Minnesota Women’s Press is a mix of the work of professional writers/reporters and readers who have first-person stories to share. Some of the most poignant writing comes from women who might not have writing experience, but have personal life stories to share. Each issue includes stories from an intersectional and intergenerational range of storytellers.
Each month has one umbrella theme, and a few special sections. We include only stories that fit into those themes.
The underlying theme in 2020 is that we are all connected in a universal ecosystem. How is our community leadership reflecting that vision? How are powerful, everyday women helping us to stop destroying/ignoring parts of the whole? How are we connecting around collaborative and communal vision? How do we do better when we all do better? What are actionable steps, and ways for readers to interact?
Our team, with input from community, discussed 30 themes and we have settled on these topics for 2020:
|Jan.||Origins||The starting points of people’s stories (e.g. immigrants), roots, planet/universe.
Special sections: Camp, Education & Lifelong Learning, New Year
|Feb.||Taste||Food & Fashion, ecosystem of our sustenance, varied images of beauty.
Special sections: Health & Wellness, Money & Business, Pets
|Mar.||Money Matters||Pioneers in making women’s worth work for all.
Special sections: Camp, Elder Care, Spirituality
|Apr.||Innovators||Women in trades and STEM, artisans, MWP’s anniversary.
Special sections: Celebrations, Home, Green
|May||Song of Life||All music and movement, voice and instrument.
Special sections: Kids.
|June||The Binary||Ways we polarize into “this or that” rather than recognizing the spectrum that we are.
Special sections: Elder Care, Pride, Travel
|July||Ecosystem||A deep dive into the interconnected ecosystem of our planet including the strengths of the green economy.
Special sections: Health & Wellness, our annual Readers Recommend survey results (postponed from May due to COVID-19)
|Aug.||Body & Soul||Conversations about embodiment, health, aging, ableism — and the value of our bodies and soul.
Special sections: Education & Lifelong Learning, Travel, Pets, Buy Local (moved from July)
|Sept.||Community Activism||Stories about rebuild and restore efforts in the Twin Cities; the ways that women organizers have created collective responses to unrest, inequities, and policy needs; and the “pleasure activism” principle of the positivity in building community relationships
Special sections: Elder Care, Spirituality, Annual Directory of Women-Friendly Businesses
|Oct.||Gatekeepers||The restrictions around who can and cannot access resources — financial, health, policy-making — and how women are working to change that picture.
Special sections: Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness, Money & Business, Vote
|Nov.||Being Whole||Mind, spirit, soul — restoration, rejuvenation, self-care, sexuality.
Special sections: Pets, Giving, Holiday
|Dec.||Changemakers||Our annual honor of 10-12 Changemakers as nominated by community.
Special sections: Holiday, Spirituality
All story ideas can be sent to email@example.com with “Story Idea” in subject line.
Payment: To keep our costs low, as a free publication, we do not typically pay for reader-submitted essays. We rarely run stories that promote a person’s business or book/product, but when we do because they tie into an existing theme, we don’t tend to pay for those as part of a mutual benefit to the individual’s work. We pay an average of 20/cents word to reporters and writers we have assigned to a story, which tend to run from 500 to 800 words. We always welcome contributors to our Storytelling Fund (and temporary COVID-19 Local News Fund) to enable us to pay more writers in our communities.
Deadline: We decide on the story mix for an issue two months prior to the issue, with stories due no later than 6 weeks prior to the issue date (roughly by the 20th), so we can do photo shoots, copyediting, fact-checking, and design no later than the 10th of the preceding month.
We feature regular sections that tend to follow the theme of the month. Find past stories here on the website to give you a better sense of how you might position your story idea according to the categories we tend to focus on.
News & Activism: Action, Equity, Ecosystem, Politics/Policy. Action includes insights about how to make change happen in the community, complete with next steps. Up to 600 words.
Community: Adventure/Sports, Arts, Education, Food, Greater MN, Indigenous, Identity, LGBTQ+, Money/Biz
Self: Ages/Stages, Books, End of Life, Family/Home, Health/Healing, Sexuality, Spirituality, Trauma
P.O.V.: Our Tapestry items, Perspective columns, Editor’s Letter, letters to the editor. Tapestry is designed for readers to contribute to the topic-of-the-month in short form. Submit artwork, infographics, or thoughts of roughly 300 words related to the monthly theme to firstname.lastname@example.org; to be considered, send by the 5th of the previous month (i.e., March 5 for April issue). Our editor’s letter tends to give a prompt for inspiration on future themes.
Letters to the Editor
Do you love or hate something we published? Whether you’re giving kudos or reading us the riot act, please share your views on anything we’ve published recently by writing a letter to the editor. Limit your letters to 150 words, and include your first and last name, city of residence, and a daytime phone number where you can be reached; email to email@example.com with LETTER in the subject line. These are made available only online.
The following guidelines were created to help you prepare your essay or letter for publication.