Cover It Up: How to Get Your Photo on EVENT’s Cover
We would love to receive more cover art submissions. Most EVENT covers are sourced through artist websites, photo blogs, local galleries, Instagram, and so on. We only accept work by BC photographers, but the real challenge is to find a photo that meets these criteria:
1. It catches the eye on newsstands, on social media, on a coffee table in the dentist’s waiting room. Jeff Downer’s cover photo for 43/3, for example, may have alarmed my parents–a saucy playing card, given modesty by a bit of the torn paper background. It’s the sort of image where one needs to look closely, to linger on it in order to understand.
2. It jives with our contents. The poetry and prose in any given issue of EVENT can be quite eclectic, and yet sometimes we spot themes emerging. In Issue 44/3, for example, we noticed frequent images of birds. Randy Lundy’s poem, ‘Ceremony,’ he writes ‘The dead do not come in the form of birds, and if the birds come from another world, with their beaks and scaled legs and feet, they do not know it and neither do you.’ We paired this haunting quote with the following photo, ‘Chimango Caracara’ by award-winning nature photographer Adam Gibbs.
3. It suggests a theme, a distinct mood, and/or a narrative. While it’s impossible to predict the exact images the texts we print will contain, there are universal themes that tend to recur: loss, isolation, parenthood, childhood, journeys, silence, waiting, transformation. One of my favourite EVENT covers features Connor Charlesworth’s ‘The Couple (Watched/Watching)’ which won BlackFlash Magazine’s 2014 Optic Nerve contest. The photo tells a story, has dramatic contrast of light and dark, and depicts voyeurism while also relating an image of domesticity. On the back cover we included a call-out quote from Richard Kelly Kemick’s poem, ‘Wolves’: ‘They can hear your stomach churn, / smell the cavities in your molars, / see your pulse galloping into the soft parts of your neck. / There is no place they do not know you.’
4. It contains sufficient negative space. With the photo submissions we do receive, often we love the images but can’t use them as covers because there’s no room for our title, issue number, bar code, call-outs, etc. This wasn’t a concern with our most recent issue, which features the gorgeous ‘Rainbow’ by Angus Macgillivray.
Got a photo that could make a great EVENT cover? Send it our way!