The Dirty Spoon is currently open to new submissions.

Please email us your stories and pitches at


Contribute Your Writing, Interviews & Art

We welcome contributors–first time authors, established writers, chefs, servers, food industry workers, farmers, foodies, non-foodies, and everyone in between to pitch or submit your full-length writings for Dirty Spoon.

What (and when) we publish:

The Dirty Spoon publishes a monthly radio show, podcast and online journal. The radio show, hosted on WPVM 103.7 in Asheville, airs on the first Friday of every month. We publish a podcast episode of the monthly show afterward on our Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts. The digital journal publishes the written pieces at the same time, with custom artwork for each piece.

Our editorial schedule: We work about 1-3 months ahead, sourcing stories and working with writers for upcoming publications. We feature approximately 3 or 4 pieces per show and journal. While we don’t have themes for issues, we find that pieces line up to complement each other and create a cohesive, well-rounded show.

To get a sense of what we’re looking for, please see past pieces here online and listen to a recent episode! We describe ourselves as “If StoryCorps or This American Life focused on food and had a homemade mix tape playing throughout.”

What we look for:

We look for essays, interviews and articles about people who work in our consumable culture of food and beverage.

You can submit short email pitches OR full completed manuscripts. Please wait 2 weeks for a response to your pitch OR 2 weeks for a response to your full manuscript. In your pitch, we don’t need anything fancy, just a short introduction to you, your idea or story, and perhaps a link or two to past clips of your writing. If you’re a debut author, that’s okay, too! In your full manuscript, make sure your name appears somewhere on the file.

Nonfiction only.  Personal essays, story-driven interview profiles and narrative nonfiction journalism. No PR puff pieces. No recipes or how-to. No fiction, poetry or hybrid work, please.

Finished essays, profiles and articles typically run between 800-1500 words.

What we pay:

At this time, we offer an honorarium of $50 upon publication via Paypal or mailed check. We are an unpaid volunteer team and raise our funds through Patreon. We promote your work generously through the website, radio, social media, and other media platforms where we can.

Publication Rights

When we publish your work, we acquire first North American serial rights. Essentially, this means The Dirty Spoon Radio Hour & Journal will be the first to publish your work in North America, and after that, all rights revert to you, the writer. For anthologies and special projects, we will ask your permission before reprinting any of your work.


  • If you accepted my pitch, does that mean you have accepted my piece for publication? No. We need to read and assess the final manuscript to officially accept it for publication.
  • Do you accept previously published work? Yes, we do on a select basis. We also ask that you coordinate with the publication or platform where it was previously published to grant rights to you and us to reprint it and reproduce the work for our show.
  • Do you take work from writers outside of the United States? Yes, but very rarely. The Dirty Spoon seeks to place American stories of food and consumable culture within the global context.
  • Is your writer roster diverse and inclusive? Yes. Approximately 80% of our accepted pieces for publication are from women-identifying writers, and 50% of our accepted pieces for publication are from people of color. We always seek to amplify voices from marginalized communities.
  • Who creates these illustrations? We work with local artists for each accepted piece and they create an inspired illustration for the publication.
  • When will I get paid? Payment is issued approximately 7-10 days after publication. We pay by mail check or Paypal, depending on your preference.
  • Do you pay a kill fee? No. Once a finished piece is accepted for publication, there is little to no chance the piece will be canceled.
  • Do you accept simultaneous submissions? Yes.