500 words.
Music: We give ink to up and coming artists and their music through profiles, features and CD reviews.
Profiles and Q&As: Yes, there are Asian Americans who don't care about science and math! Interviews with artists, musicians, athletes, writers, actors, filmmakers, politicians and other people who don't have "Dr." in their names. 500 to 800 words.
Redux: See something in the media that pisses you off? An ad, magazine cover or TV show that made use of stereotypes? Sound off here on all those "American Beats Kwan" moments. Or, were you surprised by a positive portrayal? We're looking for careful analysis and fun, handy charts, not rants. 500 to 800 words.
Recipe: A step-by-step how-to on skills every Asian American should know. With photos or illustrations. Funny or tongue-in-cheek.
Hyphen is devoted to providing a venue for emerging and established creative writers who dare to defy and reinvent traditional genres and subject matter. We're seeking fresh voices and courageous perspectives, stories and personal essays that explore new pyschic landscapes, driven by language, humor, character and extraordinary details about the Asian American experience.
Creative writing has its own set of guidelines,
1) Send only your best, previously unpublished work. Asian American themes are not essential. We are much more interested in work that incorporates identity than in work that is about identity.
2) Please include a cover letter with your complete contact information as well as a third-person bio.
3) Attach your submission in MS Word or a text-only file as well as pasting the entire text into the body of the email. No snail mail submissions accepted.
4) Simultaneous submissions (when you send the same submission to several different editors) are OK as long as you let us know and notify us immediately when a piece has been accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are not OK (when you send more than one submission to the same editor); please wait to hear back before submitting again.
5) Reading period can be up to six months, since we publish only two to three times a year. We do not accept pieces more than six months in advance for an issue. If you have not heard back after six months, feel free to contact the editor.
Please note we cannot pay for work at this time, though all print contributors will receive copies of the magazine.
Fiction: We publish literary fiction of all forms. We generally do not accept novel excerpts unless they stand alone. Asian American themes are not essential though certainly welcome; strong writing and unique voice are considered first and foremost. Please note that stories may be considered for both print and web, unless otherwise indicated in cover letter. Send all fiction submissions (except contest submissions) to fiction(at)hyphenmagazine.com.
Poetry: We tend to like lyric and narrative poetry. Poems need not be about Asian American themes, although for print consideration, adhering to an upcoming issue's theme is a plus (though not necessary). Please send no more than five poems in a single file, up to ten pages maximum. Send poetry submissions to poetry(at)hyphenmagazine.com. Poems may be considered for both print and web, unless otherwise indicated in the cover letter. We generally publish one to two poems in each print issue, and up to one poem a month on the web. Submissions are currently open for Issue 28: The Future.
First Person (personal essay): Here's where you can talk about yourself. Blogs may be watering down the idea of personal essay, but we still want stories that convey the Asian American experience, be they funny, quirky, serious or all three combined. 500 to 1,000 words. Send First Person submissions to firstperson(at)hyphenmagazine.com.
Hyphen seeks talented photographers, illustrators and digital artists to fill our pages with daring, eye-popping artwork to accompany our articles. Ideas for photo essays are welcome. Send us links to online portfolios and websites so we can view your work. Contact: design(at)hyphenmagazine.com
Photo inquiries should go to photo(at)hyphenmagazine.com.
Or snail mail at:
17 Walter U. Lum Place
San Francisco, CA 94108
Please note that we cannot pay art contributors at this time. We strive to be supportive of all our contributors, but cannot do so in a monetary way at this time. Please accept copies of Hyphen and our gratitude.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!