Editorial Change, and a Call for Submissions


The Wildernist has been reborn, and I am ridiculously excited to see where it will go from here.

The new editorial direction will be somewhat different from its predecessor: Other publications—our previous editor John Jacobi’s Hunter/Gatherer, the various products of the Dark Mountain Project, the books of the Foundation for Deep Ecology, and others—have taken up the task of laying out the slew of possible theoretical and scientific foundations of wildism and wildness-centered conservation. But no theory, no matter how compelling, can drive mass action without first meshing with a deeply personal reason to act in the minds of its audience. Yet theory provides a framework for what otherwise can emerge as misguided action in those emotionally moved by the loss of our wilderness. Our movement needs a symbiosis of theory and emotion.

We at The Wildernist, then, will focus on personal connections to wild nature, from interviews with ecologists and activists on why they value the world they spend their lives protecting to poetry and art expressing the wide range of individual relationships with the wild. We want to make wildism relatable—to give people the tools to get to wilderness and to connect with it, and to publish the range of roles that the wild can play in individuals’ lives. Not that we intend to become a diary of testimonials, but that we want to provide the personal and emotive side to wildism.

Of course, we cannot understand, much less write, all the ways that people relate with nature, and so this statement of editorial direction is also a call for submissions. If there are things about ecology, conservation biology, ecological history, or wild nature in general that you think should be told, we would love to publish them. This includes reports of mountaineering expeditions as in our first issue, reports of your hikes or time as a wilderness guide, or other nonfictive or fictive prose, poetry, or visual art.

If you have submissions or queries about potential submissions, either use our “Submit” tab or email jocahowe@wildism.org with subject line “Wildernist Submission.”

There is no length limit, as this is an online publication, but we do prefer that if a submission is 600 pages of poetry, each line is significant enough that it could be no less than 600 pages. Clarity is key.

All work should be original work of the submitter, and if you submit a translation, please cite the work you translated.

Of course, I suggest that you read an issue or two before submitting. Feel free to include a short biographical statement and information on your other work with your submission, but, of course, we will respect your wishes for anonymity, as the case may be.

Please submit text submissions in .doc or .docx file formats and visual art as email attachments in .jpeg form. Query first for other types of work; I’m sure we can find a place for them. If we don’t publish your work the first time you submit it, never fear: We’ll provide feedback and suggestions, and you can resubmit at any point. Due to our status as a not-for-profit, student-run magazine, we can’t pay our contributors.

Freedom in Wild Nature.

-Jonah Howell

Postscipt by John Jacobi:

I’m quite pleased that Jonah has decided to revive The Wildernist. I’ve worked with him on a few political projects now and have had many fruitful conversations with him about wild nature and what we can do to defend it. From these experiences I’m convinced that no one else would be as good a candidate as he.

Jonah has a few skills that I’ve never been able to acquire: he’s much better at reaching the emotional side of people, much better at listening, much better at connecting, and far, far better at not letting the imperative to be logical dominate inappropriately in personal interactions. As such, he is much better suited to directing The Wildernist than I am, and the wildist movement as a whole is very much benefitted by his taking it on.

In the near future, I will continue to work on my newsletter, Hunter/Gatherer, in order to lay the theoretical, philosophical, and strategic foundations of wildism. Those interested in more in-depth justifications for our beliefs, then, should pay attention to both projects. Otherwise, The Wildernist is sure to benefit anyone who simply enjoys wild nature. We’ve had a great batch of submissions in our past three issues and it looks like some of our old writers will be returning.

Best wishes to all of you. Live wild or die!

John Jacobi