Call for Pitches: Humble Pie

“I’ve eaten so much humble pie, it’s amazing I still fit in this dress.” —  Lisa Barlow, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, season 3 episode 1.

“Humble pie” is thought to have originated as a term for umble pie, a medieval meat pie packed with leftover organs and served to the masses. But today, the idiom brings to mind pieing politicians and serving Real Housewives their just desserts. Cake Zine launched with twin issues, Sexy Cake and Wicked Cake, exploring sweets as a source of seduction, then sin. Now we’re venturing outside of cake for the first time with our third issue, Humble Pie.

Volume 3 invites broad interpretations of humiliation and hearty servings of contrition. Tell us about a dessert that put you to shame, or what eating crow tastes like. Explore pie-eating contests, the politics of pie in national identity formation, the eternal humor behind pie-in-the-face tropes, or the ultimate Americana of McDonald’s apple pie.

What constitutes a pie, you might ask? Think lemon meringue and chicken pot pie, but also spanakopita, Jamaican beef patties, Moon Pies, and Hot Pockets. (Is pizza a pie? Let’s debate.) We also delight in cheeky subversions of theme, like pi (the mathematical constant) and metaphorical servings of humble pie, as long as the connection is clear. Have fun with it!

We’re looking for advertisers. Email:

Essential details

Pitches for Humble Pie are due by 9 a.m. EST on January 13, 2023.

All Humble Pie stories will be assigned by the end of January.

Humble Pie will be released in late spring 2023.

We are a small print publication with very limited space. All of our pieces go through a rigorous editorial process with multiple rounds of revision over several weeks.

Types of writing we’re looking for:

We welcome broad interpretations of “Humble Pie.” Just be clear about how your pitch relates to the theme. Pitch us:

  • Historical deep dives that pair solid research/reporting with a critical eye
  • Pie recipes accompanied by a short thematic intro
  • Transportive, imaginative fiction and fables
  • Poetry
  • Unexpected interviews
  • Personal essays
  • Lyric essays
  • Cultural criticism (literature, film, art, and pop culture)
  • Humor pieces
  • Underrepresented magazine storytelling formats such as comics, listicles, and historical taxonomies. If it doesn’t fit in another publication, we want to hear about it.

Types of visual contributions we’re looking for

If you would like to be commissioned to create an illustration to accompany an accepted pitch, please get in touch. Not an illustrator? Not to worry, we welcome all visual mediums (that we can print). If you have an existing body of work you think might pair well with the theme of this issue, we would love to see it. 


We pay creators. We’re a small, self-funded publication with flat rates based on length. All commissioned contributors will receive a copy of Humble Pie.

  • Shorter pieces (350 words or less), poems, and recipes: $125-$175
  • Mid-length (500 to 1K words): $200
  • Longform (2K words - plus or minus): $300
  • Illustrations: $200
  • Misc content: Based on conversations with editors.

Instructions & What to Include

Send pitch emails to with “WRITING PITCH” or “VISUALS PITCH” in the subject line.

Pitches for Humble Pie are due by 9 a.m. EST on January 13, 2023.

  • For all types of content, please tell us about yourself and provide a few links to relevant work that demonstrates your style, voice, and tone, whether in a major publication or personal blog. We are committed to publishing burgeoning voices and care more about your talent and ideas than your resume. We also prioritize work by and centering BIPOC, women, and queer people.
  • Please include the entire pitch in the body of your email. If you are pitching multiple pieces please include them in the same email. Further details below.

For Non-fiction

  • Include a sample headline (to demonstrate the angle) and estimated word count.
  • Provide a few sentences about your story idea. It’s not enough to share a topic—what is your take on the topic? How does it advance, complicate, or expand what we know or how we think about the subject of your piece?
  • Feel like you have the silhouette of a piece, but don’t feel like you’ve fully nailed the crux of it yet? Feel free to include some reference links to articles/media/content that capture the approach you’re hoping to take and an explanation of how you’ll make it your own.
  • For reported pieces, provide a few sample sources.

For Recipes

  • Include a sample recipe title, a few sentences about the recipe and how it adheres to the Humble Pie theme, plus a few sentences about the major flavors/techniques.

For Fiction

  • Include the complete piece and a brief description of how it supports the Humble Pie theme.
  • Maximum 5000 words. Flash fiction and shorter forms are welcome!

For Illustration and Visual Storytelling

  • Please link to a website, instagram, etc. with work samples.
  • If you don't have work online you want to share, attach 3-6 images to your email. Either as individual image files (no bigger than 3mb each) or a single pdf (no bigger than 15mb).