Your work is worth it.

Protean, despite its small, crowdfunded budget and rejection of advertising dollars, pays each and every one of its contributors on principle. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills, so we do our best to compensate freelancers fairly, offering the highest rates that we can afford. We do not expect contributors to work on spec. We pay in full on acceptance—not on publication.

So why don’t you send it to us? 

We accept both drafts and pitches on a rolling basis for our online content. However, as we are working with a limited budget, we must be extremely selective. Please read the following guidelines before submitting:

  • We do not have a submission fee.
  • Submit using the appropriate email inbox, as outlined below.
  • We publish work geared explicitly to the anti-capitalist left. Please take that into strong consideration when submitting.
  • We will always reject submissions with racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, ableist, or otherwise bigoted content.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine—just let us know.
  • We typically do not accept republications of written works. We make exceptions for poetry that has appeared on social media and unpublished excerpts from upcoming books (rights permitting).
  • All submissions (criticism, fiction, and poetry) should include a short bio, past bylines, and other relevant information in the pitch email. When pitching an article, tell us why you’re the right person to write this piece.
  • If your pitch is time-sensitive for any reason, please explain.
  • Our preferred format is a Word document (.doc) attached to your email. (Please don’t send work in .pdf format.)

Calls for submissions for our print editions will be announced via social media and a post on our website. Please do not submit for print unless there is an open call. All questions should be directed to

Critique, Essays & Reviews

If you’re interested in submitting criticism, news analysis, essays, or film or book reviews, send us your pitch or your work at Completed pieces should be sent as an attached .doc file. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.

We typically look for pieces longer than 1,500 words and no longer than 4,500. Rare exceptions can be made, so please explain if a longer length is absolutely essential for a proper treatment of the subject. However, in general, we would much prefer that your article falls within the above range.

The starting rate for film and book reviews is $175. The starting rate for criticism, news analysis, and essays is $200. We will offer increased compensation for pieces with longer word counts, or that require extra reporting and/or research. Rates are negotiable.

Fiction submissions are currently closed.

If you’re interested in submitting short fiction, send works to as an attached .doc file. Fiction pieces should be between 1,000 and 4,000 words.

The starting rate for fiction pieces is $100.

Poetry submissions are currently closed.

If you’re interested in submitting poetry, send as many as five poems in an attached Word document to Please include a short bio with bylines or details about you and your work. Simultaneous submissions are fine, as is work that has previously appeared on social media. Poems need not be explicitly leftist, but it’s preferable.

We pay $30 per poem. 

Art & Illustration

If you’re interested in contributing art or illustration to Protean Magazine, send a bio and a link to your portfolio to