If you’re interested in submitting possible commentaries to Wisconsin Life, here’s what you need to know:
We currently rotate our regular commentators and WPR-produced pieces through two spots each week. We seek stories of the people, places and ideas that make Wisconsin home. Good commentaries evoke a strong sense of place and character. They illustrate the many ways that Wisconsinites experience the places they live, work, and play. They introduce us to interesting people and ideas, history, and folklore. In other words, we seek stories that deal with landscape and development, rural hideaways and urban neighborhoods, Main Streets and strip malls, deer hunting and community gardens, Badger football and Sunday morning services. We want stories that capture the unique spirit, culture, and land ethic of Wisconsin. We do not include active major office holders or candidates, or businesses and individuals looking to advertise their products and services.
Because of the large volume of submissions, we will be in touch if it appears that your work will fit the series.
Please send all proposals by email. This should include topic ideas or draft text or both, pasted into the body of the email. Please do not send attachments. You may send your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are welcome to send multiple topic ideas, but one complete draft text will serve as a writing sample. Please limit writing samples to those written specifically for this series. Do not send samples written for other purposes.
Tips for writing for the radio:
- An individual piece should focus on one main idea.
- Keep the language conversational. The best advice we know is to tell your story as though you’re telling it to a friend. Use declarative sentences and a narrative style—think storytelling with a beginning, middle, and end.
- Each script may not exceed three minutes when read aloud - usually that’s around 500 words.
- Edit ruthlessly, as we will do the same!
- Topics should avoid clichéd or overdone stories about Wisconsin culture. Rather, try to take recognizable elements of life in Wisconsin and add your own, original insight or spin. For example, rather than discuss a Packer tailgate party, consider a story about how the Packers’ season helped your father through a winter of unemployment.
- Find a core value that almost all radio listeners will find some meaning in and start there. Remember that this is not a forum for outright political advocacy.
Not sure where to begin? Here’s some inspiration.
Please don’t forget to tell us who you are! Send a resume or short bio articulating your background in the body of a regular email. Please do not send originals or request a return of materials.
THERE IS NO NEED TO SEND CDs, TAPES or AUDIO FILES. In the event that we are interested in taking the next step with you, we will work on editing your piece and schedule a recording with you in one of our regional studios.