Founded in 2013, Belt Magazine is known for compelling longform reportage and poignant personal essays covering the Rust Belt, the Industrial Midwest, the Great Lakes Region, and Northern Appalachia. We believe in quality over quantity and community over analytics, and we’re dedicated to publishing thoughtful, nuanced writing by the region’s best writers—both new and established.
Here’s how to pitch and submit:
We publish original reportage in the range of 1,200-3,000 words—though we’ll bend those numbers for the right piece. We’re partial to stories with a compelling narrative and a strong sense of voice (don’t be shy about using the first person). Successful pitches will include a sense of any major narrative(s) and characters in the story, why it matters to Belt’s readers, who you are, why you’re the right person to write the piece, and how you plan to go about it. Pay can vary based on length, scope, and amount of reporting involved.
Send pitches, plus 2-3 clips of your best work, to email@example.com, with the words “STORY PITCH” in the subject line. Please do not send attachments in your initial email.
We publish first-person essays on life in the Rust Belt and northern Midwest that resonate with a regional audience. We’re looking for work that expresses what reporting can’t, that narrates an experience, event, or aspect of life in a personal way. Our favorite essays balance lively prose with nuance and emotion—think sentiment, not sentimentality. We’re open to some reporting here; the line between features and essays isn’t hard and fast.
Send completed essays to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the words “ESSAY SUBMISSION” in the subject line. Please also include a brief cover letter, with a short synopsis of the piece and a bit about yourself and your connection to the subject, in the body of your email. If you’ll be doing any reporting, outline that too.
We’re interested in poems with a strong sense of place, or poems that touch on an experience or feeling that will resonate beyond the author. Please submit up to five poems at a time to email@example.com, with the words “POETRY SUBMISSION” in the subject line. Please include a short cover letter introducing yourself and your connection to the region.
We’re looking to increase our storehouse of Rust Belt and industrial Midwestern recipes! Special Jell-O Desert, Ambrosia, City Chicken, Kielbasa – send it all our way! Recipes should include a brief introduction.
Photo Essays ($250-$500):
Please send images, along with an introduction or captions/descriptions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the words “PHOTO ESSAY SUBMISSION” in the subject line. Please also include a brief cover letter, with a short synopsis of the piece and a bit about yourself and your connection to the subject, in the body of your email.
Additionally, every story should convey something meaningful about life in the region, engaging the complexity and vibrancy of its subject. We’re especially interested in work that touches on one or more of the following themes: the environment/environmental justice; immigration/migration; arts and culture (broadly defined); housing and urban development; poverty and inequality; and industrial and post-industrial economies.
Belt pays for all original content. Checks will be sent no more than two weeks after publication. Women, writers of color, LGBTQ+ writers, Native/Indigenous writers, and writers of all abilities are strongly encouraged to pitch and submit.
Currently Belt is closed for submissions and will only be accepting stories or commentary concerned with breaking news.