Chicago: city of neighborhoods, amirite? Seventy-seven of them, formally; more than 200 in subjective, ever-changing fact. But what does that actually mean? The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook, the latest in Belt's series of idiosyncratic city guides (after Cleveland and Detroit), aims to explore community history and identity in a global city through essays articulating the lived experience of its residents. Edited by Belt senior editor Martha Bayne, and building on 2017's Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology.
What does it take for urban agriculture to thrive in Englewood? Can one corner store tell the story of Logan Square? Just what is going on with affordable housing in Jefferson Park? And what's it really like to grow up in Pullman, to buy a house in Auburn Gresham, to grow old in Uptown?
We're seeking nonfiction essays of 1200-3000 words that tell us something we don't know about 21st-century life in Avondale and Austin; Woodlawn and West Ridge. Successful pieces will deliver an insiders understanding of the city and a strong sense of place, told in the writer's unique voice. Both completed essays and knowledgeable, thoughtful pitches are welcome.
We'd also like to hear ideas for shorter pieces -- listicles, maps, and best-ofs -- that will stand the test of time (this is a book after, and hopefully will be around for a while).
We are *not* looking for fiction, poetry, photography, or other forms of visual art. Sorry!
Deadline is April 15; contributors will be compensated. The Chicago
Neighborhood Guidebook is tentatively slated to publish in Spring 2019.
Send pitches and completed essays, plus a short author bio, in the body of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; put "Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook" somewhere in the subject line of your message.