The Drift Magazine Is Accepting Literary Works/ How To Submit (Pay ranges from $25 to $2000)

Jun 19, 2023by Kelechi Okoro0

The Drift magazine, founded in June 2020, is all about culture and politics. Their aim is to introduce new work and new ideas by young writers who have not yet been absorbed into the media hivemind and do not feel hemmed in by the limitations of the existing discourse.

Their issues are published three times a year, they feature longform essays and cultural criticism, short fiction, poetry, interviews, dispatches, and extremely abbreviated reviews.

To learn how to improve your writing skills, read: 5 Tips For New Freelance Writers To Improve Their Writing Skills.

Literary Works Drift Magazine Focus On

Drift Magazine are more focused on literary works that include:

  • Socially engaged cultural criticism.
  • Class-sensitive analysis.
  • Pieces that point out what is being avoided or talked around in politics.
  • Media.
  • Arts or even academia.
  • Upbeat cynicism.
  • Un-self-serious screeds.
  • Generous takedowns.
  • Entries from the margins.
  • Fiction.
  • Poetry.
  • 1-3 sentence book/ movie/ TV/ art reviews.

What To Avoid

The Drift Magazine does not want anything that:

  • Toes a party line (any party, any line),
  • Highbrow name-dropping,
  • Straightforward longform reviews narrowly focused on a single book or movie,
  • Dispatches from The Right Side of History,
  • Finger wagging, false binaries,
  • Anachronistic historical critiques,
  • Thoughts on Heidegger, Nietzsche,
  • Foucault,
  • Hot takes on the latest 24-hour Twitter scandal,
  • Term papers (or anything that could conceivably be turned in as a term paper),
  • Marxist critiques culminating in statements about the base and
  • Superstructure and personal essays.

They also do not want anything related to quarantine diaries, Twitter feuds, whatever is on Netflix, baking, cultural appropriation, woke Hollywood, the “meritocracy,” and ivory tower critiques of meritocracy, wellness, Harry Potter as political intertext, friendly brands, performative pessimism, girlbosses, consumer guilt, the political and psychological effects of social media, cable news, lifestyle choices, contemporary fiction, and freedom.

Submission Guidelines

All works of fiction should be sent to: [email protected]. You can attach your work (no word limit) as a Word doc or pdf titled “lastname_firstname.”

All works of poetry should be sent to: [email protected]. You can attach up to six poems in a single Word doc or pdf titled “lastname_firstname.”

You can also propose mentions at: [email protected]. State the topic in the subject line. In the email body, include your name, relevant clips, and a draft of the review, which should be one to four sentences. The best mentions have a clear, narrow angle, make a few jokes, and land on a punchy kicker.

Pitch are accepted at: [email protected].

Unfortunately, they are not able to read draft nonfiction submissions. They work on essays often over the course of many months and several drafts, and they like to begin with a two- to four-paragraph pitch.

For advice, read their guide on writing an effective pitch. Please note that they read and respond to every pitch they receive, it may take them a bit of time to get back to you, but they will.

The Drift Magazine Payment

  • $2,000 will be paid for essays.
  • $500 – $1,000 for short stories.
  • $150 for poems.
  • $25 for mentions.

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