• Invisible Women

Call Out for Writers

Want to write for us?

Every month we publish a Spotlight article - a lovingly researched, in-depth profile of a female filmmaker. We try to write pieces that place these filmmakers in historical context, and that serve as bite size works of cultural criticism/revisionist history, with appeal beyond a cine-literate audience. You can see examples here.

These spotlights are sent out via our newsletter to our subscribers, and shared via our Instagram and Twitter. At the moment, we (Rachel & Camilla) write all the editorial we publish on our website, but we want to experiment with opening up space for guest writers. We want to share the small but passionate audience that we built up over the past couple of years, and provide a platform for emerging writers to write pieces about the filmmakers and films who matter to them. We particularly want to open up space for queer writers, writers of colour and writers living with a disability as these voices are generally underrepresented in film criticism.

Commissioned articles will be paid for (£100 per article).

This pilot is supported by Neon Books’ Creative Activity Micro-Grant Initiative.

What is a Spotlight?

Our Spotlights are passionately written, accessible and well researched articles which explore the life and work of a female filmmaker from the archives.

Our definition of an archive film is any piece of moving image media (short film, feature film, television, commercial or art film) that is older than 10 years old.

So far, the majority of pieces have been straightforward works of biography and criticism which focus on one filmmaker - like this piece on Ngozi Onwurah, or this piece of Jenny Gilbertson.

Sometimes we stretch our definition of film to talk about wider cultural history - see this piece on Leontine Sagan and the legacy of Madchen in Uniform.

Sometimes we talk about a group of filmmakers/a movement - see this piece on female filmmakers in 1970s Hollywood.

We are open to flexible definitions of what a Spotlight article could be - feel free to pitch an idea about one filmmaker, many filmmakers, a movement or a socio-cultural moment.

Your article must have a connection to archive film. It must also centre (in some way) the films of a female identifying/gender fluid or non-binary filmmaker.

What do we want?

  • Writers who can offer an original, personal and/or expert perspectives on their subject

  • Well researched pieces with plenty of sources (e.g. links to online articles, screening links etc.)

  • An accessible writing style (we don’t want a dry academic approach)

  • Writers who can do something that we can’t - e.g. perspectives from other countries, languages & cultures, cultural criticism grounded in lived experiences beyond our own, access to archive films that are rare or hard to get hold off

  • We are flexible on wordcounts, but we are looking for approx 800-1200 words per article.

What are we offering?

To kick off, we will be commissioning two articles from two different writers. Depending on timings we would like to publish one in December and one in January to coincide with our monthly newsletters, but we are flexible on this.

If your pitch is accepted, we will agree to a deadline for the first draft. When we receive your first draft we will work with you on shaping and editing your article. This will be a supportive, light touch editing process - we don’t want to mould you so you sound like us, we want to help you read like the best version of yourself.

Each writer will be paid £100 for their work. We will pay this fee immediately upon agreeing a final draft of the piece and receiving an invoice. This is just a trial run and if all goes well we hope to secure further funding and offer larger fees/more opportunities in the future.

How to pitch

Your pitch should be one or two short paragraphs (max. 500 words approx)

  1. Give us a brief outline of your idea

  2. Tell us what/who you would write about, what your angle would be and why you are the right person to write this article.

  3. Make sure your pitch is entertaining, original and reflects your writing style.

  4. Include a brief bio telling us who you are and what films you love

We are not looking for very experienced writers and you do not have to have been published before. We want this opportunity to be a stepping stone for someone trying to find their way into film writing.

However, we do need a sense of your writing style so please share one or two samples with your pitch. These can be blog posts, articles, reviews or any kind of culture writing. It can be attached as a link, pdf or word document to the email. It does not have to have been published before in any form. What we want to get a sense of is your style and approach.

We will be open for submissions for this first round of commissioning until 2 November 2021.

We will respond to all submissions by 16 November to let you know if you are successful this time.

Send pitches/questions to invisiblewomen.archives@gmail.com

Camilla & Rachel (Invisible Women)

12 October 2021