The Oxford American is an original. The mag is dedicated to a variety of writing — essays, memoirs, fiction and narrative non-fiction, all focused on the South. It’s also 100 percent freelance written. A “short” piece for the mag runs around 2,000 words, which is especially refreshing in an era when word count seems to be shrinking at an alarming rate.
Every section of the book is open to pitches. As assistant editor Maxwell George says: “We publish compelling narratives artfully rendered. It’s all at once down-home and cosmopolitan, cheeky and cultured, straightforward and cunning, just like the spirit of the South itself.” As for what kind of writing the editors want:
Because Oxford American favors narrative essay, short fiction and long-form journalism, beautifully written content is held at a premium. A new front-of-the-book section called “Points South,” comprised of short, dispatch-themed pieces, runs around 2,000 words. It’s an entryway for a lot of new voices coming into the mag, George adds. Freelancers may be asked to write pieces on spec, and because the OA has a reputation for harvesting great new talent (and some really good stuff from not-so-new talent, too), there’s a chance another publication will purchase its pieces and reprint them elsewhere.
For editors’ contact info and more, read: How To Pitch: Oxford American.
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