General Information for all submissions
We are now accepting submissions for the fall 2020 issue and for future issues. Be sure to read the guidelines below before submitting your work!
- Writing (including essays, journalism, poetry, and short fiction)
- Artwork (including drawings, photography, and other visual art)
- Hybrid — (Graphic – Writing) and Other Types of Submissions
Sustainable Lehigh Valley serves as a forum for writers and artists to share their work and includes a directory of organizations and agencies that promote sustainable communities. Each year, we distribute about 6,000 copies at sustainability-related events and venues — and directly to people with an interest in sustainability, including students, faculty, and staff at local colleges & universities.
Note: With the Covid-19 pandemic taking place, we are planning on making adjustments to our distribution this fall, which may include printing fewer copies and providing wider access digitally (in PDF format). We plan to start publishing twice each year, so the total number of printed copies will not decline too much.
We invite all who work, study, or live in the Lehigh Valley (now or in the past), to contribute sustainability-related work to the Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet. Here’s your chance to share your work in a publication that thousands of people in the Lehigh Valley will see. (For the record, we cannot accept any work that promotes a business or partisan politics!) Please send any queries to SLVemail@example.com.
Come at it from whichever angle matches your passion…. humans have to draw their sustenance from where they live, without destroying that place.”
—The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, Sustainability, 2009
The Alliance has a broad view of sustainability that includes regenerativity — approaches that not only sustain where we are but promote self-sustaining healing processes. A more detailed explanation is outlined in our vision, mission, & goals. In the last few years, we have published essays on quite a variety of topics, including global warming, the climate emergency, healthy food (and its powerful connections to climate and health) education & schools, gender equality, militarism and war, the criminal justice system, and social justice & human rights. Take a look at this list of previous essay topics, see the Voices of the Valley section for examples, or check out our past Sustainable Lehigh Valley Booklet PDFs.
Stories are better than predictions: predictions tell us that the future is inevitable. Stories tell us that the future is up for grabs.”
—Cory Doctorow, in ‘Science fiction and the unforeseeable future‘
Poetry and short fiction can help people visualize reality and possible futures. Journalism features can help people see an in-depth picture that may well never appear in the mainstream media. Essays are a chance to show critical analysis and opinions. (For essays, we encourage an informal style to connect with the wide audience of people in Lehigh Valley communities.) In every case, we’re looking for something that relates to some aspect of sustainability and regenerativity.
Note: We welcome illustrations and drawings with written submissions!
Writing Submission Suggested Lengths:
- Essays: 750-900 words
- Poems: 1-2 pages / 30–60 lines (depends on line length)
- Features: 2-4 pages / ~800–1,800 words (depends on ¶ length)
- Graphic Essays, Short Fiction, Editorials, Hybrids: up to 4 pages (allowing for an illustration or two)
Note: We also publish selected work directly on this website in our Voices of the Valley section.
The printed booklet (except the cover) is in black & white, so pen-and-ink and charcoal are generally good, but some watercolors, paintings, photographs, & other types of images also work, even if originally created in color.
Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
Note: Our digital distribution in PDF format uses color images and will be used more widely for the Fall 2020 publication! Those selected for the booklet may be reproduced in black & white when printed (which might exclude certain images that don’t reproduce well in B&W).
Finished art size is usually smaller than the 6″x9″ page, but at times a full page may be available.
Continuous-tone and grayscale images should be at least 300 dpi; line art at least 800 dpi, although a vector file is preferable. (In most cases, a high-quality PDF will also work.)
Cover — The cover is printed in full color and should be designed to attract the eye and then to give some taste of the content. (If your cover art submission is not chosen for the cover, it may be considered for inside the booklet if it is suitable for black & white!)
Hybrid graphic-writing & other types of submissions
In addition to writing and visual art submissions, other submissions that combine both writing and art can convey an idea or message in a unique way by utilizing the strengths of both mediums. Hybrids could include submissions like editorial cartoons, comic/manga stylized works, graphic/animated short stories, etc. These could be both fiction or nonfiction.
Graphic novels are — at their best — an amazing blend of art, literature, and the theater of the mind.
This could include a wide variety of works, so we can’t write exact guidelines for each and every type of submission. Please contact us with a sketch or sample of what you have in mind.
Submissions may be edited for length or clarity. Of course, if this is the case, we will try to work with you as much as possible to maintain the original vision of your piece and so you don’t feel our edits detract from this.
Submitting Your work
All submissions must be in digital format and must include your name, address, and email address. (If your address is not in the Lehigh Valley, please also note your connection to the Valley — when you lived, studied, or worked here.) .
Additionally, along with your submission, please include the following in your email to SLVfirstname.lastname@example.org:
- A brief bio: please make sure to include an explanation about your connection to the Lehigh Valley. This should be no more than 50 words.
- How your work relates to sustainability.
- Where/how did you hear about the new booklet/Sustainable Lehigh Valley? Do you have any recommendations of where we should post the call for submissions or where we should distribute digital copies of the booklet once it is published?
- Do you have any thoughts on how we could improve the submission process? Were there any parts of it that were unclear or confusing?
- Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your submission?
Written Work must be submitted in digital form as an RTF, OpenOffice, Word, or plain text document.
Make sure the document includes your name, address, and email address. (If your address is not in the Lehigh Valley, please also note your connection to the Valley — when you lived, studied, or worked here.)
Art & graphics — Send us a sample showing the type of work you do or sketches of what you have in mind — these should be low-resolution JPEG, PNG, or PDF files. (If possible, include your name, address, and email address in the document.)
Final work should be in the form of a high-res JPEG, PNG, or PDF; vector art can be submitted as an SVG or AI file.
Editors’ decisions on all submissions are final. If you aren’t sure if your idea fits the guidelines, just ask!
Send all queries and submissions to SLVemail@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!