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Contribution Guidelines : Formatting & Article Length


Length Guidelines
HTML Formatting
Text Formatting
A Note About Photography


To help maintain consistent article lengths throughout the site, we ask that you use the following guidelines when writing your submissions.

  • CD reviews: 500-100 words.
  • Extended analysis: 500-900 words
  • CD multi reviews: at least 100 words of introduction and 200 words per disc.
    Note that other column types which are comprised of multiple CD reviews should also include an introduction. Ideally each review should fall under the guidelines for independent CD reviews as above.
  • Book reviews & DVD reviews: 500-1000 words.
  • Concert/Play/Event reviews: 500-1000 words. With some concerts and live performances, a longer and more detailed review might be preferable and even necessary to give the reader an accurate account. But in lengthy reviews, no less than brief ones, the writer's first objective should be economy of expression.
  • Interviews: at least 1000 words, not including the introduction. Longer is great.
  • All other article types:: at contributor discretion, if there are any questions contact us.

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When you first get started at, the idea of HTML formatting may seem a daunting task. It's really quite simple. For the most part, the only tags you need to concern yourself with up front are the paragraph and italics tags. Use the paragraph tag to introduce a new paragraph and use the italics tag to highlight the title of a recording. As you continue down the road, you will find the addition of other tags a logical and useful extension of this process.

  • All HTML tags must be lower case and matched with closing tags. (<p>Hello</p> or </br/>)
  • Use the paragraph tag <p>Paragraph Here...</p> to surround paragraphs.
    Please note: If you use the <p></p> tag you don't need to also use a line break tag (<br/>) - as the paragraph break tag will place a blank line between the two paragraphs.
  • To force a skip to a new line, use a line break tag <br/>. Note: typed text automatically wraps around to new lines as necessary, so this tag is very rarely used.
  • To italicize a word, use <em> and </em> (eg. <em>jazz</em>)
  • To bold a word, use <strong> and </strong> (eg. <strong>jazz</strong>)
  • To hot link a URL: <a href="" target="_blank">Miles Davis</a>
  • To hot link an email address: <a href="">Joe Jones</a>
  • To ensure special characters and symbols, such as letters with accents above, below or through them, are properly displayed, look for the corresponding HTML code in the HTML Document Character Set table and insert it.
  • Example: For the word élan, look up the "é" character in the table to find that it is &#233;. To insert the word properly use: &#233;lan. If you require any special characters and symbols that are not in the table, please contact us to have them added.

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We ask that the following grammatical concepts be used when writing your submissions.

  • Format book titles, song titles, artistic works, and dishes in "double quotes."
  • For band names, or venues use mixed case, with no quotes, bold, or italics.
  • Where appropriate, abbreviate years using a preceding apostrophe: '54; '90s.
  • Commas and periods are placed inside double quotes. All others go outside, unless they are part of a song title or artist quote. For example: "Autumn Leaves," her favorite standard, ...
    instead of "Autumn Leaves", her favorite standard, ...
  • Do not use UPPER CASE unless you have a very good reason... use italics instead. Use italics instead of bold or underlined text when you want to lend emphasis.
  • Please handle dashes in text as follows: To obtain the long em-dash that we prefer, type two single dashes without spaces on either side. The submission script will automatically convert those two dashes into the longer dash. For example: "The article editor will follow up with the photographer--ask for permission--then credit accordingly." Note: if your word processor automatically converts those two dashes into a long em-dash, you should just replace that character with two single dashes when you fill out the submission form.
  • First references to an artist should use his/her full name, and you should mention what instrument he/she plays, or in which media he/she specializes (either upon first introduction or not long afterwards).

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A NOTE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY is happy to receive your photos for inclusion in articles. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Photos must be of professional quality. We reserve the right to decline use of your images if they are deemed of insufficient quality.
  • We do not, as a rule, use photos of the subject with the contributor unless there's a specific and compelling reason to do so.
  • Images should be submitted in JPEG (.jpg) format, using 72 pixels/inch resolution.
  • For all artwork, the size of smallest dimension (height and width) should be 600 pixels wide. Save the file at a high quality so it looks sharp and bright. If there's a border around the image, trim it before sizing the image to spec. We'll adjust the photo to fit within the format of the site. 
  • provides credit and a hotlink, where available, to the photographer's website, Visual Arts Gallery or Contributor Profile at the bottom of the article.
  • If you provide photos taken by people other than yourself, please provide the name and, if applicable, website URL of the photographers for inclusion.
  • If you have trouble uploading the images to, you can send them by email to Please remember to include the photographer name(s) and website(s) as applicable;
  • editors will embed your images into articles in a manner that is consistent throughout the site.

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