Writers who would like to apply for the Print department must submit TWO pitches related to the issue concept, as stated in our application. If accepted, writers will go on to work with editors to refine their ideas.

We know it sounds daunting! But this exercise is meant to inspire you, give you a head start, and provide an opportunity for you to directly influence the editorial direction of the issue.

If you haven’t already, review our Inspiration page for resources and references.

You can also contact our Senior Print Editor with questions at print@sparkmagazinetx.com or @elizapillsbury on Instagram.

You’ve got this. Good luck.



Amelia Kushner, Editorial Director

New age technological consumerism has led to the individual as the product—we do all the work of celebrity with none of the benefit (i.e., social media). We now brand ourselves as products to be consumed, and this preoccupation with our own individual image—the OPTICS of our noncelebrity existences—takes away what little power we had over The Man, the corporations and public figures in power, who have always produced that which we consume. Our shift toward viewing our own selves as public figures with images to maintain digitally for hundreds or thousands of people has bled into how we conduct ourselves, view ourselves, and our fear of what others think of us.

“OPTICS” will explore both the systemic and personal ramifications of the social media shift.

Ex Machina

Eliza Pillsbury, Senior Print Editor

In Paris, I discovered an unexpected tension between living among history, while also living thousands of miles away from everyone I knew and loved. Those seven months were the richest and most inspiring time of my life. Yet the digital medium has a flattening effect that left me even more disconnected. Out of necessity, I learned new time zones, platforms, and flight paths. I translated my experience online, which transformed my self-image in turn. I’ve seen the world as if from outer space; now, I feel alien. How do I synthesize these two selves: the one limited by binary code, and the girl who left it all behind?

“Ex Machina” will explore media anthropology, the collapse of man, spirit, and machine, and the hybridization of the digital and the analog.


Kyra Burke, Senior Web Editor

As a child, your perspective is pure and moldable. Veiled by the innocence of an empty mind, the future is an infinite playground for your imagination. In this phase of my life, my ambitions were driven by dreams of becoming an astronaut. But with the passing of time, these simple values were poisoned by the impending curse of materialism. I’ve started to fabricate my own dreams by replacing principles for happiness with financial freedom. I’ve succumbed to the materialism of adulthood, much like how the earth succumbs to the moon’s shadow during an eclipse. Today, my childhood telescope sits in my garage with a chipped lens, gathering a film of dust.

“UMBRA” will explore the afflictions of materialism in one's adolescence and how it can transform values that were once a permanent part of their identity.

Additional Writing References

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