Summer 2021 Submissions: On Thoreau

On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau went to live at Walden for two years, two months, and two days. Although he was certainly never as isolated at some would suggest, he did live in some solitude and closer to Nature than most of us. More than Thoreau’s living quarters, it was his writing during that time period that would make Thoreau an important historical figure and give the world a powerful work that would guide and inspire so many for generations to come.

Here at Farmer-ish, Thoreau is our guide in many ways, and he was so much more than Walden. His essays on Maine, on walking, on apples, berries, and, of course, on civil disobedience are cherished. Laura Dassow Walls’ comprehensive biography of Thoreau, published in 2017, shed new light on the complexities, contradictions, and beauty of a fascinating human who continues to influence people around the world, and we want to explore Thoreau further.

For our first themed issue, our Summer Solstice 2021 issue will focus on all things Thoreau. We will interpret this theme loosely and welcome submissions on everything from informal analysis and personal response to Thoreau’s writing to stories about how Thoreau has inspired you as a farmer or homesteader or consumer. What does Thoreau’s writing continue to offer us today? How does his activism for both the environment and human rights make his work relevant today? What can we learn from Thoreau as many of us emerge from the isolation due to COVID? What does Thoreau offer us in terms of wisdom about living deliberately? What does Thoreau teach us about the importance of everything from blueberries to the mouse he met while living at Walden, who apparently loved to hear Thoreau play the flute?

Although not all submissions are required to focus on Thoreau, preference will be given to essays, narratives, recipes, and how-to pieces that focus on some aspect of Thoreau’s life or works. As always, be sure to follow our general submission guidelines. Starting in Summer 2021, essays, recipes, and poetry pay $50. Book reviews pay $25.

The deadline for pitches for our Summer Solstice 2021 issue is May 30, 2021. The deadline for submissions is June 6, 2021. Be sure to put your text in the body of an email to Please put your working title and “Summer 2021” in your subject line.

photo credit: Eflon, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons licensed