The harbour becomes the sea / And lighting the house keeps it collision-free / Understand the lay of the land / And don't let it hurt you / Or it will be the first to /  The water, the water / Didn't realize / Its dangerous size /  


plates wants you!

Plates Journal is pleased to announce an open call for proposals for its fourth issue.

Plates welcomes proposals for essays, interviews, reviews, maps, love letters, recipes, literary works, and page-based installations*. Work that exists exclusively in the digital realm is also warmly welcomed for online-only publication.

Plates Issue 04: Craft

For its fourth issue, Plates seeks submissions that explore “craft” as...
  • skill
  • cleverness
  • trickery
  • one half of the age-old battle between art and craft
  • a profession
  • a vessel of leisure (pleasure craft), war (warcraft), water (watercraft), and/or air (aircraft, spacecraft)
  • a word rooted in cræft, kraft, and kracht: strength
  • and more

Consider: The value of slow labour, craft beer, the historical and contemporary position of the skilled worker, craft unions, concept vs form, leechcraft, craft as compliment or insult, witchcraft, repetition as devotion, bookcraft, the notion of skill as vessel.

What makes a successful proposal?

A successful proposal…
  • gathers all requested materials into a single PDF
  • is created in direct response to the thematic provocation
  • proposes a piece that has not been previously published
  • clearly indicates the thesis, narrative, and style that the contribution will be constructed around

To get a better sense of Plates Journal’s range of approaches, take a look at our past issues. Proposals interested in using experimental visual structures would be well-advised to look through at least one print edition—you can buy a copy from our online shop or one of our stockists.

What will become of successful proposals?

Successful proposals will be developed into completed text and visual art works with the editorial guidance of Plates Journal. These works will be compiled into Plates Issue 04: Craft, which will exist as a full-colour print edition and as a set of online works.

Final works will inhabit approximately 4–10 pages and/or 1200–3500 words each, depending on the needs of the piece. Shorter is fine; longer should be very worth it.

At a minimum, all contributors will be mailed one copy of the print edition and paid a modest fee of $60 USD. We seek to supplement this fee through grants, but this is the baseline.

Submission guidelines

Please gather:
  • a draft of the work you are proposing (up to 10 pages)
  • a brief description of the work (one page maximum)
  • one to three past works (up to 10 pages)
  • and a short CV (one page maximum)

into one PDF file and send it to Any submission missing any of these pieces without prior approval will not be considered for inclusion in Plates Issue 04.

Deadline: Midnight, May 6 (CST)

Direct all enquiries to

*Plates is committed to the page as site and encourages submissions that are created with an awareness of their occupation of this site. Page-based installations recognise blank space as full of absence and proceed accordingly. They can participate in any genre of writing.
︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021
︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021