General Information for all submissions
Next issue: As a result of the extremely-high cost of paper at this time — almost double last year’s cost — we have decided to publish the print edition annually, unless we are able to secure additional funding. Depending on the number of submissions, we may publish a digital-only PDF edition in the fall.
There is no set deadline, but submissions are reviewed in the order received.
- Writing (including essays, journalism, poetry, and short fiction)
- Artwork (including drawings, photography, and other visual art)
- Hybrid — (Graphic & Writing) and Other Types of Submissions
- How to submit your work (including optional online submission form)
Sustainable Lehigh Valley serves as a forum for writers and artists to share their work and a source of information and insight for readers throughout the Lehigh Valley — and, via the digital editions, a much wider area. It also includes a directory of organizations and agencies that promote sustainable communities. We have distributed up to 6,000 copies per year of the 6″ x 9″ booklet at sustainability-related events and venues — and directly to people with an interest in sustainability, including students, faculty, and staff at local colleges & universities.
“This is wonderful! … I would love to be a part of it again in the future.
We invite all who work, study, or live in the Lehigh Valley (now or in the past), to contribute sustainability-related work — but we are open to submissions from outside the Valley too. (We send copies of the print edition to all whose work is included!)
Here’s your chance to share your work in a publication that thousands of people in the Lehigh Valley area will see. We send copies of the print edition to all whose work is included! (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 looks for systemic solutions and emphasizes 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. For examples, take a look at the Voices of the Valley section or check out our past Sustainable Lehigh Valley Booklet PDFs.
By submitting your work, you give the Alliance the right to publish it in the Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet and/or on our website.
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,
‘Science fiction and the unforeseeable future‘
Poetry and short fiction can help people visualize and grasp reality and possible futures, and journalism features can help people see an in-depth picture that may 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 a 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.
General guidelines on length:
- Essays: 800–900 words; up to 1600 words may be considered
- Poems: 1 or 2 pages, usually no more than 30–60 lines
- Feature stories – 900–1600 words (with images if appropriate)
Actual limits depend on paragraphing and writing style, and editors’ decisions are final. Submissions may be edited for length or clarity. Of course, we will try to work with you to maintain the original vision of your piece.
Climate change and other aspects of sustainabilit can be woven into your work easily — see Clean Energy Stories.
Note: We welcome illustrations and drawings with written submissions!
Note: We also publish selected work directly on this website in our Voices of the Valley section.
Our digital distribution (in PDF format) uses full-color images. The printed 6″ x 9″ booklet generally has a limited number of pages in color to keep costs down.
Images 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). Pen-and-ink and charcoal are generally effective, but some watercolors, paintings, photographs, & other types of images also work, even if they have to be presented in B&W.
Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.“—Bertolt Brecht
Finished art size is usually smaller than the 6″x9″ page, but at times a full page may be possible.
“Thank you so much! It’s beautiful!”
For initial submissions, please send a low-resolution version or photo of your work — if selected for publication, we will need a higher resolution. Continuous-tone and grayscale images must 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 designed to attract the eye and to give some taste of the content. (If you submit work for the cover art, it may be considered for inside the booklet if it is suitable!)
Hybrid (graphic & writing) submissions
In addition to writing and visual art submissions, we accept submissions that combine both writing and art; such as editorial cartoons and comic- or manga-style work, which could be either fiction or nonfiction. We think these styles can be effective for some narratives and feature stories.
Graphic novels are — at their best — an amazing blend of art, literature, and the theater of the mind.—John Ridley
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.
How to Submit Your work
All submissions must be in digital format and must include the following:
- Your name, address, and active email address
- A brief bio of up to about 25 words.
- If your bio does not make clear your connection to the Lehigh Valley, add an additional statement explaining it.
- A brief statement of your thoughts about your work and its relation to sustainability.
For writing submissions, include this information at the end of the same document as the written work itself; for visual and hybrid submissions, include a separate text file with your submission.
If there is anything else you’d like us to know about you or your work, include it with your submission — and, if you can, please help us with the following:
- A note about how you heard about Sustainable Lehigh Valley
- Any recommendations for other locations where we should post the call for submissions
- Any thoughts on how we could improve the submission process.
- Any thoughts on where we should distribute the print edition when it is available
Written Work must be submitted in digital form as an RTF, OpenOffice, Word, or plain text document.
Photos, drawings, and other graphic content – please submit a sketch, photo, or low-resolution version as a JPEG, PNG, or PDF file. If accepted for publication, we’ll request a high-resolution version via email.
Double-check to make sure your submission includes all required information!
By submitting your work, you grant the Alliance the right to publish it in the Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet and/or on our website.
If you aren’t sure whether your work fits the guidelines, just ask! Send all queries to SLVfirstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!
[updated May 2023]