STAFF WRITER GUIDELINES
Hello! Welcome to ARCCA! Thank you so much for getting involved! This is a really exciting time for what was for years a one-woman show as we are expanding our team of editors and staff writers.
As I’m sure you know, Fleur is the editor in chief, overseeing the creative direction of the magazine. Hannah is the deputy editor, and Carlotta is the assistant deputy editor. You will be assigned one of these lovely ladies to be your main point of contact with the magazine, and they will chat with you each month about your article ideas, assigning deadlines, helping to source images if necessary, editing your articles and posting them on the website.
ARCCA in 2021
ARCCA has been publishing content online since Fleur founded it in 2015. We had a few print issues, then over lockdown we moved the majority of our content online. We have been focussing on Q&A style interviews with all kinds of creatives, from filmmakers to textile artists, as well as publishing some creative writing.
Now, however, we are looking to broaden our content, moving away from the Q&A format into more in-depth articles, and overhauling our ‘Writing and Voices’ section to incorporate more current affairs, opinions and social issues. We also want to expand our content into the realm of videos and podcasts. We will still have creative writing, however we are hoping to instigate a monthly brief, providing a theme and accepting submissions, then publishing our favourites once a month.
We want to really grow the magazine this year, which will involve a big social media push. We have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so please share anything and everything.
Types of Articles
The following are some guidelines about what kind of articles we’re looking for, and how they fit into various categories.
i) In Conversation With …
These are our interview-based articles. Whereas we used to just email creatives with a list of questions and publish their replies, we are now moving into the realm of Zoom interviews, which is pretty scary but very rewarding. Instead of offering a straight-up transcription, we would now like to publish a more narrative style of interview, such as this one or this one.
These examples are pretty long, but ideally we’d look for something under 3,000 words. We find a lot of people to interview via The Dots, or through friends or on Instagram.
ii) Artist/Musician/Filmmaker/Writer in Focus
These articles consist of a short bio and examples of the subject’s work, like here. This kind of article is good for subjects who have really strong visuals, but who might not have that much to say about their work, so this is great for emerging artists. Bio doesn’t need to be too long, but we need a good amount of high-quality visuals.
iii) Project in Focus / Exhibition in Focus
This is a more journalistic piece of around 1,500 words long, detailing a specific event/project, like here. Ideally these would be either ongoing or very recent, and they can be anything from a friend’s project to an exhibition at the RA. Interviews with creatives or attendees are great, as are your own photos of the event/project. If the articles is about someone you can’t really interview (i.e. Grayson Perry), then it would be good to have a bit more context and background nonetheless (career overview, critical opinions etc.)
This is one we haven’t tried before, but we’re keen to incorporate articles that are more broadly social and cultural. So, for example, an article about Northern Soul that looks at the importance of the economy, or the paintings of Gaugin through a postcolonial lens, or about the toppling of the Colston statue to explore how we relate to public monuments. The idea is to look at social issues through a cultural lens, as we want ARCCA to be a more outwards-facing publication, but to retain our focus on the arts. Ideally 1,500 words.
Again, not one we’ve seen much of lately, but as above something we’re looking to incorporate more of. Also as above, we’d like reviews to serve as a jumping off point to look at wider issues - so a review of ‘Girlhood’ that looks at the black female gaze more generally, or a review of Rupi Kaur’s new book to think about writing in the age of Instagram and what role online popularity might have in publishing. Anything from 1000-2000 words.
vi) Other things!
If your proposed article doesn’t fit into any of these categories then worry not! We are always here to talk things through and find the right structure, and it could be that your piece is a stand-alone one, or the first of a new series of articles. So whatever your ideas are, don’t feel they have to go in a box, these are really just guidelines and we want to keep ARCCA eclectic, and keep it developing.
vii) Other Mediums
As mentioned, we are looking to broaden our output to include more podcast, audio and video content. Obviously, as staff writers, your main role is to write, so don’t feel pressured if video isn’t your thing. That being said, if you do have any ideas for audio or visual elements, then don’t hesitate to talk them through with us.
viii) New friends!
If you know of anyone else who would like to write or create for ARCCA, then send them our way. We really want to expand and develop this year, which means having as broad a range of voices as we can.
Although we are all working on a voluntary basis we have big plans for this year. Hopefully soon we will all be able to meet in person for a nice pint but until then thank you again for getting involved and we look forward to working with you!
Fleur, Hannah and Carlotta x