Submissions due October 21st to Scroll for submissions FAQ.

The earth, for the most part, is a closed system.

There is balance and unity in its cycle of death and rebirth; all living things grow from the earth and eventually return to it, seeping back onto the soil by which other living things are nurtured. Nature and humankind are interwoven in this cycle, but our relationship can be and has been questioned, challenged, and disrupted. This is precisely what UPROOTED asks of you; to question, challenge, and disrupt your understanding of nature and its relationship with humankind.

How do you use nature to navigate your life? Are natural phenomena signs from the divine, inexplicable omens, messages from spirits? Think about the schedules you follow in your day to day: Do you follow the clock or the rise and fall of the sun? Do you eat when you’re hungry or when the clock rings lunchtime? On a grander scale, do you truly live according to the seasons? Or have globalization and urbanization rendered your life seasonless? What does succumbing to nature mean–is it a following of instinct or a renunciation of propriety? What is humankind’s relationship with nature–how does one succumb to or control the other? Are there similarities in the way in which humans treat each other and the planet? How do you perceive balance and unity to be established in the world, or in your world specifically? Do you let nature overcome you or do you try and control it? Have you ever been anywhere truly natural?

This issue is a journey both outward and inward. Turn your eyes to the world that surrounds you, then turn them unto yourself–your understandings, beliefs, and behaviour regarding nature. Take a step outside. Tell us about it when you return.

Thematic Cues

Juxtaposition between realities, between nature and human life
Birth and mortality
Sustainability: How we impact and limit impact on our natural environment
Utilitarianist way that humans treat nature and also each other
A search for balance or a struggle for power between man and power
Spiritualism & religion with nature
The ways in which humanity follows these cycles but also at times disrupts them
Nature metaphors relating to human experience
Biblical: Natural phenomenon being interpreted as signs/punishment from God
Superstition: Natural phenomenon as omens
The concept of wildness/the natural/feral instinct – specifically lack of inhibition, how we handle instincts

Visual Cues

Vibrant and colourful
The sublime (JMW Turner)
Wildness: Quick brushstrokes, rough detailing vs. Hyperfocus: Lots of precision and detail
Nature/earth symbols (e.g. the ouroborus)
Cyclical/endless patterns, the divine ratio
Repurposing/recontextualization of nature or human-related objects with each other
Nature landscapes and elemental forces vs. modern civilization and technology (Edward Burtynsky)

Credits (left to right, top to bottom):
Reuben Wu, Jacques Linard, @grahamyarrington & @squid.licker, Derrick Schultz, Agnis Szkalepka, @victongai, Agnieszka Lepka, Andy Dixon, Ben Zank, Serlian Barreto, @carolineagain, Kent Monkman, Juliana Kolesova, Rebecca Hastings



What kind of work do you accept?

We accept visual art, photography, musical critiques and reflections, poetry, fiction, think pieces, personal essays, fashion writing, and more. We do not accept academic essays.

Photographers will be provided with consent forms to be signed by all models before images can be considered for publication.

What if I want to submit something I don’t feel fits into any of the categories?

Don’t be discouraged, submit anyway! Our categories are there as guidelines more than hard and fast rules. We are open to other forms of experimentation. 

Do I have to work with the theme?

Our themes are suggested to give our issues continuity, but they are always meant to be taken loosely and subjectively. Don’t feel too restricted by them; we don’t want them to limit your creativity, so we’re flexible when considering submissions.

How can I submit my visual work if I only have a hard copy and no access to a good camera?

Send us a clear cellphone picture, and if we choose to feature it we will take care of the rest.

How long do I have to submit my work?

Our deadlines can be found on each issue’s Facebook event page. We work on new issues every term.

How many pieces can I submit per issue?

We don’t have a hard and fast limit, but obvs we won’t have time to read through a novel’s worth of writing. For visual art submissions, you can send up to 6 pieces of each medium per issue. Although we would love to look through all you’ve got, we get lots of submissions and work on tight deadlines for our issues.

How long can my submissions be?

For submissions to the print issues in fiction, politics, fashion, music, and creative non-fiction, please limit your writing to a maximum of 1500 words with a minimum of 500.

For print issue poetry submissions, please limit your piece to roughly 20 lines or around 500 words.

Music, film and visual art/photo submissions do not have a length limit.

When will I know if my work will be published?

We will keep you posted via email a few weeks after submissions close. Please be patient with us!

My friend heard back from you, but I haven’t. I’m freaking out!

Don’t. We sometimes contact certain contributors before others for editing purposes. Due to the logistics of planning page layouts, we can’t confirm most pieces until the publication is almost done.  We will get back to you.

Who will my editor be?

Our directors Veronica Botnick, Jerika Caduhada, and Catherine Cassels will be your editors, with visual/artistic direction also from our Head of Graphics Shirley Jiang.

Does ICON accept submissions from graduate students? Affiliated colleges?

We accept submissions for the publication from graduate students and students at affiliate colleges. However, Staff positions are only open to main campus undergraduate students.

What happens if I don’t submit my edited work by the deadline?

Typically, late submissions will not be accepted unless you have already discussed an arrangement with one of our editors.

Can I join the ICON staff?

Great timing! We’re currently hiring for Podcast Hosts + Editors, Graphic Designers, Assistant Head of Entertainment, Events Team, and Social Media & Marketing Team members. Find the applications on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on the Staff page.