Submission Guidelines


From September 15 to October 15, 2020, we are currently open to submissions for the following two areas:

Written: We’re looking for detective stories for an upcoming issue. Send us pitches (< 500 words) about your everyday mysteries, your unsolved cases, and the enigmatic nature of the world around you.

Visual: We’re kicking off our new reader-sourced Murmuration section this Spring 2021, and we need your help. Each season we’ll put out a call for photography in response to a specific theme, then pick our favorites to run as a group in a grid format at the front of the magazine. This time we’re looking for your best landscape photography. Submit 1-3 images, and if we select one, you’ll get a complimentary year-long subscription to Orion.

NOTE: We are not accepting general submissions in fiction, non-fiction, Lay of the Land, or poetry during this window.


Still have questions? Email us.



General Submission Guidelines

The editorial impulse of Orion lies at the nexus of ecology and the human experience. The magazine distinguishes itself from the din of common culture through its depth of inquiry, commitment to interdisciplinary thought, and an emphasis on insight and imagination alongside a big-picture approach to problem-solving.

Our feature stories typically range from 1,000 to 6,000 words in length, comprising and often combining a variety of genres and formats: essay, memoir, reporting, science writing, criticism, fiction, and comics. More than any particular angle or theme, we value work that expands or challenges our understanding of nature, culture, and place, reflecting thoughtful experience with diverse surroundings. 

Lay of the Land
Additionally, writers may submit their work to one of Orion’s two departments. The front-of-book Lay of the Land department features reports and dispatches from a revolving cast of writers that strive to decode the surprising, confusing, and endearing world we live in. Pieces are meant to be very accessible and personable and are no more than 1,000 words. Enumeration, a one-page column that closes each issue, takes the form of a clever, lyrical, humorous, inviting, and meaningful list about our relationship to the natural world, and is generally under 600 words.

Book Reviews
To submit a book for review consideration, please keep in mind we don’t typically review guidebooks, YA books, self-published books, or books that are not fairly current. Please familiarize yourself with Orion before suggesting or sending a book. Send books or book review pitches to: Kerri Arsenault, P.O. Box 96, Roxbury CT 06783

We are not reading poetry submissions at the moment. **Please do not send us poetry.** 

Photography and Visual Art
In addition to regularly featuring portfolios and photo essays, Orion accompanies most of its stories with bold and striking imagery. We are always curious to hear from artists whose work shares our concerns with nature, culture, and place. Artists are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with past issues of Orion before approaching us with portfolios. Though our catalog reflects a broad range of visual styles, most of the artwork in Orion maintains intuitive connections to the physical world. Correspondence should ideally link to a web gallery, lightbox, or shared folder. We prefer not to receive media submissions attached directly to emails.

Submissions, pitches, or inquiries can be sent to Sumanth Prabhaker,

The Fine Print

  • Writers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with past issues of Orion before approaching us with manuscripts. Another recommended option is to attend an Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop.
  • Orion is only able to consider manuscripts posted during designated submission windows.
  • Writers are limited to one submission per category, per window—additional submissions will not be considered.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions.
  • Because all submissions are reviewed twice over by a team of editors, it may take us up to six months to respond. In the meantime, we are unlikely to have an answer to inquiries about the status of submissions. We appreciate your patience as we get to know your work!
  • Whenever possible, please use our online submission system – it’s free and easy to navigate. The online submission system eases communication between Orion’s offices, allowing your work to be read by as many editors as possible.
  • Still have questions? Email us.