Vela publishes literary journalism, essays, memoir, and narrative nonfiction written by women and inspired by travel. “Inspired by” is a term we take quite loosely – you don’t have to have ridden a camel across the Gobi to fit our definition of travel. Rather, we want stories that have a strong sense of place and/or journey: stories that are informed by the kind of restless searching, discovery, and wonder inherent in travel. Many of our stories are international in focus, but we’re equally willing to sit with you in your backyard or your mom’s attic if the writing is surprising and original and the ideas are compelling. We love strong, unique, new voices and are committed to publishing emerging as well as more established writers.
We are not a “women’s magazine” and are not interested in essays written solely for a female audience, nor are we interested in commercial or service travel writing about, say, the world’s most dangerous jungles or its cheapest tequila bars, or how to go on a honeymoon to Vienna. Please read several of our stories to get a feel for what we publish before sending us your work.
Our feature stories are long-form and typically run from 2,000 to 6,000 words. We also accept submissions for blog posts: these include interviews with writers, editors, or publishers; book reviews; short essays about craft questions and/or the writing life; and insightful, analytical responses to topical issues related to the byline gap in publishing. Blog posts are approximately 1500 words. Submit completed work only; we do not accept queries. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please notify us if your work is accepted elsewhere. If you haven’t received a response in four weeks, you can email sarah(at)velamag.com to check the status of your submission.
Submit your work here. Include a short cover letter and bio.