Aim For the Stars at Orion

Susan W. ClarkGreen Writer Marketplace

By Susan W. Clark

Since Orion Magazine was launched in 1982 it has been, according to the Web site, “…a forum for thoughtful and creative ideas and practical examples of how we might live justly, wisely, and artfully on Earth.” This magazine is an ideal fit for green writers.

Each issue glows with artwork, including a portfolio of “…powerful visual images that blur the boundaries between the human and the natural…” The layouts are generous with white space, and include a lavish selection of full-color photographs. But–and here’s the surprise–this publication is ad-free. Yes, no advertising.

Orion Magazine reinvented itself in January of 2003, dropping a theme-focused special section and becoming a bi-monthly blend of the former Orion and Orion Afield. The most recent issue, as I write this, includes work by Wendell Berry, James Howard Kunstler and Barry Lopez. Don’t let the big names deter you. According to the Web site the magazine regularly works with new voices as well.

The magazine’s publisher is The Orion Society, a non-profit organization that hosts workshops, sells books and takes environmental concern into the world with hands-on projects. This organization also pays its contributors fairly well, offering from $400 to $1,000 for features, with department pieces paying up to $300.

The Sacred and Mundane (S&M) and Groundswell sections are recommended for writers new to Orion, with the former paying from $25 to $50 for 200 to 600 words. Only completed manuscripts are reviewed for S&M. Groundswell pieces can run from 1,500 to 4,500 words focused on groundbreaking contributors to social and environmental change.

Please note that while e-mail queries are accepted, articles cannot be sent electronically. Be prepared to wait four to six months for a response and, as always, be sure to study the publication before submitting a query. Orion’s Editorial Guidelines are available online under “About Orion Magazine” at the Web site (orionmagazine.org). Orion is clear about not wanting phone calls, so please honor this request. We owe it to ourselves as writers to present editors with work that shows we’ve respected their time and their preferences.

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

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