General Information for all submissions
We are now accepting submissions for the spring issue and for future issues. Be sure to read the guidelines below before submitting your work!
NOTE: To ensure your work can be considered for the spring issue, we urge you to submit as early as possible. If we are unable to accept it for the spring issue, we will consider it for the following issue.
- 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 (includes online submission form)
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. We have distributed about 6,000 copies per year 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, which will include printing fewer copies and providing wider access digitally (online and in PDF format). In addition, we will be publishing twice each year.
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 SLVfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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 this list of previous essay topics and 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, in ‘Science fiction and the unforeseeable future‘
Poetry and short fiction can help people visualize reality and possible futures, and 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.
General guidelines on length:
- Essays: 800–900 words; up to 1500 words may be considered
- Poems: 1 or 2 pages, usually 30–60 lines
- Feature stories – 900–1500 words; with photos or drawings 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 as to maintain the original vision of your piece.
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 booklet (except the cover) generally has been in black & white to keep costs down. (We are working to see if we can have limited color within the printed booklet.)
Images selected for the printed 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 originally created in color.
Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.
Finished art size is usually smaller than the 6″x9″ page, but at times a full page may be available.
If selected for publication, 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.
(For initial submissions, please send a low-resolution version or photo of your 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.
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, include an additional statement explaining this — when you lived, studied, or worked here..
- A brief statement of your thoughts about your work and its relation to sustainability.
For writing submissions, this should be in 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 the new 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 copies of the booklet once it is published?
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-solution 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 your work fits the guidelines, just ask!
Send all queries to SLVemail@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!
[updated January 2021]