Now in its 3rd decade of promoting performing arts in the Pioneer Valley, In the Spotlight seeks 3 additional writers with backgrounds in theatre, musical theatre, classical music, and contemporary/ethnic music. In the Spotlight began as a free monthly newspaper in 50 cities in MA running 15 years, onto Bravo-on-the-Air weekly radio interview program, then to the Web. The following are basic rules for reviews, previews, feature stories, and interviews.
Qualifications: Know your subject matter, strict attention to deadlines, represent In the Spotlight in a professional manner, write well although getting out the word in a timely manner may have to supersede placing of a comma correctly.
Unfortunately, none of us are paid. Your compensation includes your byline, 2 free tix to each show that you review/preview, and the good feeling that you are helping the arts and patrons of the arts in our community.
1) As editor, I assign plays/music/dance/etc. to writers who know these particular genres. 2) If you have interest in an upcoming production and wish to review, let me know. However, avoid any conflict of interest. 3) DEADLINES: crucial! If you review an event that runs one weekend only, the review must be sent to me by the next morning/early afternoon so it can be posted immediately. 4) If the run of the show is two or more days, please send the review to me within 2 days. 5) In addition to myself, reviews will be checked by our website manager. 6) VERY IMPORTANT: spell the names of people correctly and consistency. 7) Once the review is sent to me, barring something that is unforgivable, the piece will not be returned to the writer and/or the venue covered in the review. This has been standard newswriting for decades. 8) Note the heading format on past reviews and use that as your guide. 9) If at all possible, provide a photo and cutline. 10) You have the right to refuse to write about something/someone. I only ask that tell me up front so I can assign someone else. 11) Never take it upon yourself to give the tix to a person who you know and ask them to write for you.
1) If you are sick, broke a leg, bad weather, call me. Can’t reach me? Call the venue to sell your tix.
2) NEVER tell the reader the end or climax of the show. Writers do this! What are they thinking?
3) NEVER say anything negative about children. If the kid performers aren’t good, simply omit them.
4) YOU CAN be critical, not brutally honest about community productions. Never attach any one person.
5) ONLY one space after each form of punctuation ending a sentence; this is correct newspaper format.
6) No plagiarism allowed. If you use a quote, then give proper credit where credit is due.
Contact me with questions or send 2 writing samples. We seek diversity in age, race, color; we want a variety of perspectives.
Shera Cohen, In the Spotlight, Inc. email@example.com