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Absinthe Contributor Guidelines

The Design Matters With Debbie Millman podcast begat Design Matters Media LLC, an independent creative enterprise launched by a small group of longtime collaborators.

Design Matters Media begat a new online magazine and printed annual venture that will be launching soon. We’re hoping your creativity will beget the next great read, and are currently on the hunt for fresh writing, visuals and voices. Before diving into what we’re seeking, please give our mission statement a read.

Welcome back! 

So. How do we plan on executing said mission? Here are a few broad strokes of the content we’re looking to feature:

  • Essays and Manifestos

  • Visual Essays

  • Journalism and Narrative Nonfiction

  • Art

  • Design

  • Poetry

  • Short stories

  • Criticism

  • Portfolios

  • Data Visualization

Here are specific recurring departments you can submit to (more will be posted soon):

  • Open Letters: This department is just that—an author riffing on a topic of their choice in epistolary format. It could be a wild screed. A zen reflection. A call to arms.
    A veritable peace dove. It's entirely up to you.

  • All the Things That Make It Worth Being Alive: Reflections on a Bodega, a Song, a Meal, a Piece of Art, Etc. … When we devised this project, Steven Heller described it thusly: It’ll focus on, simply, “all the things that make it worth being alive.” So this essay section features an author expounding upon an element of just that.

Here are a few areas where you can submit existing creative work:

  • Hellerama: In which design critic Steven Heller fixes his gaze on art, design, books, events, typography … and the universe at large. If you’d like to send something in for consideration on Hellerama, please email Steven Heller.

  • Rejected! This column features brilliant work that was rejected that, well, probably
    shouldn’t have been. It takes on a variety of forms: design, illustration, writing, art and
    more. If you’d like to send something in for consideration, please email Zachary Petit.

  • Design Matters Book Club: Publishers! Authors! We’re perpetually on the hunt for
    stimulating excerpts from forthcoming books. Do contact us.

  • Additionally, we have a roster of columnists who explore design, travel, sex, food and
    other topics. If you think your project would fit in one of their wheelhouses, please reach out to us and mention which one.

… And finally, here’s how to submit, in general:

For nonfiction article pitches, please email Zachary Petit a detailed description of what you would like to write about, including a proposed word count and sample images whereverpossible.

For fiction, essays and poetry, please send Zac the completed piece alongside a brief

… And yes. We pay money for things. Not an intense wealth of money for things, but money for things, nonetheless.

Let’s create something together.

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