It’s a new year, but let’s keep on keeping in touch! In fact, better communication is among our resolutions, so here’s how to reach the Mountain Xpress Arts & Entertainment department with story pitches, events for publication, news tips, arts happenings, concert info, ideas for freelance stories and more.
WHAT AND HOW WE PUBLISH
There are various publications options, and it’s helpful if you know how you’d like your event published.
• FEATURE STORIES are full-length articles published in the print paper (they run online, too). The A&E section includes approximately four per week, so competition is fierce.
• SMART BETS are featurettes, or short blurbs with a photo, also in print. Xpress usually runs four each week.
• ONLINE STORIES or blogs, are short, informative stories the run on our website only.
• BLOGWIRE is our online space dedicated to posting local news and press releases.
• COMMUNITY CALENDAR runs online and in print and features a wide range of community events, groups, gatherings, productions, interests, etc.
• CLUBLAND lists events happening in area listening rooms and music venues.
For features and smart bets, email a press release to email@example.com at least three weeks* before the issue in which the story would need to run. Remember: Xpress publishes on Wednesdays (and is sometimes out downtown on Tuesdays). Usually each issue includes events from Thursday to the following Wednesday. So if your event falls on a Wednesday, aim for at least four weeks’ lead time.
* Even if a press release is received in time, stories are still subject to space availability and other criteria determined by the A&E editor.
For online stories and blogwire there is no deadline, and we handle these on a rolling basis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with arts-related topics.
The deadline for Community Calendar is by noon on Wednesday for the following week’s publication. Email email@example.com. Community Calendar listings run the week prior to and the week of an event. Find guidelines for Calendar here.
A press release is an informative written statement to be shared with media outlets. There are a number of online resources for how to write effective releases, such as this one.
At MXArts we’re not too picky as long as the release includes all the pertinent info. Consider a WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN approach, like this:
WHO: The Fuzzy Wambats
WHAT: Thrash-folk kazoo orchestra from Brooklyn
WHERE: The Leisure Suit Lounge
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 22, at 9 p.m. $10 advance / $12 day of show
INFO: The Fuzzy Wombats all met as UHAUL drivers during Christmas season and realized they had something in common: A love of tiramisu and a penchant for thrash folk. The problem: No one in the band knew how to play and instrument. The solution: Kazoos! Learn more at Wambats4FR.com.
Please attach a high resolution image with your press release. High resolution, for print reproduction, should be 240 dpi or better at approximately 5 X 7 inches. We prefer horizontal shots.
TIP: Include a link to a dropbox containing press images, a bio, and other material that the media might find helpful. The drop box can be private but the link should be public so that it can be accessed simply by clicking the link. This is a good way to provide additional material and large files without overloading anyone’s inbox.
And finally, it’s always nice to receive a press release or email pitch with a personal greeting. The current Arts & Entertainment editor is Alli Marshall.
WHAT ELSE TO SEND TO MXARTS
We love knowing what local artists of all genres are up to. Send us JPGS of artwork, videos, MP3 files or album streams, story ideas, tips, etc. We can’t cover everything, but the more info we have on hand, the more likely we are to post it, tweet it, link to it, Facebook it, share it and write about it.
FOR WRITERS: STORY PITCHES AND SUBMISSIONS
Xpress does not publish unsolicited stories, but we are always looking for freelance writers to cover all realms of arts and entertainment. We usually run feature stories in 800 word range, so writers need to be able to produce informative yet tight prose in an engaging style. Press follows AP Style, and our focus is on local events, issues, initiatives, ideas and undertakings. All stories should have a connection to Western North Carolina.
To pitch a story idea, email Alli Marshall with a query letter including links to recently published arts stories and two or three pitches. We’re currently especially looking for writers to cover dance, craft, visual art and art policies and institutions.
To learn more about what we’re covering and what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook at Twitter @MXArts and @alli_marshall