How to pitch an NPR Audio feature : NPR

NPR Music
NPR Music

NPR New music is an editorial workforce devoted to connecting the dots among the folks who make music, the people today who listen to it and the context bordering each. We prioritize publishing a vast array of views, not a solitary definitive “choose,” and are open up to all genres, particularly individuals you assume we could be masking greater. If you have not published for us before and are fascinated in pitching a characteristic, here’s what you need to know.

At a essential amount, your pitch must adhere to the frequent-perception pointers you’ve got found in other places. Put “PITCH” in your subject matter line. In the system of your concept, evidently demonstrate your central argument or issue. Demonstrate why now is the time to convey to this story and how you can go about it, which include a focus on size (800-1,200 text is a good array for a 1st assignment). If there is a particular viewers you might be hoping to get to, say so. Hold it to two or 3 brief paragraphs.

Most importantly, bear in mind that a pitch is not going to stand out if all it does is broadly endorse the new music. Though several songs stories do hinge on taste, just as vital to us are heritage, neighborhood, identification and the mechanics of electricity — the factors that filter how we listen. What excites, fears or startles you about this new music, how it was made or how it is really been utilised? What must your reader understand about it, no matter of no matter whether they like it? Give us a targeted, particular angle on your topic and you can expect to be forward of the pack.

So what types of tales are we searching for?

Just about any composed format is reasonable sport, but most of our options tumble into a couple types:

  • Interviews and profiles of musicians, field gurus, subject subject experts and other pretty interesting folks whose life and insights can assist illustrate a significant-picture lesson. Inform us what you’d want to locate out and why this is the second to request. Illustrations:
    • This profile of Raveena, on the lookout at the musician as she was having ownership of her occupation.
    • This Lucy Dacus profile about songwriting as an empathetic window into your most susceptible recollections.
    • This interview with D’Angelo’s audio engineer about building a present-day artist sound timeless.
    • This Japanese Breakfast Q&A, explaining the generation selections that went into generating an album about pleasure.
  • Essays and criticism on the experience of listening. For opinions, we are interested in what makes a musical perform extraordinary — not just excellent (and not even necessarily very good), but possessing the variety of layered significance that benefits a nearer seem. Examples:
    • This St. Vincent review about what’s at stake when a “futuristic” musician decides to go retro.
    • This essay on how an album by the elusive digital artist Burial helped one particular writer understand climate catastrophe.
    • This essay unpacking the major baggage of Aaliyah’s songs arriving on streaming platforms.
    • This trend story on a wave of bookish U.K. put up-punk bands and what their songs might expose about life following Brexit.
  • Reporting and assessment on present functions and neglected histories. We love inquisitive, well-educated stories that expose new concentrations of indicating in the enjoyment lifestyle we take in every day. Illustrations:
    • This Dodos profile that widens into a story about musicians dwelling with career-threatening serious suffering.
    • This assessment of Dolly Parton’s saintly standing in pop tradition and the knee-jerk urge to safeguard it.
    • This documented essay on the Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater sequence as a generational gateway to different music.
    • This reflection, just after Phil Spector’s death, on the Black girls whose voices created his wall of audio.

There is space for the occasional wild card — say, a superior-notion record or a reside critique with a grander position — as long as the presentation justifies itself. But no subject what, say what shape your piece will take and why. Tales come alive in the telling how you can convey to yours is as important as what it can be about.

Alright, what aren’t we wanting for?

There are a several popular pitfalls that all but guarantee your pitch is not going to get a reaction:

  • “This detail exists.” The minimum fascinating factor in an editor’s inbox is a pitch that simply just says, “[Artist] has a new album, are you fascinated in a overview/interview?” and leaves it at that. Alternatively, notify us why you, specifically, are compelled by this subject at this minute: an odd depth which is sparked your curiosity, a intriguing parallel, an entry issue that makes a massive matter approachable. Let us see your intellect at function.
  • Information and facts overload. Anybody can obtain raw information on a new release or a soaring pattern and dump it in an e-mail your pitch will not sense essential if it is really just a checklist of details. In its place, place some considered into highlighting what your reader requirements to know — the stuff that’s genuinely vital to the particular tale you want to tell.
  • Suitable believed, wrong time (or vice versa). A clear-cut overview may well not be appropriate for an artist who’s at the moment mired in scandal. A 20th anniversary tale shouldn’t audio like it could have been pitched when the album turned 10. As an alternative, be conscious of the context in which readers will come upon your piece, and create for that planet.

That reported, a superior pitch will not have to be 100% excellent to be value sending. If you can find an notion that you know would make a good NPR New music story, send out it together with particulars about why it signifies a thing specific to you, and we may be ready to assist locate the edges of the frame.

If you’re ready to post:

Electronic mail your pitch to [email protected].* Our editors will overview it and, if we’re fascinated or have questions, make contact with you inside a 7 days or two. We can not answer to almost everything, but if you have despatched a number of pitches devoid of hearing back again, feel cost-free to talk to how your submissions could be enhanced and we are going to do our very best to present some steering. As of early 2022, our base fees for widespread story styles are $600 for critiques, $800 for limited options (including interviews and obituaries) and $1,200 for for a longer period attributes and essays.

*Make sure you use this deal with only for pitching your possess internet characteristics — it is not the place to pitch a radio piece or a new podcast, or for artists or publicists to lobby for coverage. Also, NPR is a information organization: If a story includes a distinct conflict of interest in between writer and topic, it is really not for us.