As JamBase has developed our Editorial Team has implemented a new system for contributors. All submissions now work on at "pitch basis," meaning you must send an email pitch to the appropriate editor before covering an event, reviewing an album or writing a feature. Only pieces pitched in advance will be considered for publication.
FEATURES (1,000 – 4,000 words – unless otherwise agreed upon)
All features must include exclusive interviews that are recorded and transcribed for accuracy. JamBase features are generally about a specific artist, but are not limited to this format.
Please email pitches (100-300 words max, including artist/subject, angle and any other pertinent info such as album release date, tour dates and anything else that you feel is important) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If this is your first pitch to JamBase, please include your writing background and, if possible, clips of published work.
SHOW REVIEWS (350 – 1,000 words – unless otherwise agreed upon)
JamBase publishes a plethora of show reviews. If there is an event you would like to cover, please send pitches at least two weeks prior to the event. After the Editor has agreed to work on a show review with you, submissions must be received within five days after the event. Articles received after this time will not be considered.
Please email pitches (100-300 words max, including artist, venue, city, angle and any other pertinent info that you feel is important) to email@example.com. Also, let us know if you need JamBase's help getting into the show or if you have that covered. If this is your first pitch to JamBase, please include your writing background and, if possible, clips of published material.
ALBUM REVIEWS (100 – 500 words - unless otherwise agreed upon)
JamBase is publishing more Album reviews all the time with a growing focus on short, sharp capsule reviews. If you would like to review an album make sure we haven't already covered it and that the review is timely. JamBase can often provide CDs to writers, and once you're a regular contributor to the Album Review section there are monthly updates of available titles.
Please email pitches (100 words or less, including artist name, album title, release date, record label and if you already have the album or need a copy) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If this is your first pitch to JamBase, please include your writing background and, if possible, clips of published material.
If you have a Newswire Tip for us, please email email@example.com, Subject: Newswire Tip.
PROTOCOL FOR ACCEPTED PITCHES
All articles must be submitted through this form: http://www.jambase.com/Articles/AddStory.aspx
We’d also appreciate it if you took some time to format your piece to conform to JamBase standards. Take a look at what's published on the site in each section for a basic outline of how things are done. Please add basic HTML (paragraph breaks, italic and bold markers, band links etc), which is made easy through this form. It's a small amount of effort on your part but an important step in getting things published. Using this "Headsup/addstory" submission form saves time for JamBase Editors (thus creating a happy association with your work) and makes sure your contact/user name is credited appropriately. An added bonus of submitting through this form is it automatically links to your JamBase Profile so folks can see all the great articles you’ve written.
A SETLIST RECAP IS NOT A SHOW REVIEW
There are lots of places on the Internet to see setlists. We don't see the value in merely re-listing the songs with a simple "cool version" or "beautiful" in front of the song title. A review needs to offer something more than a fan's enthusiasm. It should pick up on the atmosphere, the venue, things the artist said this particular night, etc. It should put the band/artist in some context in terms of where they are in their career (did they just release an album? Did they sell out the venue? Did they do that last time in town? Was there new material? Is this a solo effort from someone in a known band?) What was different about THIS night? What stood out about the songs or the staging? Structuring the review chronologically can work if it's broken up, but if you break out of starting with a discussion of the opener and finishing with a recap of the encore it will go a long way towards differentiating your review from the pack. HOWEVER, a setlist at the bottom of the review is a great addition if you can find it. List it simply at the bottom of the review BUT don’t make the setlist your review.
CUT BACK ON 'PERSONAL JOURNAL' STUFF
First-person writing can be compelling and highly entertaining, but it's also the easiest way to fall flat and leave folks cringing. A few small personal observations are fine, maybe even valuable, in establishing a personality behind the piece BUT we don't care if you're laptop wasn't working or your girl was blowing up your cell phone or you bought kind grilled cheese outside the theatre or even, many times, that you met the band and they were nice to you. We can assure you the readers REALLY don't care. The personal stuff we include should help illuminate the music, explain why we love it so much and in that way perhaps help the reader find ways to love it, too. A good rule of thumb is to try and make your work as universal as possible so it appeals to the widest range of readers possible. The more you talk about yourself and the mundane details of your personal experience the more likely it is you'll lose a reader's interest. In terms of style, look at reviews or features you like (both on JamBase and elsewhere), think about how that writer approached and structured their review and use that as a guidepost.
WORD COUNTS MATTER
Keep it tight and punchy. 100-words for an Album review or 500-words for a show review might seem short but only when compared with what we've done in the past. The shorter format actually helps focus us the writing. It makes us choose which points we truly believe are important. Not everything needs to be stated. Not every song needs to be listed. Not every moment needs comment. Consider who you are writing for – yourself or the reader? It does no good to write a long review (or feature) if no one is going to read it. Less Is More!
You will make the Editor’s life much happier and stress-free if you learn these simple formatting codes. (Believe me, everyone wants a happy Editor.) The little HTML that is needed for our purposes is really quite simple, and will help save a lot of time.
Basic HTML for JamBase Articles
Line Break: <br>
Bold: <b>bolded text</b>
Italics: <i>italicized text</i>
- To a JamBase page: <a href="http://www.jambase.com/artists/artist.aspx?artistID=2350">linked text</a>
(This code can be generated using our Generate Links tool.)
- To another website: <a target="blank" href="http://www.link.com">linked text</a>
(Use target="blank" only when linking to a webpage outside of JamBase.)
For more HTML, check out this great cheat sheet.
- References to bands and venues should be linked to their JamBase page the first time they are mentioned in the article. To generate a link for a band or a venue on JamBase, go to our Generate Links tool.
- Album, DVD and film titles are italicized (use double-quotes for song titles, i.e., "Sand").
- Band members and guest names are bolded only the first time they are mentioned.
Using Photos in JamBase Articles
Photos are absolutely a plus for any piece of writing. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. In most cases, you will need to have a photo pass to take pictures at a venue. Photo passes can be arranged by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not a regular contributor, the photo pass request must include past experience and photography samples.
Photos to JamBase
If you took photos at a show to accompany a review, you can get them developed on a disc or online to make them available for emailing. Obviously, the prime solution is to have a digital camera for its immediacy. Submit an image or photo by attaching a .jpg or .gif file to the email and send it to email@example.com.
Photos that are not received directly from the photographer are usually taken from various places on the web, most often the band's website. Credit is always given to the photographer or the original source of the photo, unless this information is not available.
Copyright/Reproduction on Other Sites
Copyright in any submission is owned exclusively by JamBase. JamBase has the right to use, reproduce, transmit, edit, publish, and distribute the submission, on JamBase or otherwise, in any form or medium. The author takes public responsibility for all of the content, including changes made by the editor. The author will receive no financial compensation for its use and understands that the submission may be edited for space, content, style, and/or grammar.