Since the Chicago Review of Books is dedicated to making the literary conversation more inclusive, we want to include more than just books in our definition of literature.
To do that, we’re looking for new writers in the focus areas below.
Please note that as of October 2017, we’re all still volunteers. We are optimistic about securing funding next year when we transition to a nonprofit organization. Until then, we obviously recommend writers get paid for their work whenever possible: here’s a good list of paying outlets. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to serve as a launching pad for writers looking to add bylines to their CV en route to paying gigs.
If you’re interested in one or more of the new focus areas below, send us an email at chi review of books at gmail dot com, and be sure to include the focus area in the subject line. Any links to writing samples will help your case immensely, even if they’re hosted on your own blog. We’re particularly interested in hearing from writers of color and LGBTQIA writers!
Just want to write about regular old books instead of these new options? That’s cool, too! We’re always looking for new reviewers, interviewers, and essayists. Drop us a line.
If you’re new to covering arts and culture, please note that in many cases, you’ll be reading and writing about things before they’re released to the public. That way, we can publish your articles right when the thing you’re writing about debuts. Don’t worry, we’ll help put you in touch with media companies to obtain advance reading/listening/viewing privileges reserved for the press.
Also note: We don’t currently cover self-published titles. And we always screen for conflicts of interest, so please don’t pitch your college roommate/boss/sister-in-law’s project!
Comics, Graphic Novels, and Graphic Memoirs
Want to make sure the whole world knows about that new exciting series from Image or Dark Horse? Do you have strong opinions about the latest trend at Marvel or DC? Or maybe you want to explain why everyone should read Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This or Lucy Knisley’s Something New?
While there are plenty of media outlets devoted to comics, we think they deserve more coverage in literary venues. Help us bridge that gap. Note that unlike book publishers, most comics ARCs are digital-only, so make sure you’re comfortable reading them via electronic means.
Feel free to pitch a specific forthcoming title or two you’d like to cover. For the most part, we’re not looking for reviews of individual issues, but story arcs are fine, as are trade paperbacks, graphic novels, and graphic memoirs. Here are a few pieces we like:
- Interviews with writers and artists, like this one with Marjorie Liu
- Broad takes on a series, like this analysis of Monstress
Narrative Podcasts, Audio Dramas, and Audio Documentaries
With the recent launch of Tor Labs and the success of Welcome to Night Vale, Lore, S-Town, and other podcasts, it’s pretty clear that audio-based stories are here to stay. Feel free to pitch a specific series or two you’d like to cover. We’re not looking for episode-by-episode recaps or reviews, but here are some pieces we like:
- Broad takes on a new series, like this piece and this piece on Steal the Stars
- Interviews with creators, like this one with the Black Tapes crew
Literary TV and Film Adaptations
There are so many great literary screen adaptations on the horizon. On film, we’ve got Annihilation, A Wrinkle in Time, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Ready Player One, and Bel Canto (!) to name a few. On TV, there’s a new Philip K. Dick anthology series, Castle Rock, The Haunting of Hill House, and more Margaret Atwood on the way. Feel free to pitch a specific forthcoming or ongoing series you’d like to cover. We’re not looking for episode-by-episode recaps or reviews, but here are a few pieces we like:
- These takes on The Handmaid’s Tale at Electric Lit
- Interviews with writers about their adaptations, like this one
- Seasonal appraisals like this take on Daredevil Season 2
Literary Stage Adaptations (in Chicago and New York)
Yes, plays are literature, too! While we’d love to cover plays in general, for now we’re just interested in plays based on books that are running in Chicago and/or New York City. The one exception to the book rule is Shakespeare. We’ll always cover a good Shakespeare. Feel free to pitch a specific forthcoming production; we can help connect you with the theatre for a press pass during previews or rehearsals. Here are a few pieces we like:
- This comparison of the Goodman’s 2666 play vs. the book
- This review of the Steppenwolf’s East of Eden adaptation
- This review of Chicago Shakes’s Taming of the Shrew
Novellas (Both Standalones and Companions)
“But…those are books, Adam.” Yes, they are, but they don’t get the same media exposure as a traditional-length novel. What am I talking about? Tor.com Publishing’s excellent novellas, like Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series. FSG’s companion novella The Strange Bird, a digital follow-up to Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne.
Feel free to pitch a specific forthcoming title or two you’d like to cover. Please note that novella review copies are sometimes only available digitally, so make sure you’re equipped and comfortable with reading them that way.
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