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:

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some special challenges for travel publishers. And that's certainly affected our publishing programme at hidden europe - although we continue to publish to our regular schedule. So we are very much on the hunt for good material for publication in 2021, but our needs are quite specific. Read on to find out what we are looking for just now. If you have something which you think might fit the bill please do get in touch. Work now being accepted will generally be published in mid-2021.

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The scope of hidden europe magazine

1. 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. Where we contract external authors, we really are looking for something that is evocative, impeccably researched and well crafted.

2. 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, keen to promote sympathetic enquiry into the people and places that make our continent so endlessly interesting. 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.

Priorities for 2021

3. We have a particular need for articles that really display a strong understanding of a community or a tightly-defined region, gleaned though an author having stayed in the area. That stay may have been a year or two back (so pre-pandemic). But if you have spent the long months of the pandemic in a small community in Russia, in a log cabin in the Bosnian hills or in an apartment block in Porto, and feel you have a good tale to tell about the the place where you were, then we'd love to hear from you. We are not interested in your personal COVID chronicles; we want good, literary prose that tells the story of a place and a community. And we want that prose to be accompanied by your own photography.

4. We need to maintain a good geographical spread of material in each issue of the magazine. Bearing in mind what we have recently published, and what we know is upcoming, we are not especially looking for any submissions that relate to the following countries: Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Low Countries, France, Spain, Poland, or Lithuania. That's not to say we'll not read submissions which relate to those countries. And if it's something genuinely creative, with super pics to match, we may even be tempted to take it. But the chances are stacked against acceptance. We just think it's worth sharing that thought. But that still leaves three dozen countries there for the taking. There are some areas where we find it very hard to get good material. So we are 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.

5. We have always made space in hidden europe for thematic pieces which may be less rooted in particular places but rather explore a topic. Indeed, we are very proud of our strong track record in publishing this kind of thematic article, covering such topics as how travel publishing has fared in times to war, the central European spa tradition or the history of geographical exploration and discovery in the European Arctic. But, by and large, all such material is prepared in house. We are not presently looking for thematic articles from external contributors. We need work which is strongly place-based.

Supporting new writers

6. We certainly do not expect that those who write for us are already established writers. We are pleased to 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. We are especially keen to support new writer.

Submitting an article to hidden europe

7. 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.

8. Please write to us at this e-mail address: submissions [at ] hiddeneurope [dot] co [dot] uk. Include in the subject line the name of the place of the area about which you are writing, eg. 'Svalbard feature' or 'Moldova article'. Please submit:

  • The article you would like to submit for hidden europe. Aim for 1700 to 2000 words. Material submitted for publication must be your own work. It must be original and unpublished. Please confirm that in your submission.
  • Although our emphasis is on ‘good writing’, we are alert to the importance of illustrations, so do attach details of photographs and illustrations 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 well-captioned low resolution images will suffice.
  • Please include a short biographical note on yourself, highlighting points relevant to your article and mentioning what else you have had published.

The small print

9. Just four things to bear in mind.

  • 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 under no. 8 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 must 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 - not American English.
  • We have no specific submission deadlines. Just contact us when you are ready.

Review and feedback

10. 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 two to three weeks. But if you have not heard from us within a month of submitting material, it does no harm to chase us up with a quick e-mail. We like to be nudged.

11. We really welcome well-formulated proposals 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.

12. Where we find an idea appealing, we will liaise with the author over the details of their submission and agree terms. We do not ask that any rights in texts or images are assigned to us. We merely ask for permission to be the first publisher of the piece. Of course we pay a fee. Payment is made well prior to publication by electronic transfer in euros or pounds sterling.

Nicky Gardner & Susanne Kries
updated 22 November 2020