How to get your band covered by local media

This is the first in a series of “how to” articles offering tips on getting your event picked up by local media. I’m writing it aimed at musicians but it can really work for almost any sort of art release or event. Specific questions can be sent to

A long-disbanded local band that was at least 1/4 horrible.

Do you have an act and are playing shows but don’t know how to approach the media or build a media-friendly website?

As a former member of several sub-par to mediocre metal bands — I hear you.

You’re a musician, not a marketing expert. Besides, even if you’ve achieved a modicum of success locally, there’s very little pay involved and your precious time and energy often first goes to your day job, then your social life and/or family, and then your creative projects. Besides, the days independent websites have phased out with the onset of social media.

But as an arts writer and editor for a small-town newspaper, I’d like to offer you a different viewpoint.

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Memoirs of my heavy-metal 20’s, part one

In my early 20’s, I was crazy into the hyper-masculine heavy metal fandom.

It was an comedy of errors, more or less. I walked in and thought I’d be cool with everyone since I was terrible at dancing too. But it turned out there was a lot more to being tr00 than a vintage thrash tee and complete social ineptitude.

There are a few things that have stuck with me through the years:

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Now what?

It’s all over. It’s already been five days since NaNoWriMo 2018 wrapped.

Now, it’s just me, an outline begging for 480,000 words, and this deliciously low-traffic blog — perfect for screaming into the old void.

But there are plenty of chances to partake in creative challenges coming up, with many due long before next November hits.

Here are the challenges I’m eyeing for next year:

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NaNoWriMo | Week four: Gobble to gallop

This is the final week of this year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge. Though your mind may be more on mashed potatoes and making memories today — there’s no better time to catch up than Thanksgiving weekend.

Sure you’re busy this weekend, but you can use your fast-paced schedule to add some gallop to your wordcount — especially if you’re joining me in rebelling.

Here are some ideas to pad your document and get the ideas flowing:

1. Write a scene inserting your least charming character into an argument sparked by your own family at the dinner table.
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NaNoWriMo | Week three: A case for rebellion

We’re halfway through the month now, writers! We have fifteen days of experience and stats to evaluate our process and likelihood of reaching that 50k mark by the 30th.

This is where we start falling into two camps: the folks who are on target or ahead and those who are still struggling to find the groove in their schedules and manuscripts.

Those of you who are on it — thank you! Thank you for showing us it’s possible, whether you are actively sharing tips on social media or just keeping quiet and taking care of business. Your dedication is inspiring.

For the rest of us, let’s not call it a day just yet.

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NaNoWriMo | And it begins…

If you’re reading this it’s November and it’s time again for NaNoWriMo.

Um, you know, when we ingest too much caffeine and string together 50,000 of those word thingys between day jobs and families and social lives and must-read lists and Netflix queues. It’s more than just a word count challenge, it’s a group exercise in setting goals, a public workshop in building literary prolificacy, and a wellspring of support when stress has you white-knuckle grasping for your sanity.

While it can be hard to nail down a succinct list of suggestions for launching a successful noveling attempt, here are my top three tips:

  1. Employ useful wordiness to boost word count. Yes, it’s a NaNo draft, but that doesn’t mean you should train your brain to work in run-on erudite troglodyte doublespeak. If you’re stuck, describe some aspect of your setting in high detail as if you’re in Hepzibah’s garden, or crawl into a character’s head through a cutting personal conversation that has nothing to do with the plot at hand. It’s as likely to hit the cutting room floor as any other NaNo bloat, but it’s also going to help you build the world around your narrative which should ultimately help you tell your best story.
  2. Get up and go. It may work for you to just park it in a desk chair for 30 days and pound the keyboard until words do shiny things, but I find that a little variety helps. Go mobile with a laptop or notebook, sit in a cafe, at the library or in a park. Heck, I don’t know, maybe you could even find time to go to a write-in. 😉
  3. Work your queue. It’s a writing challenge, it requires determination not asceticism. If you’re looking for inspiration, pull out some art books, read some related non-fic, or catch up on your favorite show. But keep an eye on the clock and don’t spend too much time stranded in the delta quadrant with Tuvok and Captain Janeway. Get inspired and then get back to your work.

OctPoWriMo — Week two

I’ve not really been writing over the last week due to burnout from work. I’ve been all mood swings and migraines.

So as you may expect, getting these words out has been like pulling teeth, but that’s exactly the point of these challenges. I have to learn to push through the burn. I have no other choice but to work through this alone. And although sometimes it’s painful, making myself create things is helping me cope.

Some days I barely got a few lines out, other days I was able to work through a bit more.

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