FOLKLIFE is a semi-annual lifestyle print magazine that focuses exclusively on perspectives of life on the Gulf Islands on the west coast of Canada.
FOLKLIFE features are more than your average dose of 'what's happening'. They’re about lifestyle: how people live and why they live that way. These profiles must be specific—they are snapshots of our subjects' lives. Ideas may, for example, draw upon a unique detail—such as a mug, a morning routine, a memento, an insight, a recipe—and expand on it. Think Humans of New York, where ordinary people share a facet of their lives that connects because of its broad appeal and relatability. Or perhaps a journey through finding an activity such as tarot or paint making or sustainable entrepreneurship. If you can’t imagine someone across the province, country, or border being interested in your story idea and the details within it, then it will not fit FOLKLIFE.
FOLKLIFE is aimed at educated, outdoorsy, creatively minded readers over the age of 30 who are interested in slow living content they can’t find anywhere else. Our pages celebrate and connect people who are living simply, beautifully, and creatively. It’s about life as an art form, illustrated in each issue by engaging interviews, well-crafted stories, striking photos, tasty recipes, and inspiring artwork.
Submissions should, in some way, project the FOLKLIFE ‘personality’—romantic, daring, friendly, curious, smart, voyeuristic, cute, serious, visionary, irreverent, inclusive, compassionate.
Our typical readers are concerned about the future of our planet, curious about the ways of their neighbours and other world citizens, and interested in what strangers have done to be where they are now. They are likely to buy local art and food, and to enjoy off-the-beaten-path travel.
They’re city folk who dream of escaping a blueprint world or rural dwellers already thriving in lifestyles built around ‘intentional’ decisions. That is to say, mindful choices aimed at living differently in a fast-changing world.
Our best writing is unflinchingly honest and never too-cool-for-school. It should welcome readers in with sharp-eyed, forward-thinking, poetic, and challenging perspectives and narratives. Ideally, stories should make readers want to engage their families and friends, saying, “Hey, you need to check this out, it’s really inspirational / funny / gut-wrenching / creative / surprising / offensive / forward-thinking / activating.”
Along with writers, photographers and illustrators should also look for what’s a little out of leftfield, providing bold, edgy, smart, quirky, quality imagery that readers can linger over and love. Again, if you can’t imagine a deeper resonance for your idea it probably won’t fit with FOLKLIFE.
Finished work and pitches are equally welcome from contributors. When you send us a pitch, please consider including clippings and/or portfolio samples of your previous work, should this apply. As a general rule features should aim for about 750 words, unless by prior negotiation.
Do you accept queries? I have a really good idea but I’m not sure if I should write an entire article for submission.
If you’re unsure about taking the time to write an entire piece, it would be best to read FOLKLIFE to familiarize yourself with our publication. If your idea seems like a fit, we’d love to review a submission from you. While we are currently critiquing ideas, they are just critiques. We cannot review your piece for inclusion until we read the final draft.
I wrote a piece that has already been published, that I think would be a great fit for FOLKLIFE. Do you accept previously published material and simultaneous submissions?
Absolutely on both counts! If your piece is accepted elsewhere, we appreciate you letting us know where and when, and if it has been previously published, please also list the details. Submit away!
Can you tell me why my piece wasn’t accepted? Or give me feedback on my piece?
We cannot guarantee publication of your piece due to many factors. It may not make it into our pages due to the overall space, variety, quality of work, differentiation from other elected content, deadlines, and readiness of article. Or we may just wish we could add 20 more pages to fit in all of the wonderful pieces submitted. We regret that we may be unable to provide feedback. Our team is small and we are using our time as wisely as we can to create the magazine. Perhaps seek out writer’s groups to share your work and get feedback, and of course continue to create and share with us!
Do you have a current theme I can consider?
We do currently base our editions on themes, however, they can change during the production of the edition, so while we'd love for you to consider our current theme when submitting (you can always shoot us an email to find out what it is), it doesn't necessarily need to fit the theme.
Email submissions and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include relevant details in a standard word doc attachment, including low-res jpeg attachments, pdfs, and/or links to websites, flickr, or similar file-sharing sites, where applicable.
When writing a piece for FOLKLIFE, please use our in-house style guide.