Variable West Pitch Guidelines

We’ve received a flood of outstanding writing from all over the US and international contributors, and put together the below Pitch Guidelines to help all writers. Want to write for us but not sure what to pitch? The editor’s picks in Cliff Notes are always shows or events we’d love covered. Sign up below!


WHO: Ella Ray, Associate Editor:

WHAT: A concise summary of what you want to write about including any pertinent information (exhibition dates, location, related programming, etc.)

WHEN: Anytime! We accept pitches on an ongoing basis. We’re happy to consider pitches about shows that have closed recently, and we do not tie our editing schedule to exhibition schedules (see more below).


  • Include links to artist(s) work, website, exhibition information, etc.
  • Include links to your website and/or clips of relevant published writing
  • Check out our past publications to get an idea of the tone and style we’re looking for
  • Visit our Call for Pitches pages for information about rates and requirements
  • Consider your identity and how it relates to your subject. Be sure you can accurately and considerately analyze and tell the stories of your subjects. If you don’t have shared experiences, consider pitching an interview to allow your subject to speak for themselves.


  • Send a full/complete draft with your pitch
  • Include multiple ideas/topics in one pitch

TIMELINE: We do our best to respond to pitches within three weeks. If you haven’t heard back from us by then, feel free to follow up. If you don’t hear back from us after two emails, you can assume we haven’t accepted the pitch. Don’t lose hope! You can always pitch again in the future.

A NOTE ABOUT OUR EDITORIAL SCHEDULE: Variable West’s editorial schedule is not tied to exhibition schedules in the traditional sense (i.e. the industry standard of requiring reviews and interviews to be published while an associated exhibition is on view). This model not only limits writers’ abilities to cover exhibitions, especially ones with short durations, it also assumes readers live only in the exhibition’s city.

Instead, we recognize the value of engaging with exhibitions and events based on their cultural value, not only their institutional schedule. We also celebrate the fact that many readers may never have a chance to visit exhibitions in person, but scholarship can act as both a record and access point for distant and future audiences.

For writers, this means that your review may publish after the exhibition has closed. We think this model allows for more creativity and deeper engagement.