Stories of Music is on a break, so Volume 3 has been postponed. Check back for updates in 2018.
Authors and artists, new and published alike, are invited to share your works focused on music and the impact it has on people’s lives. Your story can be focused on healing, community, cultural or family traditions, musicianship, travel experiences, an historical account, or any other experience with music. This opportunity is open to anyone from anywhere in the world.
This page is intended to be a guide as you prepare your submission. If you need any help during the submission process, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you. If you would like to see which works we have accepted in the past, we recommend you purchase a copy of Stories of Music, Volume 1 or Stories of Music, Volume 2.
Genres and Style
As a multimedia publication, Stories of Music can include a wide array of storytelling styles. We are specifically seeking creative nonfiction (personal essays, memoir excerpts, and literary journalism), poetry, photography and art, videos, and audio recordings, but we are also open to additional genres and styles. As long as music is the centerpiece and the story is true, it will be considered. See the submission guidelines below for more specific instructions on submitting your work.
All works should be entered via Submittable, our submissions manager. While we prefer works that have not been previously published, we will consider published works for which the author has retained ownership of the copyright.
- All submissions, in whichever genre or style you use to tell your story, should be focused on music.
- Do not use song lyrics in your story unless you are the author of the lyrics or you have written permission to use them. Including the names of songs is fine, but we cannot publish lyrics by artists who have not given us permission to do so.
- Each author or artist can submit up to three stories/works. Please submit each story separately; within each submission you can also upload supporting files (i.e., you might submit a poem that has a corresponding audio recording of the author reading the poem and/or a related photograph).
- As we are trying to reach the widest audience possible, we will not accept stories with explicit sexual content, violence, or vulgar language.
- All written portions of submissions will be edited to align with the Chicago Manual of Style.
- Simultaneous submissions are accepted; however, if your work has been selected for publication in Stories of Music, it cannot be withdrawn for publication elsewhere. If your work has not yet been selected for Stories of Music and you would like to withdraw it, please notify us via your Submittable account.
Creative Nonfiction (Personal Essays, Memoir Excerpts, and Literary Journalism)
Short and long creative nonfiction works with up to 9,000 words will be considered. If your submission draws on research or other published works, please also submit documentation of your sources to help with the fact-checking process. If you would like to include art and/or illustrations along with your piece, these should be sent at the same time as your submission (you can upload up to 10 files total). It is the author’s responsibility to secure necessary permission for all art, illustrations, or other copyrighted material.
Submit creative nonfiction
Metered and unmetered, traditional and experimental forms will all be considered. Your poem(s) should be no more than 100 lines each. If you would like to include art and/or illustrations along with your piece, these should be sent at the same time as your submission (you can upload up to 10 files total). It is the author’s responsibility to secure necessary permission for all art, illustrations, or other copyrighted material.
Photography, Photo Essays, and Art
To submit works of photography or art, simply attach the high resolution image file(s) to your submission form and supply a brief introduction/caption within the Cover Letter section, along with your biographical statement. Photo essay submissions should be contained in a single .doc or .docx file that includes both images and text. Any captions or text should be numbered or placed to indicate a corresponding order with the photographs. If needed, you can submit the high resolution files separately, up to nine additional files. High resolution files must be 300 dpi or greater. All photos submitted will also be considered for the cover artwork.
Submit photography, photo essay, or art
Audio works can include music, spoken word, poetry readings, journalism, or essay readings under 10 minutes. Submissions may be solely author-read or contain other voices, tracks of sound, or music. If any part of your audio recording is not your own work (i.e., background music), be sure to secure the necessary permissions for use in your submission. Along with your audio file, please also submit an abstract/introduction to your piece.
Submit audio recording
In addition to video storytelling, video submissions can include interviews, music performances, spoken word, and author readings up to 10 minutes in length. If any part of your video is not your own work (i.e., background music), be sure to secure the necessary permissions for use in your submission. Along with your video file, please submit an abstract/introduction to your piece.
Submission Status Updates
We will respond to everyone who submits to Stories of Music by April 15, 2016. Final authors and further publication information will be announced on this site in May 2016. Please note that we cannot provide frequent updates on the status of submitted pieces that are still under consideration, but we will do our best to keep you informed throughout the process. We greatly appreciate each and every person who wants to be a part of this book.
Each author or artist who is selected and accepts our offer to be published in Stories of Music will receive $200 (US dollars), a copy of the print edition, the ebook, and (hopefully) a good feeling that your work will help us donate money to global and national music organizations, Hungry for Music and Music & Memory. Contributors may have additional money-making opportunities such as the sale of reprint rights, speaking engagements, or other writing assignments.
We are committed to paying each author and artist within 30 days of publication. We prefer to send payments via PayPal for quick processing, tracking, and currency conversion for our international contributors. If you are unable to use a PayPal account, you can provide us with a US postal address to receive a check. We will not mail checks internationally. If other arrangements need to be made, we will do our best to accommodate you.
If your work is selected for Stories of Music, and you accept our offer to publish it, Timbre Press, the publisher, will own worldwide exclusive First Publication rights to distribute your work in multiple print and electronic formats for six months from publication and an ongoing non-exclusive worldwide license from the date of publication to continue to publish your work in other formats as part of the anthology volume in which it was first published, without extending the license term and without constituting a new publication, and to keep that anthology available in our salable inventory in perpetuity.