How to pitch an NPR Songs element : NPR

NPR Music
NPR Music

NPR Tunes is an editorial staff devoted to connecting the dots involving the persons who make tunes, the folks who hear to it and the context surrounding each. We prioritize publishing a wide array of perspectives, not a one definitive “just take,” and are open to all genres, specifically people you consider we could be covering greater. If you haven’t composed for us prior to and are intrigued in pitching a characteristic, here is what you need to have to know.

At a fundamental stage, your pitch ought to adhere to the typical-sense rules you’ve got witnessed somewhere else. Set “PITCH” in your issue line. In the human body of your concept, plainly clarify your central argument or dilemma. Describe why now is the time to notify this story and how you may go about it, like a target duration (800-1,200 terms is a excellent variety for a initially assignment). If you can find a unique audience you are hoping to attain, say so. Keep it to two or 3 brief paragraphs.

Most importantly, try to remember that a pitch will not likely stand out if all it does is broadly endorse the tunes. While quite a few new music stories do hinge on taste, just as important to us are historical past, community, identification and the mechanics of ability — the things that filter how we hear. What excites, worries or startles you about this tunes, how it was produced or how it’s been utilized? What ought to your reader recognize about it, regardless of whether they like it? Give us a concentrated, unique angle on your subject matter and you can expect to be ahead of the pack.

So what types of stories are we searching for?

Just about any composed structure is truthful sport, but most of our capabilities tumble into a number of types:

  • Interviews and profiles of musicians, business specialists, subject matter make any difference experts and other really appealing persons whose life and insights can assistance illustrate a major-picture lesson. Tell us what you would want to locate out and why this is the moment to check with. Illustrations:
    • This profile of Raveena, wanting at the musician as she was getting ownership of her job.
    • This Lucy Dacus profile about songwriting as an empathetic window into your most susceptible recollections.
    • This job interview with D’Angelo’s audio engineer about building a modern day artist audio timeless.
    • This Japanese Breakfast Q&A, outlining the output choices that went into generating an album about pleasure.
  • Essays and criticism on the expertise of listening. For opinions, we’re intrigued in what would make a musical work remarkable — not merely very good (and not even essentially good), but possessing the sort of layered significance that rewards a nearer seem. Examples:
    • This St. Vincent critique about what’s at stake when a “futuristic” musician decides to go retro.
    • This essay on how an album by the elusive electronic artist Burial helped a single writer comprehend climate catastrophe.
    • This essay unpacking the significant baggage of Aaliyah’s songs arriving on streaming platforms.
    • This pattern tale on a wave of bookish U.K. write-up-punk bands and what their new music may reveal about lifetime following Brexit.
  • Reporting and investigation on recent functions and forgotten histories. We like inquisitive, effectively-educated tales that expose new amounts of meaning in the leisure lifestyle we take in just about every day. Illustrations:
    • This Dodos profile that widens into a story about musicians living with profession-threatening persistent suffering.
    • This evaluation of Dolly Parton’s saintly status in pop society and the knee-jerk urge to secure it.
    • This noted essay on the Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater collection as a generational gateway to alternate songs.
    • This reflection, immediately after Phil Spector’s dying, on the Black gals whose voices designed his wall of audio.

There is room for the occasional wild card — say, a high-strategy listing or a stay overview with a grander place — as lengthy as the presentation justifies alone. But no subject what, say what shape your piece will choose and why. Tales occur alive in the telling how you are going to explain to yours is as important as what it truly is about.

Okay, what are not we looking for?

There are a several widespread pitfalls that all but ensure your pitch is not going to get a response:

  • “This thing exists.” The the very least remarkable matter in an editor’s inbox is a pitch that simply just claims, “[Artist] has a new album, are you fascinated in a review/interview?” and leaves it at that. In its place, explain to us why you, precisely, are compelled by this subject matter at this moment: an odd detail that is sparked your curiosity, a fascinating parallel, an entry stage that can make a big subject approachable. Allow us see your head at perform.
  • Facts overload. Any individual can find raw data on a new launch or a soaring pattern and dump it in an e-mail your pitch will not experience important if it’s just a listing of info. Alternatively, place some assumed into highlighting what your reader requires to know — the things which is truly vital to the certain tale you want to explain to.
  • Right believed, completely wrong time (or vice versa). A easy overview might not be appropriate for an artist who’s currently mired in scandal. A 20th anniversary story should not audio like it could have been pitched when the album turned 10. Instead, be knowledgeable of the context in which visitors will encounter your piece, and write for that entire world.

That explained, a fantastic pitch will not have to be 100% excellent to be well worth sending. If you can find an thought that you know would make a fantastic NPR Audio story, mail it together with particulars about why it suggests something exclusive to you, and we may well be capable to aid locate the edges of the body.

If you’re ready to submit:

Email your pitch to [email protected].* Our editors will evaluation it and, if we are intrigued or have concerns, make contact with you within a 7 days or two. We won’t be able to answer to every thing, but if you have despatched quite a few pitches devoid of listening to again, feel free of charge to ask how your submissions could be improved and we are going to do our very best to provide some direction. As of early 2022, our foundation charges for common story sorts are $600 for testimonials, $800 for shorter options (like interviews and obituaries) and $1,200 for for a longer time options and essays.

*Remember to use this tackle only for pitching your personal world wide web features — it is not the spot to pitch a radio piece or a new podcast, or for artists or publicists to lobby for protection. Also, NPR is a information firm: If a story involves a distinct conflict of curiosity amongst writer and subject, it truly is not for us.