A call for guest columns

If you’ve got something compelling to say about arts and culture in Madison, we’d like to hear from you.


Um, you actually don't need any of these things to write for us. Especially not the pinecone. Photo by Dustin Lee via Unsplash.

Um, you actually don’t need any of these things to write for us. Especially not the pinecone. Photo by Dustin Lee via Unsplash.

I love what our regular contributors bring to Tone Madison. But I also love, in a completely distinct way, the viewpoints that we occasionally get to share from people outside our usual bunch of writers, including from people who don’t often work as writers or journalists. I mean, not that we have any shortage of opinions here about hotly debated things ranging from where the Madison Public Market should go to pedal pubs (OK, there’s actually no two ways about pedal pubs).

But I’ve increasingly come to understand the importance of reaching beyond our trusted little crew and our admittedly sometimes “old man yells at cloud“-esque decisions about what to get worked up over. By incorporating a greater diversity of voices, we get powerful and thought-provoking pieces about the intersection of social policy and public art, the nuances of Wisconsin’s racial divide, the possible downsides of free music, and ways to get more from our community’s arts resources. That’s also how we get into good conversations with our readers on social media and in the comments—for instance, some people thought Marc Eisen’s arguments about free shows were preposterous, and said so in no uncertain terms, but nobody showed up just to troll.

That gives me a ton of respect for our audience, which might be relatively small but is, I think, as engaged and thoughtful as a niche publication in Madison could hope to have. It also gives me faith that people want arts and culture to be treated with the same depth, independence, and questioning spirit as other subjects in the news.

That’s why we’re putting out an open call for guest columns. If you’ve got a big, overarching issue related to arts and culture that you’d like to talk about, or ideas for improving a specific aspect of Madison’s arts community, then send us a brief email explaining your idea at [email protected]. If we think it holds up (and that doesn’t mean we have to agree with it), and if you’ve got the patience for a bit of editing, we’ll publish it on the site and pay you a small honorarium for your efforts. You don’t have to be a journalist or an experienced writer, you just have to be a person with an idea, passion, and a Madison connection. We ask only that you’re open with us about any potential conflicts of interests (i.e. personal/business connections related to the subject of your pitch) and that you not pitch us stuff like “Hey my friend’s band is awesome” or “Why Tone Madison is dumb” (actually, you can totally pitch us that last one—I’d run that!).

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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