Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Please study carefully before submitting an article

Before you read our submission guidelines please just note the following:

We still need a small number of articles by outside contributors for publication in 2021 — perhaps no more than a dozen in all. So please do submit, but bear in mind that newly accepted pieces will not appear before March 2021 at the earliest.

About 40 outside contributors have had their work published in hidden europe over the last 15 years — out of more than a thousand would-be contributors who have contacted us in the same period. So while we encourage good writers with a tale to tell to get in touch, just be aware that the chances of getting a piece accepted are not always high. We turn down lots of beautifully written and perceptive articles, just because they don’t quite hit the mark. Please read on and see how to submit to hidden europe.


We are not just another travel magazine. Rarely do we cover famous destinations, and the glitz and the gloss of posh hotels and the finest restaurants we leave to others. We write about everyday Europe with passion, care and conviction, and we hope that our guest contributors will bring that same positive sense of enquiry to the people and places about which they write. Only very rarely do we accept travelogues, and we have never published a simple account of a writer’s holiday, no matter how exotic the destination. We are looking for something more: a wide and balanced understanding of how a place and its people function, backed up by reasoned views, careful explanation and perceptive insights. These are not the sort of properties easily born of just a brief engagement with a destination. We like what we publish to reveal the authority that the author brings to the topic. Where we contract external authors, we really are looking for something that is evocative, impeccably researched and well crafted. Our external authors have often lived and worked in the areas about which they write.

We specialise in Europe’s unsung spots, or in lesser known aspects of familiar territory. Where we take in a well known destination, you can be assured we will take a quirky or unusual perspective on it. And we try to be genuinely Europe-wide in our coverage, with prose that evokes a spirit of landscape and a vivid sense of place. At best, articles in hidden europe probe the rich diversity of the peoples and cultures that contribute to modern Europe. The emphasis is absolutely not on tourist ‘sights’ – we are, rather, concerned to promote sympathetic enquiry into the people and places that make our continent so endlessly interesting. That requires an intellectual openness on behalf of our authors, coupled with a sensitivity for language and heaps of cultural competence. There are certain themes that run through the magazine. We favour slow travel and public transport. We are keen on border regions — because it is often in border areas that issues of identity and nationhood are played out to the full. That apart, everyday life in border regions is often very interesting.

We certainly do not expect that those who write for us are already established writers. We do receive submissions from those with a long list of published credits to their name, but we know all too well there are many people who have travelled enormously, really have a feel for some aspect of European culture or society, and who would love to see one or two of their pieces in print. As to prose style, we really are not too prescriptive. Okay, when pushed, we tend to prefer quite literary prose over more journalistic articles.

So... how to get started? Well the absolute first step is to familiarise yourself with hidden europe. If you don’t know our magazine well, it is unlikely that you will hit the target. Make sure you know the magazine well, and only then make your pitch.

Once you are ready to submit, we would ideally like the following from you:

1. The article you would like to submit for hidden europe. Seventeen hundred to two thousand words is a good target. Material submitted for publication must be your own work. It must be original and unpublished. Please confirm that in your submission.

2. Optionally, you may also want to include two or three summaries of other possible articles for hidden europe. These optional summaries need not be long: three or four sentences will suffice. It is always helpful to us to know the range of an author’s interests.

3. Although our emphasis is on ‘good writing’, we are alert to the importance of illustrations, so always attach details of photographs, illustrations and maps that might be available, taking care to clarify whether copyright clearances might be an issue. Photos must be available at high resolution (tif format or first generation jpgs), but at this stage do not send those. A selection of low resolution images will suffice.

4. Definitely include a short biographical note on yourself, highlighting points relevant to your article and mentioning what else you have had published.

Remember that an article written with another magazine in mind may not be what is needed for hidden europe. And note that first bullet point above. The piece you submit must be your work. We simply do not accept submissions from agencies or other intermediaries who prey on would-be travel writers' aspirations by promising to place their work.

As already noted, all material submitted be original and unpublished. We judge something to have already been published even if it has appeared only in a webzine. hidden europe requires original material. Naturally, some of our authors are authorities in their field – authors of guidebooks or other material on their favoured region. So at times articles submitted will of course resemble, draw on or enlarge upon similar material already published elsewhere by the same author. That is only natural, but we do still expect a submission to hidden europe to include substantially new ideas and text.

Essays for consideration must be written in good literary English and aimed at an intelligent and well read readership. Stick to the syntax and spelling conventions that you might find in magazines published in Great Britain. We do not generally consider texts for translation into English.

We have no specific submission deadlines. Just contact us when you are ready.

You very considerably up the chances of an article being accepted if it addresses a country or region that has not featured regularly in hidden europe. It is therefore worth noting that the following countries are not on our wishlist for 2020: Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Norway, Finland, France and Switzerland. We are however very much on the lookout for first-class writing on Russia and the Black Sea region. If anyone out there has recently visited some of the lesser republics in the European part of the Russian Federation (eg. Kabardino-Balkaria, Mordovia, Kalmykia or the Mari El Republic) then we'd love to hear from you.

Material should be sent to us by e-mail. Mail your article to submissions [at ] hiddeneurope [dot] co [dot] uk. If you are an especially cautious soul, you can use snail-mail, of course, in which case write to:

Susanne Kries and Nicky Gardner
hidden europe magazine
Geraer Strasse 14–c
D – 12209 BERLIN / Lichterfelde

Remember that, even in the case of snail-mail submissions, we still need details of the photos that might accompany your text.

We reply to all submissions, but please be patient if it takes a while for us to get back to you. Often more than one person will read your material, and that can take time, usually about four weeks. But if you have not heard from us within six weeks of submitting material, it does no harm to chase us up with a quick e-mail.

We really welcome well-formulated proposals, but do bear in mind that the competition is fierce. We receive a very large number of approaches from would-be contributors, and we endeavour to respond in full to each and every enquiry. We have purposefully adopted a hand-on approach to our editorial commitments – often taking time to read our way into a topic so as to engage fully with an author's text to bring it to publication. We take a lot of time and trouble over this. Indeed, we have often met our authors face-to-face.

Where we find an idea appealing, we will liaise with the author over the details of their submission and agree terms. Of course we pay a fee. Payment is made by electronic transfer in euros or pounds sterling, or by a sterling denominated cheque.

Nicky Gardner & Susanne Kries
updated August 2020