OtherwiseMag is presently closed for submissions. Any submissions and queries received during this time will not be read.
Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to reading your work when we reopen submissions on 17 January 2024.
What we publish
We publish five stories every four months. Single stories will be featured for three weeks on our frontpage and then as part of a trimesterly collection on our website. Articles in Otherwise are published under a Creative Commons license.
We publish stories that speak the language of lived experience. This may be a biography, a portrait, an event, a situation, a historical moment, or an encounter. We expect stories to achieve depth, have narrative coherence, and take readers on a journey that deepens understanding and solidarity.
We urge our authors to tell stories that are dialogic, multivocal and multicentred. We oppose modes of storytelling that perpetuate othering narratives.
We accept submissions in a wide range of formats, including, but not limited to, short stories, long reads, biographical accounts, ethnographic descriptions, ethnography-based fiction, poetry, visual essays, graphic novels and collaborative storytelling.
We welcome writing and visual essays that are grounded in social encounters, experiential knowledge, research, or activism.
We invite authors to be reflexively aware of their positionality, respectful of manifold forms of diversity, and radical in their imaginations of the possible. Ultimately, we want stories to remind us that society could be otherwise.
Otherwise is currently run through the volunteer work of its editors. We will provide advice and suggestions on the writing and narrative but, at this stage, we won’t be able to offer substantial copy-editing assistance.
We look forward to reading your stories.
Short stories and long reads
Authors are invited to submit an original, hitherto unpublished story. We accept short stories (up to 2000 words) and long reads (up to 5000 words).
We welcome already completed submissions and will aim to complete an initial review of submitted stories within two to three months. We also welcome approaches from writers pitching an as yet unwritten story. In this case, we ask authors to share a 500-700 word draft for short stories and 1500 word draft for long reads, with a brief optional cover letter (no more than 500 words) reflecting on the story they wish to tell. In this case, we will reply to authors with an initial review within a month.
We strongly recommend authors include at least one and if possible three to four photos or original art as part of the final version of their published story. Authors must hold the copyright to the images or have been granted permission by the copyright owners to use the photos.
Submission guidelines for stories
We accept short stories (up to 2000 words) and long reads (up to 5000 words). If submitting a pitch, please provide a 500–700 word draft for short stories and 1500 word draft for long reads, with a brief optional cover letter (no more than 500 words) reflecting on the story you wish to tell.
Please send your completed story or pitch as a Word attachment to: email@example.com using the subject line: SUB. Cover letters can be attached as Word documents or included in the body of the email. We welcome any formatting as long as it is legible.
We look forward to receiving poems that emerge from everyday experiences, ethnographic engagements, and autobiographical reflections. We welcome diverse creative voices, recognized and emerging writers, and a variety of poetic forms and genres.
Please send us a poem of your choice as a Word attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line: SUB_ Poetry. If you want, you can include a short personal bio (up to 150 words). Otherwise is an English language online magazine, but we welcome translations and multilingual poems.
Visual Essays & Graphic Novels
We welcome visual essays and short graphic novels, which we consider an alternative yet powerful mode of ethnographic storytelling. We look forward to creative and visually compelling pieces that explore the everyday through a self-reflexive and/or ethnographically engaged lens.
We accept visual and graphic pieces in a variety of formats such as photography, short films and documentaries and comics strips as well as illustrations (standing alone pieces or a series of illustrations), which follow a clear narrative line and unravel the complexities of everyday life. You are free to play with text and visuals; we do not want to constrain the potentially infinite combination of words and images: any experiment is welcomed as long as it creates a balanced storytelling where the textual does not oversaturate the visual and the visual does not act as just a para-textual accessory.
We especially look forward to challenging and uncanny experiments with the graphic medium and the comic format.
Please send your visual and graphic works to email@example.com using the subject line: VISUAL. Cover letters can be attached as Word documents or included in the body of the email. We welcome any formatting as long as it is legible.
Please send us your field recordings and sound recordings as a .mp3 or .wav files as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line: SOUND.
Audio submissions should be no longer than 10 minutes. Please provide a brief cover letter (no more than 500 words) that can be attached as Word documents or included in the body of the email.