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Re: publishing anywhere

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crago_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Fri Jun 29 2001 - 05:19:25 PDT


Dear people,

I have published in The Museum of Contemporary Art's Art In Chicago (1945-1995)
book, The New Art Examiner, The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Tribune, and The NAEA
publication (don't remember the name of the latter). The way to begin is to
a. figure out who the editor is and their, tel #, address, and/or e-mail
address.
b. Create an outline of your subject and then accompany the outline with a pitch
(i.e., I'd like to write an article about, the reason I want to write this is
because, the importance to the reader is thus and such..), send along writing
samples of other things you have written (no more than ten) attach also a short
resume - that helps lend you some credibility in the eyes of the editor, and
attach also some professional references - so that they know you are on the
level.
c. If you mail this - enclose an SASE
d. Call the editor immediately and let them know this piece is on the way
(remember, editors get hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts a week -- for the
popular press, they get more). Sometimes they don't want phone calls, but you
can always e-mail them, or leave a message with the admoinistrative assistant.
e. Once they say "yes we are inetersted, go ahead and get your article in place -
- following the directives in terms of style, and word number to the letter.
f. If the editor isn't happy with what you have written, and offers suggestions
for rewrite, go to it -without argument -- (never, ever argue with your editor -
unless you are Mike Royko, Susan Sontag, Oscar Wilde or Studs Turkel).
g. If your article is rejected -- and mine have been -- ask what you need to do
to make it publishable -- if they say they just don't think it will fly -- send
it somewhere else -- some of my rejects have been published in smaller circulated
newspapers and/or journals.
Good luck!

I want to suggest to this entire list of educators that it is a good idea to
consider publishing lesson plans, criticism, memoirs and personal experiences
everywhere and anywhere in this universe (not just School Arts)...it lends you
credibility -- and I will tell you at colleges and in many schools it adds
notoriety and prestige to your program in the eyes of administration and to some
degree for your students and their parents...this can help with pay raises,
grants and to some degree leverage when and if necessary. (Obviously in public
schools it will not affect pay raises, but it may be something you bring in for
your year-end evaluation as you discuss accomplishments during the past year) It
helps you to be a political animal in the grand arena -- and as all of us know,
"all politics is local" in the words of Tip O'Neil. I think that the more of us
participate in a general critical dialogue and discourse, the more we will be
taken seriously as educators.

Fight the good fight for arts education and advocasy with your pen! Oh yes, one
more thing, I also feel that the women's movement of the seventies, the gay
movement, and the multi-cultural movement of the eighties (check out Lucy
Lippard) helped change the climate of criticism, fiction and art history in a
number of ways. Once people began using their personal history as a means to
understand, create and look at art, art history and art education -- the climate
changed - biography became as important as a critical tool as the looking at the
work itself -- and was used in tandem with conventional, more objective critical
tools -- it is a major and exciting shift in the critical discourse. I guess I
am trying to say here that everyone has a voice, and everyone should feel
empowered to use their personal experiences as a means of communicating. The
concept of art happening for students via and/or within the context of their
experiences is an example of how that works with critical writing. When people
read writing which happens in context of personal experience, the reader
identifies with the writer -- and voila -- there is an experience of
identification and to some degree catharsis. I feel that often people in
universities are out of touch with the quotidien realities which teachers
experience every day. The more we are silent or mute in the general discourse, I
feel the more powerless we are and the more politicians, or ivy tower
administrators and/or academics will impose their agenda (however cockeyed) upon
our programs.

CR
crago@artic.edu
(remember I am a former lurker!)

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