The American Humanist Association (AHA) launched a new project this week. Call for Voices, which strives to increase the visibility of historically marginalized writers, was piloted in 2020 by the Feminist Humanist Alliance and LGBTQ Humanist Alliance and will now be a part of the AHA’s ongoing programs. In the pursuit of promoting equity and adequate representation in the humanist movement and society at large, it is important to amplify the voices of the traditionally marginalized, in the media in this case, particularly with regard to matters of social justice. This is the second year of this program which will accept submissions through December 10, 2021; funding will be used until exhausted or renewed.
Longer submissions (3,000-4,000 words) will be considered for feature pieces within the print publication of the Humanist and will be compensated at a rate of $400. Meanwhile, shorter pieces (750-1,500 words) could still be included in the print publication or considered for theHumanist.com, and will be compensated at $125. This project is aimed at first-time writers who are looking to gain experience in pitching articles. In 2021, Call for Voices will accept approximately 15-30 submissions. The project values your labor, so if your accepted article does not run you will be paid a 20 percent kill fee.
This project first ran in 2020 with two articles selected to run on theHumanist.com. These articles touched on a variety of issues. One of the articles, Technology Is a Human Right by Rachel Cole, looks at the existing barriers in increasing technology accessibility and emphasizes the importance of prioritizing accessibility as our society increasingly moves online. Another article chosen for the project, Moving Monuments Less and Less Like Moving Mountains by Luciano Gonzalez-Vega, takes a critical look at the removal of confederate monuments from someone who lives in the southern United States.
Call for Voices is open to a large array of topics beyond those chosen in 2020. In addition to reporting and humanist perspectives on news, the program accepts pitches and articles on politics, social justice, technology, science, and culture. We also consider humor, poetry, and cartoons. If you aren’t sure about your article idea and want to find out if your topic will be accepted first before drafting anything, you can submit a pitch instead.
Writers can pitch an idea (one-two sentences or up to a paragraph in length) or send a completed article for consideration. Pitches should be accompanied by one or two clips (which can include blog posts, essays, or published articles). Please note that if Call for Voices expresses interest in a pitch, the article is “on-spec,” meaning no decision will be made on publication until the complete article is received.
“This program gives us the opportunity to spotlight an array of different voices,” commented the Humanist magazine and theHumanist.com editor Nicole Carr. “Both publications are always looking for fresh perspectives and chances to amplify diverse humanist viewpoints.” The Humanist magazine and theHumanist.com, publications of the AHA, have recognized that cisgender, straight, white voices dominate newsrooms and the media. The AHA hopes to better reflect the diversity of the humanist community and feature a greater amount of social justice-related content.
“In order to properly represent our community, we must feature the voices and stories of historically marginalized communities,” says AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “I’m looking forward to reading future submissions.”
The AHA is accepting submissions now and funding will be used until exhausted or renewed. Any questions regarding the application process can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read full submission guidelines and fill out an application here.
Review the Humanist magazine and theHumanist.com general submission guidelines here.