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Writer Guidelines

Published online on 18 May 2010
Revised 20 May 2013

About the Website

Nextbop is a website dedicated to spreading modern jazz to the masses, not necessarily to jazz fans but to music lovers overall. The site posts every weekday about new, fascinating things in the thriving jazz scene (and some of its periphery). The content on the site works to capture the zeal we have for the music and feel of modern jazz music and to make it appealing the world over.

Solicitations & Assignments:

Nextbop welcomes unsolicited articles from anyone who believes the piece is appropriate for Nextbop and its readers. (Hint: Best way to figure out what is appropriate is to read the website.)

Queries soliciting approval of an idea may be submitted. Queries should include proposed subject, length, applicability and writer samples. Though, editorially, a finished product has much more worth than a story idea. Talking with members of central management through email, Twitter, instant message, or other correspondence to work through ideas is welcome.

Nextbop will assist in obtaining interviews, attending events, etc. as needed. Nextbop will provide complimentary CDs for assignment when possible.

NOTE:

Solicitation of record labels, promoters, artists, and publicists on behalf of Nextbop must be done in coordination with Nextbop editors. If you want to pursue a story and need to use the name of our publication for access, please authorize it with Nextbop staff directly.

Submissions may be edited and may be published at any time, typically on a rolling basis at editorial staff’s discretion. However, one should generally expect quick turnaround

Submission Format:

Electronic submissions (email, Google Docs, text files, MS Word files, or Rich Text Format files) preferred.
Send editorials, album reviews, news items, short blog posts to info@nextbop.com or anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com

Submissions should include the following heading:

Title (altered at editor’s discretion, but likely to remain the same)
Name as you want it to appear published
Contributing Writer (or role otherwise given at editorial staff’s discretion)
Email Address / Twitter

Writing Guidelines:

Personal Style
The primary goal is to tell a complete story. Whether your submission is to describe a YouTube video or profile an artist's forty year career, be as complete as possible in order to make sure the reader knows what's necessary. The core is to make sure the audience knows about the music, then the flair comes from there. However, your voice should still ring clear. Don't shy away from being dynamic, interesting, and purely you-- just be the best, most informed you that you can be so your audience can come away from learning about the artists described in a way that makes them want to keep coming back. Be the person you'd want to hear about hip music from.

Fact-Checking
Be thorough. Never do an interview without a tape recorder, and save the tapes in case there’s an alleged discrepancy. If you are unsure of any facts in the article, please call this to our attention at the beginning of the article. We can help you verify the facts or remove them from the article.

Length
Pieces are as long or as short as they need to be.

As welcome as we are to written work, we are more than glad to accept multimedia submissions and welcome them to provide much appreciated variety to the site.

Style
Titles of large works (albums, films, television series, etc.) are italicized.

Titles of smaller works (song titles, chapters titles, and article titles) should be placed in quotations; punctuation goes inside the quotation marks if part of title. Otherwise, Nextbop abides by logical punctuation.

Write out numbers nine and under and numbers that begin a sentence (if necessary); otherwise use numerals.

Use numerals for decades, except at the beginning of a sentence. Use 4 digits for the first reference, with no apostrophe, and then 2 digits with an initial apostrophe (e.g., 1990s then ’90s).

Write-out the complete title of a song or album on first use; it may be abbreviated subsequently. Generally, credit songwriters rather than performers (e.g., unless you’re commenting on something specific to Hendrix’ or U2’s version, it’s Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”).

Tips
Shy away from statements like, “In a just world, Artist X would be getting more attention, mainstream attention, etc.” We believe that this could be said about most of the artists we cover. That’s why we exist.

There is a definite socially-conscious bent to the site, but don’t feel like you need to force this angle. We don’t have an agenda and while there is certainly agreement among the collective, no one voice speaks for the entirety of the site, but we do place a higher value on art that has depth and meaning rather than platitudes and propaganda.

KNOW THE WEBSITE.

One cannot surmise the appropriateness of a submission to Nextbop unless one reads Nextbop

What we’re looking for…

Multimedia Features
This includes photographs, embedded videos (from YouTube or Vimeo, preferably), or any other ideas you may have upon consultation with editorial staff. We are open to any ideas geared toward moving Nextbop forward and making it as great a website and community as possible. Adding more than mere text is more than welcome.

Concert Reviews
Try to capture the tone and feel of the concert you have attended. Since Nextbop is all about propagating jazz’s appeal to the masses and displaying the best situation to immerse oneself in jazz, live performance, it’s critical that concert reviews appeal deeply to the reader and show in words and other multimedia (if permitted by the artist and venue) the greatness of jazz.

Album Reviews/For Your Consideration Think Pieces
Discuss an album, not just saying why it's great, but also talking about what it accomplishes. Where does it exist in an artist's body of work? What does it say about jazz today? About the world today? Where is the artist trying to take his or her career? Where is s/he trying to take the listener? Delve into larger ideas than consumer advocacy. Truly make a discussion piece. It's an album review all about what the reader should take into consideration when approaching the work.

Feature Profiles
Each feature needs to involve contact with the artist (we will help set these up for you if necessary). These need to be well-researched, well-written pieces from an original angle. We’ll work with you to get these just right. We’d like these to be more than just articles about artists, their careers and their label problems and hopes for a bigger audience. We want these to be explorations into the art of an individual. Incorporate song lyrics & titles (when available). Use narrative structures. Appeal to a variety of the reader’s senses—place them in the room with the artist. Make it relevant to the reader’s life—why should they care about this person’s art?

Essays
We at times post long-form essays. These can be humorous, personal, opinionated or all three.

Film, Book & Television Features
These include profiles of filmmakers and authors, coverage of new films and other articles on writing as they pertain to the theme of the site. (i.e. We really should be watching Tremé, shouldn't we?)

Submissions should be sent to:

Anthony Dean-Harris, Editor-in-Chief: anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com