Please join us as an SFA member. We also encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check our calendar to find out about SFA events in your area.

So glad you asked! As a member, you show your enthusiasm for the mission and vision of the SFA. In addition, other benefits include:

  • Advance notice of all SFA events
  • Subscription to our quarterly food journal, Gravy
  • A weekly email digest with news and announcements
  • Recognition in our online membership directory
  • A nifty membership sticker for your car, office, or fridge

SFA is an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Our World Headquarters (SFAWHQ) are inside Barnard Observatory on the university campus.

Gravy quarterly and Gravy podcast consider pitches year-round. Please direct pitches for print articles to and podcast pitches to Please allow up to two weeks for a response to your query. 

Gravy tells stories of the changing American South through food, broadly defined. We always want stories with a strong sense of character and place. If you have a strong, clear story idea, you should be able to sum it up in the following sentence: I’m telling a story about X, and it is interesting because Y. 

Gravy quarterly publishes narrative nonfiction, investigative reporting, personal essays, and, less frequently, poetry, recipes, and short fiction. Pitches to Gravy quarterly should be 1-2 paragraphs and should include: 

  • Synopsis of your idea. What makes your story interesting, and what makes it a fit for Gravy
  • Proposed length of your story. Gravy pieces range from 800 to 4,000 words. 
  • Link to a relevant sample of previous work (published if possible). 
  • Gravy accepts unsolicited submissions, but we prefer that you query first.

If your pitch is accepted, a Gravy editor will communicate with you regarding budget and deadline.  

Gravy podcast works with reporter-producers who complete a season of five 20-minute episodes. Pitches to Gravy podcast should include: 

  • 5–7 episode ideas, outlined in approximately one paragraph per episode. We prefer to organize each season around a broad theme (recent and upcoming examples include food and music, climate change, immigrant communities, and diasporas)
  • Link to a relevant sample of your previous radio or podcast work

SFA staff will follow up with a phone conversation before making a season assignment.

SFA pays all Gravy writers, artists, reporters, and producers. We expect all contributors to act with integrity and professionalism. 

Gravy publishes original work. All sources, quotes, and forthcoming publication information must be properly credited and acknowledged in keeping with SFA house style and best practices of journalistic ethics. 

Gravy does not publish content written or provided by public relations agencies. Gravy contributors must never ask for nor accept free goods or services in exchange for coverage. When SFA staff receive unsolicited free or discounted food or beverage at a restaurant, our policy is to add the corresponding amount to the server’s tip. We ask that Gravy contributors follow the same policy. 

Gravy writers and reporters do not pay interview subjects or story sources but may cover or reimburse sources for reasonable expenses.

Gravy contributors should read and adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Association of Food Journalists. (While the AFJ disbanded in 2020, its code of ethics remains industry standard.) For a deeper dive into the professional ethics that guide Gravy reporting, producing, and editing, we recommend the Codes of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Radio, Television, and Digital News Association (RTDNA). 

Please contact SFA managing editor Sara Camp Milam if you have a question regarding journalistic ethics.

The SFA isn’t currently hosting interns due to COVID restrictions. We do invite you to follow us on social media, where we’ll post internship announcements when they are again available.

Wow, thanks! Please click here to read our guidelines for hosting a Piggy Bank Dinner. And if you’ve never been to an SFA event before, we invite you to attend one (or two, or more!) before becoming a host.

We LOVE visitors here at the SFA World Headquarters! You can visit our funky office anytime during the week. We travel frequently, so a phone call before your visit is encouraged. You’ll find us in Barnard Observatory on the campus of the University of Mississippi. Click here for a map. We might even have pie. *Visits to the office are currently suspended due to COVID restrictions.

We are pleased to speak with your group via Skype or in person whenever it’s feasible. To make a request and help identify the right person for your needs, please begin by contacting Melissa Hall. We make it a point to pay for speakers’ travel to our own events, and we hope you’ll understand that we will expect similar consideration from your organization.

The best way to make sure you receive every copy of Gravy is to become an SFA member! You can also find Gravy at Square Books in Oxford, MS; or Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, AL.

If you would like to carry Gravy in your bookstore or other establishment, please contact Mary Beth Lasseter.

We most often screen SFA films at events that are sponsored by the SFA or put on by others as a fundraiser in our benefit. Melissa Hall is happy to chat with you about other film requests on a case-by-case basis.

SFA sells apparel in limited quantities via Bonfire. Click here to see our swag shop. T-shirts are manufactured in batches, but orders are printed approximately every three weeks.

There’s always something fresh and new on our website, and we don’t want you to miss any of it. Add to your RSS feed or follow us on social media to get all the latest updates.


Twitter: (@southfoodways)

Instagram: (@southfoodways)

Read through our mission, vision, and values, and you might get a better sense of how we work.