Submission Guidelines

Issue 97, Summer 2017. Photograph courtesy of Reid McNally Issue 97, Summer 2017. Photograph courtesy of Reid McNally


alicerandallAlice Randall

The Oxford American’s Spring 2021 issue will be devoted to the exploration of food and guest edited by Alice Randall, the New York Times best-selling novelist, award-winning songwriter, educator, food activist, and cookbook author.

For this special issue, we are looking to commission personal essays, narrative journalism, and short dispatches and meditations that address cooking as an act of profound empathy; food and legacy; and food and intersections, including food as it appears in music, literary text, and fine artwork and photography.

“We will look back to move forward, centering the Southern kitchen, in the African diaspora, and in conversation with other arts—for in the African-American experience cooking in the South has long been both an expressive and global practice,” said Randall. “This time of racial reckoning includes overdue celebrations of Black excellence. The honors earned yet ungiven. In the spirit of Sankofa we will honor and celebrate. And we will do some hard reckoning on racism in the Southern food world now. Old heads and new voices invited.”

Randall has contributed to the Oxford American since 2010, most recently to the 2020 Southern Music Issue, for which she reflects on the artistry of LaVern Baker. Her book Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family, coauthored with her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, won the NAACP Image Award. Her most recent book, the novel Black Bottom Saints, shines a light on notable Black women singers and songwriters who functioned as public intellectuals but were not recognized as such in their era.

We expect to assign pieces ranging from 500 to 5,000 words. Payment will range from $250 to $1,250 depending on length and complexity of assignment. To receive first consideration, please submit pitches to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 7. Drafts will be due on December 4.  

Special thanks to the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts for supporting this project.


The Oxford American welcomes fiction and nonfiction submissions, as well as proposals for articles. We accept submissions via Submittable. (There is a $3 processing fee for most categories.) The Oxford American does not accept submissions on paper and cannot return manuscripts sent to the office.

Please familiarize yourself with recent issues of the magazine before you submit. The Oxford American can be purchased at discerning bookstores and newsstands everywhere. Single-copy issues and back issues may be purchased here. Issues appear in March, June, September, and November. Our annual Southern Music Issue appears in November. 

Submit to the Oxford American.