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Image by Flickr User Bill Selak

Image by Flickr User Bill Selak

So you want to be be a Sounding Out! Guest writer?*  .

*sung to the tune of Cypress Hill’s “Rap Star” or “So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star” by The Byrds (and covered by Tom Petty).  We’ll let you pick.

Sounding Out! devotes at least one Monday a month to guest writers and we are always on the hunt for more quality work in the field.  Our guest writers are peeps who study sound at all levels of academia and/or are practicioners in some fashion: radio voices, voice coaches, artists, musicians, and so on. We pride ourselves on the excellence of our past guest writers (check them here).  If you would like to join their illustrious ranks, here’s how:

A)   Focus on Sound Studies(or post using a sound studies methodology/way of doing things):

Essentially, our mission is to provide a serious public discussion about the social nature of sound. We are as interested in pushing the margins of the field as much as we are defining its center; therefore, issues addressed in our blog range from the significance of the Vuvuzuela controversy during the World Cup to the inducing of panic by the soundtrack to the videogame Limbo to a soundwalk of Kansas City. Note that while we often include music-focused pieces, we are not a music blog by trade. Music is a privileged cultural site of organized sound but it is, for SO!, one sound among many others that we are interested in. Therefore, we really want to challenge folks coming at sound studies through music to think outside of familiar ways of thinking and writing about it.  Each of the music-centric pieces we have published centralizes sound in a uniquely sound studies fashion: i.e. really getting to the nitty-gritty of the sonics of the music at hand, addressing the relationship of sound to image/history/experience/social identity and/or addressing other audio aspects of music such as listening.  Check out this piece on the sound of “blackness” in recent popular music or this post on “A Boy Like That” from West Side Story for examples of what we mean.

Although you are not limited to these areas, here is a non-exhaustive list of topics the SO! Editorial collective is particularly interested in:

**listening as a critical cultural practice

**sound/listening and race, gender, sexuality, and/or class

**sound studies in current events

**sound and urban space

**sound and video games

**sound studies and film

**sound studies and the digital humanities

**sound studies and methodology

**where sound studies intersects other fields

**sound studies pieces with a transnational focus

**issues of voice

**sound studies and radio

**sound studies and disability studies, particularly deafness

**sound studies in the 19th century

**literature and sound/listening

**noise and/or silence in their many forms

**histories of sound technology

In addition to traditional blog posts we will also consider:

**meditations on sound panels at national conferences

**critical soundwalks of various locales

**reviews of sound studies scholarship

**sound art reviews

**sound art multimedia pieces

**pieces by non-sound studies identified scholars/writers using a sound studies lens for the first time

**Interviews with key sound studies peeps

B)   Strike a balanced, accessible tone:

While many of our readers and writers are academic, they are by no means the totality. An important part of our mission at SO! is to make sound studies accessible to a wider audience without sacrificing rigorous intellectual conversation. This means being interesting, compelling, and accessible—and often playful—while still being smart, doing your homework, and mentioning the ideas of the folks that inspired your thinking. We encourage all points of view, including more traditional theoretical standpoints to first person pieces focused on experience, as long as they meet our other criteria and. . .

C)   Give us good writing: Bring us your A-game:

We want beautiful-sounding prose as much as we want beautiful analyses of sound in prose. We want specific details. We want evocative images. We want multimedia. We want humor. We want feeling. We want haunting diction. We want your links, but not your footnotes; We want your keywords but not your jargon. Most importantly, we want a specific point or argument to your post that is clear, interesting, and sharp. And we want it in around 1000-1200 words.

**see Dan Cohen’s post on “the blessay”  for an apt description of the style of the pieces we cultivate at SO!  

Please read Sounding Out! from link A to link Z (and everywhere in between) before submitting in order to get a feel for our sweet spot.   If, after you finish, you still think you have the X-factor, please drop an introduction to yourself and a short pitch to our Guest Posts Editor Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman ( If you get the green light, we’ll slot you and our editors will work with you to produce the best post possible. We slot pretty far in advance and our spots are quite competitive . . .so be persistent with revisions and don’t wait too long to start sounding it out!

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