Published December 8, 2022

The Virginia Folklife Program is seeking contributors for its online publication Sights & Sounds!

Sights & Sounds is the primary online storytelling platform for the Virginia Folklife Program, which has worked to document, sustain, and present Virginia’s folkways and traditional cultures since 1989. Current regular content includes fieldwork excerpts, artist profiles, event recaps, performance videos, Folklife Fieldnotes podcast episodes, and more. 

We are expanding opportunities for Virginians to contribute to our ongoing efforts to share stories of cultural traditions, and we want to invite YOU to consider joining in this effort. We are currently seeking a variety of contributors to produce stories that give insight into the many cultures and folkways of the Commonwealth. 

Subjects may include:

  • Introductions to traditional forms of expression, such as music, dance, crafts, foodways, types of specialty work, occupations, and skills, forms of environmental stewardship, and more.
  • Explorations of how Virginia’s folkways are shaped by values and standards that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community
  • Profiles of community artists, elders, or introductions to important community spaces where traditions are shared
  • Coverage of individuals, groups, or organizations serving Virginia folklife in compelling ways

Format: We are seeking a combination of writing and media (preferred), with a word count ranging between 500 (min) and 1000 (max). Media can include photographs, audio excerpts, video, or illustrations. Contributions can take a variety of forms, including short essays, interviews (question-and-answer format), photo galleries, and more. 

Eligibility: Story pitches must relate to Virginia folklife. Emerging storytellers and students encouraged to submit, no previous publishing experience is required. While we prefer that contributors are residents of Virginia, it is not required.

Compensation: $500 (following delivery of final edits and media to staff editors)

Process: Send your pitch to folklife@virginia.edu for our Sights & Sounds editors to review (subject line: Story Pitch). If your story is selected for publication, our staff will be in touch to discuss format and deadline. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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