33 1/3 Announces Open Call

Raz Robinson

How to write about music 33 1/3

It’s that time again! As of June 1, Bloomsbury Publishing will be accepting proposals for their 33 1/3 titles. 33 1/3 is a short book series devoted to long-form explorations of everything that makes a certain album special. Not a professional writer or music journalist? Not a deal breaker. Anyone can submit, Bloomsbury just asks that interested parties understand that if their proposal is selected, they must turn in a final manuscript within six to twelve months. If it really burns you up that each time Kate Bush comes up the world treats Hounds of Love like it’s verifiably better than The Dreaming, this is your moment. For all the weary folks tired of reading short 700-word reviews of their favorite records, here is your chance to write about any album of your choosing in a format that the internet just can’t won’t accommodate. That extra 29,300 words is yours! All proposals are due by 12:00pm Monday, July 27 and should be sent to 33proposals@gmail.com. If you want your manifesto to be considered, put your name, album, and artist in the subject line of the email.

The proposal requirements are as follows:

1. Your professional CV/resume, including full contact details and a short biography (25-50 words).

2. A draft annotated table of contents for the book. This should include chapter titles and a brief 50-500 word summary of each chapter. If you plan on deviating from a chapter structure, please explain why in 500 words.

3. A draft introduction/opening chapter for the book, of around 2,000 words.

4. A concise description of the book (up to 250 words). This needs to be clear, informative and persuasive. It should be suitable for use as the book’s blurb. It should be written so that people who are unfamiliar with the album will understand what this book is about.

5. Your analysis of the most relevant competing books already published (or forthcoming) about the artist in question or the scene surrounding that artist—and how your book will differ. Are there any films or film projects in the works? 200 words or less.

6. At least 500 words about yourself and why you are qualified to write this book. Why are you the best person to do it? How you would help Bloomsbury Academic market your book? Please list websites/forums/listservs you’d contact directly; any artist involvement you might expect; any college-level courses on which you think your book could be used, and so on.

7. Which existing 33 1/3 books or other types of music writing you like or dislike. Why? 500-1000 words.

8. Describe the audience for your book. What are the fans like? Describe your target market. How large is this market? 200 words.

9. Please list the firm date on which you will deliver your complete and final manuscript and why you have chosen this date (Must be between January 2016 and August 2016).

10. Do you have any feedback? How is the series doing so far? What could we do better? Not required.

For more information, check out the 33 1/3 website. If you are under 22, you may qualify for a series specifically for young writers.

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