Submissions

In addition to the contributions of our staff, Eleven-ThirtyEight is proud to feature a large, diverse assortment of guest contributors, and is always open to hearing from new voices.

Pieces typically fall under two categories: op-eds (800-1500 words), and features (1500-2500 words). There are no hard and fast rules for either category, and word count targets for any given submission are set on a case-by-case basis. As a general matter, aiming low is recommended—1000 concise and compelling words are always preferable to 2000 rambling and repetitive words.

With that said, prospective contributors are strongly encouraged to send brief pitches (meaning fewer than 100 words) rather than completed drafts. Ideas are rarely rejected outright but we will often suggest reframing a pitch in one direction or another to better align with what we do here, so writing something in advance is a good way to waste your time.

What We’re Looking For

Eleven-ThirtyEight’s founding intent was to chronicle the Disney era of Star Wars from an Expanded Universe-conversant perspective—as such, familiarity with the material now known as Legends (and a facility for discussing the distinctions between that material and the new canon) is welcome but by no means necessary. Likewise, while the canon films and publishing are a major focus of the site, no element of the franchise or fandom is out of bounds—in fact, the less we’ve covered a given area, the more we’re interested in doing so.

That mentality applies to the site as a whole; we’re especially interested in big-picture analysis from perspectives that aren’t normally part of the conversation—and that goes double for fans from underrepresented populations. Analysis is great, but analysis with an underlying point of view is better.

Far and away the most important factor in deciding what we publish is tone—we love new, surprising ideas as long as they’re presented in and open-minded and nuanced way, and not dismissive of opposing viewpoints. “Negative” pieces are the exception, but aren’t out of the question as long as they maintain a sense of perspective (this is Star Wars, not public policy). Before making contact, interested writers are strongly encouraged to read our About the Site page closely and browse some of our existing articles for a better idea of the type of content we do here.

What We’re Not Looking For

  • List/Countdown articles
  • Pure retrospectives, with rare exceptions—“forward-looking” is a key term
  • Pieces focused specifically on Legends material, per the above

While pieces discussing Star Wars fandom and fan phenomena are not in and of themselves unwelcome, note that we try to be exceptionally mindful of who’s doing the talking—critiquing a given group of fans from outside said group is almost never a good idea. If you have a critique to offer, consider whether you can make the same argument by advocating for a good thing instead of tearing down a bad thing.

If you have a piece about how Disney and/or Kathleen Kennedy and/or the Story Group and/or feminists and/or SJWs have ruined Star Wars, keep walking.

How To Submit

Pitches should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief at cooper at eleven-thirtyeight dot com (you can also PM CooperTFN at the Jedi Council Forums if you’re a member there) and should consist of four things:

  • “Eleven-ThirtyEight” in the subject line
  • a short paragraph explaining the premise of the piece, and, crucially, the points and/or conclusions you intend to make—if you’re not making any, why does the piece need to exist?
  • the intended length of the piece, roughly
  • a plausible first and last name you wish to be credited as—you may use a pseudonym, but things like “John Doe” and “DarthVoluminous2000” will not be permitted

The EIC will respond personally to all pitches one way or another, typically within 3 days—though this may change in the future.

Lastly, note that we have a fixed schedule and open spots can appear intermittently; the time between the conception of a piece and its publication is typically 2-3 weeks, but there are exceptions on both ends. On the plus side, this means that deadlines are generally very flexible. We look forward to hearing from you.

2 comments

  1. JPD says:

    Do you consider (for publication), vaguely academic analyses, deconstructions, investigations and explorations of the saga and/or single films from a cinematic studies-type P.O.V, or even a ancient mythology / modern mythology approach?

    (I am a professional filmmaker, a writer/director with an award-winning short and a first feature film (also an award-winner, and film festival favorite, which was picked up for distribution in the US and Canada; I have also worked — i.e.. as a paying job — as a film critic for a major metropolitan newspaper.)

    • Mike Cooper Mike Cooper says:

      We don’t typically do analysis for its own sake, but I’m open to it as a vehicle for advancing some sort of larger idea—“what X tells us about Y, and why that’s important”. As a recent example, this piece began life as a critical analysis of a short story. I was interested in what it was about the story that made Abigail want to delve that deeply into it, and it turned out that we had a difference of opinion that I really found interesting, so that became the skeleton of the article, while still allowing her to break it down critically.

      In other words, what I look for up front is a clear and interesting thesis statement—what’s driving your analysis? What do you want people to take away from it? If you have good answers for that than I’m interested. Relevance is also a factor; I tend to view the original trilogy as analyzed to death already but new takes on the sequels are strongly encouraged.

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