Contributor Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in contributing your talent to Edible Cleveland. We are a member of Edible Communities, an award-winning, nationwide series of community-based food publications whose mission is “to transform the way communities shop for, cook, eat, and relate to the food that is grown and produced in their area.”

Edible Cleveland is published quarterly. Each issue emphasizes the current season, focused on Northeast Ohio (primarily, but not exclusively, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Summit, Stark, Portage, Geauga, and Lake counties).

Unlike most Edible publications, we also center each issue on a conceptual theme. These themes offer writers a way to approach a subject from an unexpected direction, or a chance to stretch their own creative abilities and surprise our readers. For example: Play, Wild, Heritage, and Sunday represent recent themed issues.

So what does Edible Cleveland cover?

We are interested, first and foremost, in telling stories about relationships. Those relationships may be between a chef and her ingredients, or a farmer and his land and livestock, or between a writer and his heritage. There’s really no end to the topics that you might find in Edible Cleveland, but the common theme will always be passion about food and a connection to Northeast Ohio. We strive to tell the stories that extend our sense of community, deepen our understanding of practices, satisfy our curiosities about food, and cultivate a vibrant food culture.

We also believe in providing an outlet for contributors to stretch their abilities and explore subjects creatively. We want readers to be engaged and interested, and so an unexpected angle to a topic is always preferred.

For Writers

The primary qualification for contributors is an ability to write in a lively, elegant, informative, original, accurate, and interesting manner. To demonstrate this, potential contributors should submit writing samples, preferably food-related and unedited, along with a brief biography detailing their interests, professional and educational background, and publishing experience. Also include a list of topics you would like to write about, along with a brief description of the content and approach you would take.

Recipes to accompany articles are highly desirable, but they must be original and carefully tested. Likewise, all sources about information in the article should be cited, and if passages from published (including Web published) material are included, permission for use must be obtained and sources appropriately cited.

We try to assign stories at least 4-6 weeks in advance, and we are frequently planning the next four issues at any one time. As a result, some stories are assigned a year in advance. However, there are times when story opportunities arise close to our editorial deadline and we’d like to include them, so if you want to be considered for assignments, please let us know.

Our editorial process is hands-on, so we may get involved in shaping the story structure and making edits that align with our editorial guidelines.

Email managing editor Kathy Ames Carr at if you have an interest in writing for Edible Cleveland.

For Photographers and Illustrators

Exceptional visuals are a major source of Edible Cleveland’s aesthetic appeal, so we are always interested in working with talented photographers and illustrators. The best way to connect with us is via an email to the photo editor, Laura Watilo Blake, at Please include a link to a website where we can view examples of your work online, your standard rates and local travel availability, as well as any specific departments you think are best suited to your interests.

Length and Subjects

Every issue of Edible Cleveland includes a variety of stories of various lengths. The editor chooses writers and topics for each issue with the intention of balancing the coverage and nurturing a wide and loyal readership.

We include two to four features in each issue, including a photo essay. Prose features range from 1,000 to 2,000 words. Topics are limited only by season and a connection to the theme, and range from an in-depth exploration of a regional tradition or ingredient to a food-related experience, such as creating a traditional English herb garden or raising chickens in the city.

Department stories range from 250 to 1,000 words. Departments include:

EDIBLE NOTABLE (ideal for first-time contributors): These front-of-the-book pieces are newsier, 350-400 word write-ups about a new or interesting person, product, or place in the local food community.

THIS LAND: From Northeast Ohio’s farms to the shores of our Great Lakes to our rural communities, every issue will explore our local bounty.

EDIBLE IN SEASON: An informative and fun look at what’s in season and how to make the most of it.

REFRESHMENTS: A celebration of Northeast Ohio’s varied local potables, from microbrew beer to regional wines to artisan coffee, and everything in between.

FIRST PERSON: Stories from local chefs, entrepreneurs, advocates, artisans, and home cooks about the role of local foods and its effect on their lives and ours.

SURPRISINGLY EDIBLE: A chance to take a closer look at ingredients most wouldn’t consider adding to their plate, from rosehips to sheepshead to schmaltz.

EDIBLE TRADITIONS: Cleveland’s history is intertwined with the earth and its abundance. This feature will capture the area’s food history and connect it to our lives today.


If you have further questions, please contact Lisa Sands, Publisher, via email at

Thank you for your interest in Edible Cleveland.