*NOTE: Orion is now open to submissions: January 15, 2020 - February 15, 2020.*

The editorial impulse of Orion lies at the nexus of ecology and the human experience. The magazine distinguishes itself from the din of common culture through its depth of inquiry, commitment to interdisciplinary thought, and an emphasis on insight and imagination alongside a big-picture approach to problem-solving.

Our feature stories typically range from 1,000 to 6,000 words in length, comprising and often combining a variety of genres and formats: essay, memoir, reporting, science writing, criticism, and comics. More than any particular angle or theme, we value work that expands or challenges our understanding of nature, culture, and place, reflecting thoughtful experience with diverse surroundings. *We are not reading unsolicited fiction submissions at this time.*

Lay of the Land
The front-of-book Lay of the Land department features reports and dispatches from a revolving cast of writers that strive to decode the surprising, confusing, and endearing world we live in. Pieces are meant to be very accessible and personable and are no more than 1,000 words. We are not accepting Enumerations at the moment.

Book Reviews
Pitches for reviews of recent or forthcoming books that share Orion’s concerns can be sent directly to reviews@orionmagazine.org.

We're not reading poetry submissions at the moment. **Please do not send us poetry.** 

Photography and Visual Art
In addition to regularly featuring portfolios and photo essays, Orion accompanies most of its stories with bold and striking imagery. We are always curious to hear from artists whose work shares our concerns with nature, culture, and place.

Artists are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with past issues of Orion before approaching us with portfolios. Though our catalog reflects a broad range of visual styles, most of the artwork in Orion maintains intuitive connections to the physical world.

Correspondence should ideally link to a web gallery, lightbox, or shared folder. We prefer not to receive media submissions attached directly to emails.

Submissions, pitches, or inquiries can be sent to Sumanth Prabhaker, sumanth@orionmagazine.org.

The Fine Print

  • Writers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with past issues of Orion before approaching us with manuscripts. Another recommended option is to attend an Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop.
  • Orion is only able to consider manuscripts posted during designated submission windows.
  • Writers are limited to one submission per category, per window—additional submissions will not be considered.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions. Please withdraw your submission if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • Because all submissions are reviewed twice over by a team of editors, it may take us up to six months to respond. In the meantime, we are unlikely to have an answer to inquiries about the status of submissions. We appreciate your patience as we get to know your work!
  • Whenever possible, please use our online submission system – it’s free and easy to navigate. The online submission system eases communication between Orion’s offices, allowing your work to be read by as many editors as possible.
  • There is a $3.00 fee per submission.  
  • For this round of submissions we are particularly interested in stories that explore the visual depiction of the land and the perception of the natural world.

Submission difficulties? Contact us at submissions@orionmagazine.org. If you are unable to submit digitally, hard-copy submissions can be sent to: Submissions, Orion, 1 Short Street, Northampton, MA 01060


WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION The Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop is an annual week-long writing workshop for writers who want to improve their writing about nature and the environment. This workshop gives writers the unique opportunity to connect with Orion writers and editors in order to understand more deeply Orion‘s approach to the relationship between literature and the natural world.

This program is for writers who want to learn how to write an Orion essay, short story, or poem; for writers who seek to become better advocates for the environment through their writing; for poets who are drawn to writing about nature and culture; for teachers and scholars who wish to write for a more general readership; and for environmental professionals who want to bring better writing skills to bear on their work.

2020 faculty members: Ellen Bass, Belle Boggs, Garnette Cadogan, Bronwen Dickey, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Joe Wilkins. 

Held at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.

APPLICATION GUIDELINES All applications must be submitted through Submittable. There is no fee to apply. Applications are considered on a rolling basis and will continue to be reviewed until the workshop is full (12 students per class). We recommend applying early. If accepted, you'll need to complete the process by registering with Omega and arranging for meals and housing as soon as possible. The range of housing options decreases the longer you wait. Expect an acceptance decision within three weeks of applying.

The application period closes May 15th, and registration should be completed by May 20th to hold your spot before we turn to the waitlist. 

Please submit a cover letter and writing sample.

NONFICTION and FICTION: submit 1,500 words

POETRY: submit up to six pages of poems

Application Deadline: February 1, 2020

This unique Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop will be offered during the winter in a remarkable wilderness area. Hone your writing skills with an exceptional faculty in a setting that can inspire nature writers to do their best work.

Orion’s partner for this extraordinary experience is the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, which offers workshops and conferences on environmental issues, regenerative thinking, and design, and is a key part of the Omega Institute, based in Rhinebeck, New York. The workshop is expected to fill; we recommend applying early.

The American Museum of Natural History Southwest Research Station sits in remote Cave Creek Canyon, surrounded by designated wilderness. This will be the site for the Orion in the Wilderness Writers’ Workshop. Known for its abundant bird life and network of hiking trails, this unspoiled area is worth the drive from the nearest airport (Tucson). 

The workshop provides a unique opportunity to connect with Orion writers and editors. In addition to breakout sessions in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, there will be faculty readings and lectures, student readings, presentations on local ecology and lore, and optional birding and hikes. Each participant receives individualized attention, feedback, and a focused meeting with a faculty member to discuss manuscripts or projects. Workshops will be limited to no more than twelve participants.


This gathering takes place in southeastern Arizona at the American Museum of Natural History Southwest Research Station in Cave Creek Canyon near Portal. For those who need it, a coach will bring participants from, and then back to, Tucson International Airport. 


2020 faculty for Orion in the Wilderness includes Sherwin Bitsui, Joe Wilkins, and Joy Williams. 


Apply now through February 1st on our Submittable site (see link below). Workshops will be offered in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. For prose, a writing sample of 1,500 words will be required; for poetry, a sample of up to six pages of poetry will be required. Please include a cover letter with your address, age, occupation, and reasons why you are interested in attending. 

Acceptances will be made on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified whether they have been admitted within three weeks of applying. 

*Please note that there are a variety of lodging options available at Cave Creek Canyon at different price points. Those who apply earlier will have more housing options.

Accepted participants should please register by February 15th to hold their spot.