Mushrooms often appear when—and where—you least expect them. And mushroom magazines are no different. Stars and seasons are aligning, so keep an eye out: Mushroom People II is coming.
It’s hard to believe that Mushroom People appeared almost two years ago, after two years in the mycelial dark of making it happen, meaning that our editorial brains have been colonized by mushroom stories for more than four years now. (A new species: Cordyceps editoralis?)
We’ve been awed by the response: We’ve sold out multiple print runs, and the magazine keeps finding new audiences. MP Issue 2 has the potential to be even better, and that is where you—and your stories—come in. We’re looking for pitches on all things mushroom-y, very broadly defined, spilling out into entangled themes of nature, regeneration, and ecosystems, along with the people working to illuminate, restore, protect, and celebrate them.
As a refresher, in Issue 1 we covered:
Mycology 101 with a five-year-old mycologist / Amanita muscaria in folklore / Spore prints / Polyphony / Maria Sabina / Erowid’s crowd-sourced trip reports / Mushrooms in fairytales from around the world / Zoey Gong and mushrooms in Traditional Chinese Medicine / Your brain on psilocybin / Mycoastrology / Fruiting Bodies Collective / Nour Mbarak on making art that fruits / Long Litt Woon on mushrooms and grief / Fashion from the Telluride Mushroom Festival / William Padilla-Brown, citizen scientist / Collecting (and sharing) After the Rain, a mushroom perfume / Sexto, a Mexico City-based collective, on preserving traditional mushroom knowledge and culture / Mushrooms as counterculture, with a nod to The Mushroom at the End of the World / Toxins / On being decomposed by mushrooms
For issue two, here’s a short, sketchy, and very incomplete list of themes and inspirations we’re thinking about:
Thinking like a mountain (or a mushroom) / Donna Haraway + companion species / truffle hunting / animacy / What A Mushroom Lives For / holobionts / cordyceps + bug zombies / mushroom materials / The Nature Book / posthumanism / mushroom music / what makes a forest? / Ghost Music / fires and morels / lichens / Feral Atlas / slime molds / mushroom intelligence / people as mushrooms (remaking/restoring environments) / “The Erotics of Rot” / Paradise Rot / noble rot / mushroom dyes / boletes and trypophobia / houses shaped like mushrooms / Death caps / mushroom invasion / corals
Mostly, though, we can’t wait to hear from you, because that’s always where we find the magic. What mushroomy stories do you (or your friends) want to tell? Feel free to share this call far and wide, then send pitch emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be concise but complete, and please don’t send attachments; keep it all in the body of the email.
Pitches are due August 25th by 9:00 AM EST. Stories for Mushroom People 2 will be assigned by September 1, 2023. We pay all contributors; rates are negotiated when a piece is commissioned (rates typically hover around $0.40-0.50 per word, at a flat rate for word count). This is a longer open pitch call than usual (hello, summer!) but rest assured, we will read and respond to every pitch. We know it is not easy to wait, but there’s no need to follow up. We’ll be in touch!
Questions? Reach out to email@example.com
Lead image by Adrienne Kammerer for Mushroom People.