Magazine Submission Advice

If you’re considering submitting to Rebelicious and want to know what we look for when considering what to accept for publication (and what we don’t accept), then this post is just for you!

 Words: Dominique Marshall (Rebelicious Editor)

TIP 1: Read A Back Issue or Three…

New to Rebelicious? Want to be a part of the magazine and see your work featured? The first step is to browse through a few of our back issues (at the time of writing there are currently 34, so there’s plenty to look through!) This is the BEST way to gain an understanding of what style of work we’ll accept and look for. Every issue is different, but every issue is alternative.

There’s no set blueprint for how your photos should look per se  – we’re all about individuality after all – but do remember that we are an alternative magazine at heart that loves showing off your edgy attitudes and styles of work.

Slayher - editorial featured in our Punk issue

Photography: Betty Leanne Photography
Model: Sarah-Rochelle Bane
Featured in our April Punk issue

TIP 2: Follow The Submission Guidelines – Seriously!

It’s crazy how many email submissions I receive that:

  • Have been sent or forwarded to multiple magazines at the same time – automatically breaking the very first submission guideline!
  • Have been plastered online for weeks or months before they’re submitted – again, breaking the first guideline
  • Don’t include credits (so I don’t know who the work is by or who is featured)
  • Are not alternative in any way
  • Have 20+ single file images attached when I only ask for 8 maximum to be emailed initially…

You must, MUST read the submission guidelines before you submit anything. They really are there to help you ensure that your submission doesn’t get rejected/deleted from the inbox.

Those that follow the guidelines are more likely to be accepted / published again in the future.

The above points are just a quick snippet, but you can read the full list of guidelines on our submissions page.

Lady Marlene June Cover Editorial

Lady Marlene cover editorial from our June issue 2015. Photography by Yellow Bubbles Photography.

TIP 3: Pay Attention To The Images You Submit

  • Unedited photos won’t be accepted.
  • Images that are too dark (where the subject isn’t visible) won’t be used.
  • Images with the same poses/compositions won’t be used.
  • If colours are a big deal in your compositions, make it known!
  • Try not to include a black and white photo amongst all colour photos.
  • Also pay attention to the fact that our print versions are perfect bound (pages are glued together within a spine rather than stapled). Photographers – if you’re cropping your photos before sending them, be cautious and try to not put the focal point dead centre as it will get lost in print. Everything will show fine in the digital edition though.

Also note that our mag isn’t A4 size, it’s US letter size (8.5″ x 11″). Images will be cropped to fit these dimensions if they’re too big.

Overly generic photoshoots won’t be accepted either, in particular cliché run-of-the-mill glamour shoots (half naked, ‘lads mags’ style, you get the idea). There are lots of other magazines that do accept this style, but we generally don’t. It’s also rare that we publish implied nudity… unless it looks super fabulous and the creative styling blows us away!

Candy Valentina - Forbidden Planet editorial

Candy Valentina cover editorial from our December 2014 issue. Photography by Nandi Forward, armour by Patrick Ian Hartley.

TIP 4: Don’t Send A Submission More Than Once

If you’ve submitted a set and it hasn’t been accepted for whatever reason, please don’t resend it the next month (or continuously send it every week hoping we’ll accept it), send something new. There are a number of reasons why your submission might not be accepted the first time round:

  • The image are not of a high quality / standard
  • They don’t have an alternative style
  • There’s no space left in an issue
  • Images were submitted after the deadline
  • The images are not consistent e.g. 2 colours images, 3 black and white etc
  • Submission guidelines were not followed
  • They include nudity
  • They’ve been posted online or published in other magazines


TIP 5: Don’t Be Greedy

Finally, if you’ve been on the cover of other magazines, please don’t automatically assume that you’re automatically entitled to a Rebelicious cover.


Your Questions!

Is there a specific body type? Tattoo or non, does it matter?
Nope, no specific body type is needed! You can be covered in tattoos, have 1 tiny tattoo on your leg or have none at all…We’re not a ‘tattoo mag’, so it doesn’t matter to us. We’re more interested in what you can pull together clothing/makeup/styling wise 🙂

What do you look for in a submission?
Images that stand out from the pack. Cliché I know, but honestly, the more diverse and ‘outside the box’ you think when brainstorming your photoshoots, the better. Don’t just stick with the generic style that you might see everyone else do; that doesn’t show off YOUR style and capabilities. Push the envelope and take risks!

Is there a specific theme guideline?
No, we’ve stopped doing any set themes. We may do a special one if we fancy it, but we’ll announce that if it happens. Your photos just need to have an alternative edge to them.

How many images should we send in?
No more than 8 low resolution in your initial submission email. If your submission is accepted then we may ask for more, but space is limited each issue so we cannot guarantee that all the photos you send can be used.

Do you choose locals over international submissions?
God no! Even though we’re a UK based magazine, the majority of our readers and people that submit are actually international, in particular America. Location means nothing when there is so much talent around the world to showcase!

How do you get on the cover?
A question I get asked the most as everyone wants to coveted cover spot.

At the moment there’s no special way to get on the cover. Most of the time it’s just the luck of the draw and seeing which image catches my attention the most. I’m not booking any in advance anymore, so everyone gets a fair chance to be on there. There isn’t a set style that will make cover over something else either. Sometimes the final cover image isn’t chosen until the week of release, sometimes not until a day or two before release because it can be really difficult to choose!

Similar to the ‘what I look for’ question, make your submission the best it can possibly be; do something drastic with the styling, makeup, location etc. Keep it alternative, make it high quality, edit the photos in a different way to what you might normally do, and just have fun with it. Again, look at back issues to see what others have created to get on the cover. Obviously don’t copy, but think about what it is that makes those covers work so well.

When you say online ‘unpublished works’, do you also mean on social media / personal pages etc?

Yes! There’s nothing more annoying to an editor that asks for exclusive images to then see them all online already, worse when they’ve been online for weeks or months. We don’t just want to regurgitate photoshoots that people may have already seen elsewhere, that’s just like pressing ‘copy and paste’, and there really is no point in creating a magazine if everything has already been seen by all.


There are probably a lot more tips that I could give, but if you’ve got any more submission based questions, let us know in the comments!