Call for Pitches: Candy Land

 In The Big Rock Candy Mountains, all the cops have wooden legs. And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth, and the hens lay soft-boiled eggs. The farmers' trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay. Oh I'm bound to go where there ain't no snow, where the rain don't fall, the wind don't blow—in The Big Rock Candy Mountains.
—Harry McClintock, 1928 


Welcome to Cake Zine’s Candy Land, an issue exploring the ways in which candy intersects with the natural world and other implications of “land,” such as nationalism, borders, ownership, and utopias. This is a lush, summery, unexpected take on candy—not your classic candy cane trope. 

We welcome broad interpretations of “Candy” and “Land,” so long as you have an original idea and compelling case for how it relates to the theme. Some ideas to get you started:

Analyze candy names that borrow from Mother Nature, like candy corn, cotton candy, or Pop Rocks. Dig into confections that highlight fruit and other natural ingredients from the land like candy apples, salt water taffy, tanghulu, etc. Explore the surreal world of artificial fruit flavorings, or fruits with artificially inspired flavors (i.e. cotton candy grapes.) Figure out what makes those ranchers so jolly anyways.

Investigate the origins of Hershey’s chocolate theme park. Visit warehouses filled with strange candies that have been lost to time. Dive deep into raver kandi culture and the sweetness of PLUR. Review the use of sugar in sculpture by contemporary artists like Kara Walker and Félix González-Torres, or take us through a close reading of candy as a utopian metaphor in folk songs. You can even take on the board game, as long as we don’t get sued. 

We are open to imaginative candy recipes that are doable for the home cook or other desserts that include candy as an ingredient. Think: A decadent play on fudge, truffles, pralines, but also candy-studded cookies, cakes, etc. 

We’re looking for advertisers. Email:

Essential details

  • Written pitches for Candy Land are due by 9 a.m. EST on January 30th.
  • Visual contributor submissions are due by 9 a.m. EST on February 6th.
  • All Candy Land stories will be assigned mid February.
  • We are a small print publication with very limited space and a very high pitch volume. We prioritize adherence to and subversion of theme—ie, an unexpected but clearly connected take on “Candy Land.” All of our pieces go through a rigorous editorial process with multiple rounds of revision over several weeks.  
  • Candy Land will be released in Early Summer.

Types of writing we’re looking for

Cake Zine has published everything from critiques of phallic desserts across history to investigations into pie as a metaphor for rejection on Love Island and condemnations of “deepcakes” in the age of “is it cake?” We delight in the niche, the historical and the contemporary, especially when woven together. We've printed taxonomies, fables, interviews with directors and sex workers, artist statements, and much more.

You can pitch us variations on the suggested topics above or something entirely different. We welcome broad interpretations of “Candy Land.” 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
  • Recipes including candy as an ingredient accompanied by a short thematic intro
  • Flash fiction or short stories
  • Poetry
  • Unexpected interviews
  • Personal essays
  • Lyric essays 
  • Cultural criticism (literature, film, art, and pop culture)
  • Profiles
  • 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 Candy Land. 

  • 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
  • Visual art: $200
  • Misc content: Based on conversations with editors.

      Instructions & What to Include

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

      Written pitches for Candy Land are due by 9 a.m. EST on January 30th. 

      Visual contributor submissions are due by 9 a.m. EST on February 6th.

      • 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.

      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 confection and how it adheres to the Candy Land theme, plus a brief info about the major flavors/techniques. 
      • We are largely interested in recipes that use candy as an ingredient, but will consider candy recipes suitable for home cooks.

      For Fiction and Poetry

      • Fully written rough drafts are strongly preferred. We will also accept robustly outlined pitches if you provide other examples of your fiction or poetry work.
      • Maximum 2000 words. Shorter forms are welcome!

      For Illustration and Visual Storytelling

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