“We are greater than the sum of our parts.”

―John Green, "Looking for Alaska"

Orlo is an organization dedicated to exploring place-based and environmental issues. Orlo is also far-reaching community of peoplewriters, artists, designers, scientists, entrepreneurs, readers, observers, experimenterswho are curious, critical and engaged with the people and places around them. Through The Bear Deluxe Magazine, readings, art shows, lectures and other events, Orlo supports a dynamic and diverse dialogue about how we relate to our environment. Orlo and The Bear Deluxe Magazine operate with a dedicated crew of volunteers and supporters.

If you are interested in contributing your in-kind or financial support please email us at beardeluxe@orlo.org.

For more specific information about volunteering as a designer, including information about internships, please see the art, design and illustration guidelines below.

Submission guidelines


As with any publication, we strongly suggest that you review several back issues before submitting manuscripts, portfolios or query letters.  Visit our back issues page here, and email us at beardeluxe@orlo.org to order specific issues.

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The Bear Deluxe does not have strict, published deadlines but considers submissions and story ideas on an ongoing basis.

Email Submissions & Attachments

The Bear Deluxe is currently only accepting email submissions. As a volunteer-run publication, we can only respond to those email submissions chosen for publication. Thank you for your understanding.

Email beardeluxe@orlo.org to be added to the editorial listserv and to receive occasional updates and calls for submissions on selected themes. Or better yet, join the eNewletter list.

Submission Formats

Writers are encouraged to suggest headlines, subheads and pull-quotes, although final decisions in these areas are made by the editorial staff. Include a 20-word biographical statement. In the subject line of your email, address your submission to appropriate editor: i.e., poetry editor, fiction editor or nonfiction editor. Whenever possible, include writing samples or links to recent work.

Want more specifics about editorial genres and specifications, word counts and themes?



Unsolicited nonfiction manuscripts are considered, but it is less common that they find a home in The Bear Deluxe. More often, nonfiction writers approach editors with a story idea or are asked to write on ideas generated internally by the magazine. Specific ideas should be presented in a detailed query letter format and accompanied by writing samples, and suggestions for artwork. Features: Several independent features are included in each issue. Features are typically timely, have an overarching perspective or appeal and include strong elements of reporting. Word range: 750-4,000 words. Departments: Front of the book: eclectic mix of shorter stories, including news updates, brief interviews, found writing, info graphics and factoids. Reviews: New titles, lost classics, films, videos, products, theater. Almost anything goes. 100-1000 words. Interviews: Well-known folks, sure, but also feature interviews with creatives outside of traditional environmental circles. 1,500-4,000 words. Short interviews with more insider types: 750-1,500 words. Resource page: Lists of opportunities for readers (schools, organizations, instructions, other) with brief description of each. 500-650 words. Stockroom: Updates on recently published material (100-250 words).


We are most excited by high-quality writing that furthers the magazine’s goal of engaging new and divergent readers. We appreciate strong aspects of storytelling and are open to new formats, though we wouldn’t call ourselves publishers of “experimental fiction.” We generally do not publish traditional sci-fi, horror, romance or crime/action stories. Word limit: 4,000.

Essays and Creative Nonfiction

We are more interested in essays and creative nonfiction that go beyond “walks in the park” or “relationship stories.” We treat essays and creative fiction much like features (see above) and encourage a strong sense of reportage or news-gathering. Personal narrative essays are accepted, particularly when addressing a specific theme identified by the magazine. News essays, on occasion, are assigned out. 750-4,000 words.


50-line limit. Please submit only 3-5 poems.

Theme Issues and Sections

Nonfiction stories related to a theme tend to be developed in close consultation with the editorial staff.

Writers’ Listserv

You can add your name to the email listserv for notification of themes, call-and-response features and editorial updates by sending an email to beardeluxe@orlo.org. Better yet, join the eNewsletter list.

Copyright and Compensation

The Bear Deluxe pays for 1st-time publishing rights only and online publishing rights for one year. After publication, all rights revert to the authors. The Bear Deluxe compensates its writers with a negotiated rate for nonfiction and fiction and a one-year subscription.

Submission Guidelines

Art, illustration and design

Visual artists contribute to The Bear Deluxe in various ways, including:

  • Editorial illustrations
  • Editorial photography
  • Independent art
  • Cover art
  • Cartoons
  • Comics and short graphic stories

The Bear Deluxe is able to publish work in grayscale and four-color formats, depending on space and printing budget.

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Design professionals

Contribute to the organization as part of magazine development, promotions, art and design-based initiatives, and as part of strategic development and creative direction, usually in connection with the creative team. We’re an all-volunteer staff, and we do this because it’s a chance to collaborate with people in ways we don’t normally get to in our day jobs, on a labor of love. We work together because we want to, and we hold ourselves to high standards because of it. The creative work we do includes:

  • Graphic design
  • Production
  • Design support and brainstorming
  • Art direction
  • Curation
  • Planning

Please indicate whether you’d like to contribute as an illustrator/photographer, independent artist or as part of the creative team (if you’re based in Portland) when sending an inquiry to beardeluxe@orlo.org.

Are you ready to get involved? Here’s how.

How To Submit

The best first step is to email us a link to your current work samples and a brief note or email describing the type of work you do, something about your process and how you might work with us. Let us know if you’d like to be considered for editorial illustration/photography, or only independent art. Send a few links to relevant images, place-based work or environmentally themed art, editorial work with a creative spin, work tackling issues of re-use, politics, parody are all interesting to us. Comic artists and illustrators should continue to send us their latest and greatest, favorite work.

Due to the number of submissions we receive, we cannot guarantee a response. But we do look at each submission!

How to Volunteer

Please send us an email indicating whether you’d like to contribute as an illustrator/photographer, independent artist or as part of the creative team (if you’re based in Portland) when sending an inquiry to beardeluxe@orlo.org.

Design Interns?

Though we don’t generally take on design interns, we are a small group of designers with diverse experience, interested in working with others with print and production experience who can work independently. Unfortunately, the learning experience we feel is important to provide a design intern is not something we can commit to without regular design staff office hours.


We’re big fans of a custom email to the attention of “art group” with a bite-sized PDF of selected work and a link to your portfolio site where we can see more. If you want to follow up with a self-promo in the mail, we do look through all our submissions. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to respond to every one, but the good news is that each of us has a different day job and so if we see something beautiful we often talk about it and think about it beyond our work here.


Independent, focused, interested?

Orlo and The Bear Deluxe take on select interns on a case-by-case basis depending on experience, availability of staff to mentor candidates, and projects in development during the proposed internship span. Past internships have focused on editorial, publishing, non-profit business strategy and adminstration, events and social media. If you are interested, send inquiries to beardeluxe@orlo.org with “internship application” in the subject line.

Design Interns?  Not at this time. Unfortunately, the learning experience we feel is important to provide a design intern is not something we can commit to without regular design staff office hours.

Tips for applying
We are big fans of a targeted email or cover letter with a well-crafted resume, list of references, and (if applicable) a bite-sized PDF of selected work and a link to your portfolio site or a blog where we can see more. You should be clear about what type of work you are looking to do and what experience you hope to get from your work with us, as well as what your availability for the internship is.