The lifeblood of any magazine is the content and of course there is no content without contributors, so contributions will be valued. While it is important the contributor is happy with the final edit, submissions need to fall within some general guidelines and integrities.
Firstly, contributors will be voluntary, as we are just starting out and it will take time to secure sponsors or funders, but this will be a work-in-progress.
Whether you are an experienced journalist, amateur writer or just someone wanting to get your voice heard, you don’t need to be a professional. However, good punctuation, spelling and grammar are essential. Always edit thoroughly and fact-checking is crucial. If including web links for reference, always make sure they appear as hyperlinks within your copy – the editor can assist where practicable. Articles or stories will need to be within the deadline specified when aiming for a particular issue.
Pitches should be small paragraphs outlining an idea or existing article.
Tell us why you feel you are the best person to produce a piece and what type of content it is.
Please write a 1 to 2 line bio, so we can feature this when your name is clicked on your by-line as a valued contributor. If possible, please include any existing or published work with your pitch.
Don’t forget to include your phone number and e-mail address, so we can get back to you, whether interested or not.
Ideas or existing articles must be under-reported on the under-represented groups or communities we’re about. An alternative angle on a non-time sensitive news item is fine, provided you give background on the original story and it’s source.
Barriers to Bridges is about people and communities facing barriers – does what it says on the tin…
Therefore, fictional stories or technical articles on products will not work. However if a service or technology is being offered or featured, how they will benefit or enhance the lives of specific groups needs to be emphasised.
Never send just an article without the relevant pitch in the specified structure. If sending articles already written, they ‘must not’ be already published elsewhere and, only send as a word document attachment – the same applies for illustrations.
Send pitches to: email@example.com
Barriers to Bridges will take a no nonsense, nitty-gritty, punchy yet intelligent tone – few euphemisms will be necessary to “tell it how it is”. The overall persona of the magazine will think outside “the box”, as contributors will ideally seek to empower others, level the playing field of inequality or simply urge respect of situations or barriers faced. Articles may be challenging, as we are frank and forthright, yet factual and respectable.
Whether considered unpopular or a breath of fresh air, we challenge the social model of ‘dis-ability or other status quo trajectories, in line with our ethos and progressive framework.
This is a ‘person first’ publication where defeatist language such as, ‘the dis-abled in contrast to, ‘the abled’ will not be published. However, ‘people’ with additional needs or disabilities is fine in description and more empowering.
Afterall, it is the connotations behind labels which retract from someone’s identity, character or community. If those from BAME communities can be awarded as ‘people’ of colour, those with additional needs should be given the same respect as ‘people’ first.
We will especially welcome submissions which dare to tap into more taboo, less approached areas, such as mental health challenges or struggles with addiction.
As our writers and readership will inevitably generate serious, often sensitive content, a humorous and light hearted approach is always welcome – in these times people need to laugh and we all can laugh at ourselves.
Note: These examples are not exhaustive. The only examples found on the net of experiences written by people with additional needs were almost non-existent. There were plenty of academic and organisational formalised articles written ‘about and without’ people’s input or it was tokenistic at best – this has to change…
Any content published within Barriers to Bridges magazine needs to be, ideally written by, for and about any one of these groups/communities. Just proposing a purely political piece that has more-than-likely been covered elsewhere, is not what we’re about.
Target groups include:
‘People’ with additional needs; people who are homeless; poor or working-class; single parents; gender inequality; people struggling with addiction; people of colour; people with mental health challenges; people identifying as LGBTQ+ or those on the fringes of society, such as travellers or those living off-grid.
In short, anyone facing significant barriers affecting everyday life: general wellbeing; access to employment; access to community; access to buildings; at the receiving end of discrimination or prejudice. While we cannot solve issues highlighted, Barriers to Bridges will strive to either raise awareness or just bang the drum louder to draw attention to neglected sections of society – ultimately holding those in power to account.