Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Please read the note below before putting pen to paper

hidden europe magazine has celebrated and promoted a particular style of travel writing for two decades. We mainstream on prose which evokes the spirit of landscape and a strong sense of place. We love journeys, especially slow ones. We have been lucky over the years to have many gifted contributors, many of whom have written for us very regularly. There are times when we have been overwhelmed by submissions. From late 2022,, we are simply not looking for any more contributions. Sorry to disappoint.

8 April 2023 (and updated on 10 January 2024)

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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. We are looking for a wide and balanced understanding of how a place and its people function, backed up by perceptive insights. Where we contract external authors, we really are looking for something that is evocative, thoroughly 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.

General priorities

3. We favour articles that show 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 or even longer ago. So 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 it could have the makings of an article for hidden europe. We want 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. A freelance contribution is far more likely to be accepted if it's an article about an offbeat area of the Russian Federation than if it's about a capital city in western or central Europe.

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 such material is prepared in house. Freelance submissions must be strongly place-based.

Supporting new writers

6. We certainly do not expect that those who write for us are already established writers. We have reviewed submissions from those with a long list of published credits to their name, but we know all too well there are many who would love to see one or two of their pieces in print. We are especially keen to support new writers.

Submitting an article to hidden europe

7. The 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] eu. 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 tell us:

  • What you want to write about and why you are the person to tackle this topic. Bear in mind that we'll be looking for 1700 to 2000 words for a feature.
  • 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.
  • A few lines on yourself, highlighting points relevant to your article and mentioning what else you have had published on the same or related topics.

The small print

9. Just three things to bear in mind.

  • Remember that an article written with another magazine in mind may not be what is needed for hidden europe.
  • 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. 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 some substantially new ideas and text.
  • Essays for consideration must be written in good literary English and aimed at an intelligent and well read readership.

Review and feedback

10. 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. 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 reasonable fee. Payment is always made well prior to publication by electronic transfer in euros or pounds sterling.

Nicky Gardner & Susanne Kries
8 April 2023 (and updated in late August 2023)