Contributor proposals for Caribbean Beat
Caribbean Beat welcomes material for review; events for coverage; and contributor proposals from writers, illustrators and photographers. Please read the following information for more detailed information, and what to do next if you think your work would be a good fit.
Please note that we are unlikely to consider and respond to submissions which do not meet these guidelines.
Story & feature pitches
Most published material is commissioned, often on the basis of a strong, clear pitch or proposal from a writer, illustrator, or photographer.
Guidelines & requirements
- Proposals must include:
- a strong story/feature pitch — with not only a compelling subject or topic, but an engaging angle or way of framing the story that takes the reader on a journey. This applies not just to writers and photographers proposing their own features, but to publicists and organisations requesting coverage in the magazine
- writing or image samples similar to the style of the magazine, and a little about the writer/photographer/illustrator.
- Timing & production schedule: The magazine has a 3–4 month lead time (and publishes new issues in January, March, May, July, September, and November), so that pieces with a seasonal hook should be proposed with that in mind. This also means that coverage of events after the fact is limited to our website if/when budget permits. Significant events/dates that the piece can/should coincide with should be clearly indicated in pitches.
- Subjects recently covered: We generally do not consider proposals for subjects which we have covered in recent issues.
- On-spec material: We occasionally consider material on speculation, without commitment — particularly if it is a package of good writing plus good illustrations and/or photography and is timely. Please see the “What we’re looking for” section below to ensure what you’ve written is compatible with what we publish.
- Caribbean connection: It’s important for us to work with authors and creators based in the Caribbean and its diaspora, or those who have a demonstrated interest, expertise, and/or investment in the region.
What we’re looking for
- Style & audience:
- It is essential for features to be strongly written, well researched and insightful, with as light and readable a style as possible — laced with vivid description, humour, anecdote or human interest.
- The magazine’s readership consists partly of Caribbean travellers of all ages and backgrounds who already know the region well (or at least their part of it); and partly of holiday and business travellers coming into or researching about the Caribbean, many of whom are unfamiliar with the region except for the stereotypes. We consequently need contributors to be able to address a broad audience, with lively, entertaining writing combined with a serious and informative approach to subject matter.
- Length: We consider feature articles of up to 1,000–1,200 words (occasionally, a bit longer) on any subject of general Caribbean interest, as well as shorter pieces about current events, etc.
- Subjects: Stories about emerging talent, or fresh angles on well-covered subjects, are preferred. The point of view should be that of a well-informed insider writing about the things the Caribbean does best.
Photography & illustrations
The magazine depends heavily on good pictures and illustrations, buys stock material and commissions photography as necessary (budget permitting). All photos should be 300 dpi, and clearly captioned.
All material is subject to editing changes at the editor’s sole discretion. Major changes or rewrites will normally be discussed with the author. Where extensive editing or rewriting is required, the magazine reserves the right to make adjustments to the author’s fee.
Payments for both photographs and editorial are made upon publication, and are subject to the terms laid out in our Contributors Agreement.
Caribbean Beat generally runs curtain-raisers for major events and festivals in the region in each bimonthly print issue, and includes many in our festival calendar.
If you would like to have your event considered for inclusion, please send us the details (date, location, cost, and description of the event) at least 3 months in advance.
Please note that because of our 3–4 month lead time, post-event coverage is limited to our website.
Books, music, film, TV, video, et al
What we review
- Caribbean Beat reviews new, recent, and forthcoming books, music, films, and other select material for and about the Caribbean, and/or of Caribbean interest
- The material typically should be as yet unreleased, and/or not more than 6–12 months old. Some exceptions may be made in compelling circumstances
- Scholarly works typically are only reviewed when they might be relevant to non-specialist readers.
- If you are a publisher or copyright holder of qualifying books, music, or films — or other material that you would like to propose, please send us an email query at the first instance clearly listing the title, author’s/artist’s name, publisher’s/producer’s name and full contact information, release date, as well as a biography of the artist and any other relevant details
- We will consider the title without commitment. Should it be appropriate for potential review, we will then ask you to send a digital or hard copy of the work to us.
- Hard copies of any unsolicited materials will not be accepted unless hand delivered locally to our office in Trinidad
- As is customary, we do not return review copies. If you would like the material returned, please indicate that clearly in your initial contact with us, and how you will arrange for this.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.