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Call for pitches for CHINATOWN
C153 (Winter 2022)
Guest Edited by Steph Wong Ken

Chinatowns are complex sites—of joy, community, celebration, inheritance, and resistance. Formed by East Asian immigrants in the 1800s, they acted as cultural enclaves, providing housing and protection, as well as social, financial, and emotional support. Over time, they’ve evolved into tourist destinations while at the same time serving as living spaces for long term residents, who have created deeply embedded networks and a lineage of place-based experiences. Chinatowns also have a long history of displacement and of resistance to this removal, a tension that still exists today. Continuing a legacy of discrimination, the rise of anti-Asian racism and violence since the beginning of the pandemic has further endangered the livelihood and safety of these spaces and their occupants. This issue will explore artistic practices and related bodies of knowledge that respond to the sustainability of Chinatowns across Canada and beyond, exploring the intersections, complexities, and embodied experiences that define them. How can the arts foster intergenerational relationships and learning from community elders? What does it mean to cultivate a space shared by visitors and residents that represents the visible, invisible, and opaque? How do artists reconcile their roles as racialized settlers in the process of place-making? How is gentrification and displacement affecting Chinatowns differently from other types of neighbourhoods? How are artists tapping into archival practices, inherited knowledge, and technology to explore the past, present, and future of Chinatowns?

Thematic feature, artist project, and column pitches accepted until July 13, 2022. We suggest pitching early to avoid disappointment. Review pitches, which are not required to be thematic, are accepted on a rolling basis.

Call for pitches for
REVIEWS
Ongoing

We publish print and online reviews of exhibitions, publications, moving image works, performance artworks, symposia, and other projects sited in Canada, outside of Canada, and online. Reviews cover subjects that have occurred within three months of the pitch for an exhibition, performance, or symposium, and within two years for publications and moving image works.

Online:
325-375 words. Flat rate of $175. We welcome work from anyone anywhere, but are currently especially keen on reviews that address things happening outside Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Writers may submit pitches or completed texts.

Print:
800-1000 words. Flat rate of $360. Writers may only submit pitches.

How to Pitch:
Send pitches to pitch@cmagazine.com, with a subject line that starts with the word PITCH and goes on to indicate the submission type (review, essay, interview, One Thing, for example). In your pitch include ~150 words about your subject and how you'll approach it, including hyperlinks wherever relevant. An estimated word count is appreciated. If you have not written for us recently, include a link to your website—or a copy of your CV—and one or two writing samples (ideally ones written in a style similar to your pitched piece). Submitted work must be original; we do not publish reprints nor adaptations of any kind.

Thank you for understanding that we are unable to reply to unsuccessful pitches.

Please see below for descriptions of the content types, and our detailed writing guidelines.

Recent call for pitches—Grief.


INFORMATION FOR WRITERS

C Magazine welcomes writing on contemporary art and culture that is lively and rigorously engaged with current ideas and debates. C is interested in writing that addresses art and its various contexts, and looks at trends and emerging perspectives through a mix of editorials, columns, in-depth essays, interviews, artist projects and reviews. We accept pitches for features, artist projects, reviews and columns.

Each issue includes articles and reviews commissioned directly by the editors, as well as pieces originating from unsolicited pitches. We accept pitches on an ongoing basis up until the deadlines indicated for a particular Call for Pitches (and on occasion, after the deadline). We may have already fully commissioned the issue before a pitch deadline, so please write to us as soon as you can if you're working on an idea you'd like us to consider. With the exception of short online reviews, we do not accept unsolicited, completed manuscripts.

Writers' Fees:
We pay all contributors a minimum of 35 cents/word, and 40 cents/word for essays and columns.

Living Style Guide:
Final submissions of content should generally conform to the Canadian Press Style Guide, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the Oxford Dictionary.

In acknowledgement of the ways that orthographic conventions have the potential to perpetuate colonial thought, expression, and ways of knowing, C Magazine maintains a Living Style Guide. While the Canadian Press Style Guide, Chicago Manual of Style, and Oxford Dictionary inform our editorial work broadly, this guide allows for a more porous, sensitive, and receptive approach to the politics of language as they continually evolve. In many instances, we’ve opted to establish looser baselines, which function as entry points for conversations with our authors. We remain open to feedback about this process and the choices that follow from it.

CONTENT TYPES

Features:
Feature texts (essays, interviews, roundtables, experimental texts) necessarily explore some aspect of the issue's theme and focus on concepts and ideas in visual art and culture, especially of lesser-examined practices, positions and perspectives.

1,200 – 3,500 words, accompanied by a series of images.

Artist Project:
The Artist Project provides an opportunity for emerging artists to explore, experiment, and grow within the site-specific parameters of the magazine format. Each is curated by a guest curator who commissions a new work, writes the accompanying text, and hosts a public program with the artist. Curators begin new working relationships, receive editorial support, gain insight into magazine production, and expand their thinking about the possibilities of print. Spanning the first six and last two pages—effectively bookending each issue—all the projects engage with the issues’ respective themes and encourage each artist to harness the generative tensions inherent in the uniquely public/private nature of the magazine as an object.

Curators may submit proposals to commission new work, providing the name, website, and a brief statement of rationale for each artist they'd like to work with. The curator may not propose working with an artist they are already actively working with for another platform.

The Artist Project is supported by RBC for issues 151, 152, and 153. According to RBC, "emerging" is defined as: being between the ages of 18 and 35; being in the early stages of their career, usually within the few first years of pursuing a career in their field; self-identifying as emerging; being enrolled in, or having recently graduated from, a related degree/diploma program; being involved in their creative community; having not yet been showcased beyond their primary country of residence; having a small history of presentation or publication.

Reviews:
We publish reviews of exhibitions, publications, moving image works, performance art and symposia, and various alternative platforms for the dissemination of artworks and critical ideas. Each issue’s set of reviews reflects the diversity of art practice within Canada, and among Canadian artists writers and curators, and their international collaborators, worldwide.

Reviews cover events that have occurred within four months of the pitch submission for an exhibition, performance, or symposium and within two years for publications and moving image works.

Online: 325 – 375 words, with multiple images.
In print: 800 – 1,000 words, accompanied by a single image.

Letters:
Each issue features a small selection of letters to the editors (and to C Magazine readers) printed at the front of every issue. Letters engage the previous issue—its theme, articles, images—and related things beyond the magazine’s pages. They may be informal, informative, creative, inquisitive, speculative, critical, or any other number of things imaginable in the epistolary form. The column is intended to create space for dialogue on and around contemporary art, and to continue conversations between issues, themes and writers.

Letters are selected for publication from those submitted and may be edited lightly for length and clarity. An honorarium will be paid to each writer whose letter is selected for print.

200 – 400 words.

Composition:
A space for creative writing practices that are adjacent to art writing, but which may engage or address the forms, styles and contexts of it.

800 – 1000 words.

One Thing:
As the name suggests, this column gives the writer an opportunity to indulge the contours of one specific thing—an artwork, memory, garment, text, encounter, film, person, object, building, historical event, etc.—in relation to the given theme. The thing likely has, or has had, some kind of impression, effect or pull on the writer or their practice, either in a longstanding, deep way, or in a fleeting, flash-in-the-pan way. This column makes space for curiosities, obsessions and musings on things that productively complicate our notion of what constitutes thinking about art, and allows the writer to explore things that aren't beholden to the "new."

700 - 900 words, accompanied by a single image.

Tilling:
This column is a dedicated place to focus in on individual and organizational efforts being made in the name of equity within the Canadian arts community, acknowledging that this work is freckled with missteps, disappointments, failures, surprises, joys, and teachings. We’re looking for run-downs on specific initiatives, projects, and programs, to see how they’re shaking out—in the attempt to invite more complexity, sensitivity, and nuance to this crucial discourse. Consider this a place for deep, substantiated writing on specific case studies by folks supporting the development of more just infrastructures.

1500 words.


WRITING GUIDELINES

We’re looking for original insight and analysis into ideas and practices within contemporary art as they relate to culture at large, and not exclusively in relation to art history or specialized debates.

We’re interested in the institutions and social groups that make up and exert influence in the art world, such as galleries, residencies, audiences and critics, as well as those contexts the art world engages with and integrates. These include social communities, physical geographies, the economy, systems of communication, and everyday practices as basic as working, eating, thinking, bathing and breathing.

STYLE

Strive for a careful integration of description and informed analysis. The ideas should be apparent in the work itself. While we like submissions to be idea-driven and to include endnotes when needed, avoid lengthy discussions of academic theory, and also avoid including more endnotes than absolutely necessary.

Avoid academic formalities, such as “I will argue that…” or “in summary…” as well as didactic phrasing like introducing sentences with “compare” or “consider.” Strive for prose that is lively and engaging.

Don’t use lots of complicated jargon. While our readers are sophisticated, they come from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, and don’t all have the specialized knowledge that you may have. Write in an accessible, compelling manner, for an educated audience.

Use plain language as much as possible, avoid complicated sentence structure, and vary sentence length.

Avoid the use of clichés and generic concepts, as these often masquerade as critical content. It isn’t enough to say that an artwork “addresses global inequalities” or is “revolutionary” without explanation. And avoid using overused and meaningless adjectives like “groundbreaking,” “whimsical” or “transcendent.”

All drafts should be written as cleanly as possible, with attention to structure, organization and grammar. We will reject submissions that require more editing than our resources allow, and writers will not be eligible for a kill fee if the work does not meet our minimum standards. 

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

  • Being employed by or sitting on the Board of Directors of the museum, gallery, festival, publisher, or entity presenting the subject under review.
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  • Being the curator of the subject under review, or curating a forthcoming project of the artist(s) under review that will be publicly mounted in the six months immediately following the publication date.
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  • Being represented by the entity presenting the subject under review (ie. artist by gallery, author by publisher, filmmaker by production company).
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  • Presenting any public programming related to the subject under review.
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  • Writing for any other publication about the subject under review.
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  • Being a significant collector of the artist’s work. 
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  • Being related to the artist(s) or curator.
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  • Taking payment, or making non-remunerative gains in any form from the artist(s), curator, or presenting entity, including having your travel expenses paid for, in exchange for reviewing the subject.

Given the significant social and professional interconnectedness of the Canadian artworld, there may be grey areas around these matters. If you’d like to discuss a potential conflict of interest, you’re welcome to write the Editor at editor@cmagazine.com. Exemptions may be made at C’s discretion.

C Magazine, established in 1984, is a contemporary art and criticism periodical that functions as a forum for significant ideas in art and its contexts. Each print issue explores a theme that is singularly engaged with emerging and prevailing perspectives through original art writing, criticism and artists’ projects. Our content focuses on the activities of contemporary art practitioners residing in Canada and Canadian practitioners living abroad—with an emphasis on those from Black, Indigenous, diasporic and other equity-seeking communities—as well as on international practices and dialogues. We are committed to facilitating meaningful, pluralistic, interdisciplinary, historically-engaged and imaginative conversations about art.

C Magazine acknowledges that the majority of discourses pertaining to contemporary visual art have been informed by Western European thought, values and practices. The inclusion of perspectives from diverse groups is central to the vitality of contemporary art, art criticism, its communities and more broadly, society. In all of our activities, we aim to challenge historical bias by empowering voices from the diverse art communities and equity-seeking groups we serve, including Indigenous, persons of colour, deaf, mad and disabled, 2SLGBTQIPA+, early-career and regional persons, without barriers or discrimination. Please see our Accessibility and Equity Policies

C Magazine is published three times each year in February (Spring), June (Summer), and October (Autumn) by C The Visual Arts Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization established to present ideas, advance education and document contemporary visual art and artist culture.

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