The editorial team of Riffs: Experimental Writing on Popular Music invite 300 word proposals for the next 2017 volume from PhD, MA and outstanding BA students.

A song can be about anything

About peace or war, or the sins of industry

Or the discontents of fame, or of obscurity

Or how we first met, on the warmest day

And how I hadn’t planned to love someone until you came

Or how we survived on happiness and sleeping on the floor

Or how you used to love me but you don’t even know me anymore

– Dan Wilson, ‘A Song Can Be About Anything’ from Love Without Fear

Your response should speak in some way to the lyrics above and be specific to your particular research area and interest. As the journal title suggests, we are interested in pieces that take an experimental approach to the consideration of popular music. For examples of pieces based on previous prompts, please visit our journal website here.

Eight (experimental) written contributions and two photo essays will be published in print, but we encourage audio, visual, and additional written contributions (from musical performances to poetry), to be included within the journal website.

Deadline for 300-word proposals- 18th April 2017

Please include your name, institution, contact email, and current level of qualification


Full submissions (of 2,000-4,000 words/ visual content to not exceed 3 A4 pages / or an audio/video file suitable for hosting on Word Press) will be invited by the 25th April and expected by the 3rd July. All contributions published by Riffs will be considered by the whole editorial panel, and edited by two specialist editors before publication.


Please email proposals to one of the Facilitating Editors

Craig Hamilton

Sarah Raine


Please note: Riffs shall be entitled to first use of the contribution in all the journal’s different forms, but the author remains the copyright owner and can republish their contribution without seeking the journal’s permission. Riffs reserve the right to decline to publish contributions, if they are submitted after the agreed deadline and without the assigned editor being informed (and agreeing to) a new submission date.

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