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School’s Out; Learning’s In: An Open Call for Contributions to HowlRound’s “Summer School” Journal Series

School may be out for the summer, but learning is still in! Since the summer of 2020, the field has heard statements and demands, not only from We See You White American Theatre but also from many Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) theatre students fighting against racism within theatre programs across the United States. From those and countless other statements, HowlRound recognizes that theatre students, especially BIPOC students, have their own unique needs, interests, talents, and struggles within our field, and we want to hear from them.

While many theatre practitioners say they value the contributions of BIPOC students, even heralding them as future leaders in a more diverse and equitable field, BIPOC students often remain unheard and disempowered by the not for profit theatre sector. Efforts to discuss anti-racism and equity in theatre programs have typically relied on the ideas of—often white—institutions and the leaders within them, giving little space for those most impacted by their decisions to voice their experiences and ideas.

The HowlRound Journal’s Summer School Series will flip the script by sharing the expertise of BIPOC theatre students and recent graduates answering the question: What do you want to “school” the field on? If students are, in fact, the future of the field, who better to teach us where we’re going?

Welcome to the Summer School series. Class is now in session.

What We’re Looking For

HowlRound is seeking BIPOC theatre students from across the United States to write for this series. We welcome submissions from undergraduate and graduate students, and those who have graduated within the last two years. Students from all theatrical disciplines are welcome, from education to design to performance to administration.

These essays and conversations might focus on….

  • Impactful collaborations between schools and student organizations that you were involved in or lead, with a focus on what you learned.
  • Significant learnings from classroom or performance experiences that expanded your understanding of theatrical practices.
  • Your experiences as a student in your theatre program and the impact that has had on your art-making, creative process, and relationship to the field.
  • Reviews of performances you have seen, utilizing HowlRound’s NewCrit guidelines.

As part of this new series, we’re piloting a process by which writers featured in this series will be offered a one-on-one editorial session with one of HowlRound’s content editors to receive feedback in realtime and to gain more insight into HowlRound’s editorial style.

How to Submit

We will accept full drafts or detailed outlines of ideas through our pitch form. All essays in this series will follow HowlRound’s style guide, word count, and editing process. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Word count for all essays should fall between 1,500 and 2,500 words.
  • We do not publish personal attacks, promotional material, or material that has been previously published.
  • As you’re working on your submission, take a moment to consider: 1.) Why are you writing and publishing this piece? 2.) What do you want readers to take away from your essay?
  • Once you have submitted your draft or outline via the pitch form, we will get back to you within three weeks. If your draft or outline is accepted by the editorial staff, you will be connected to one of our content editors who will work with you on your essay.
  • All essays go through an editing process for style, length, flow, and clarity, which is typical for every piece we publish. As an offering for this series, each student whose essay is accepted will meet with their content editor for thirty minutes via Zoom to go over any edits and questions.
  • If your essay is selected, you will be compensated $200 USD, payable by check or Zelle within thirty days of the publication on the HowlRound Journal.
  • HowlRound is a knowledge commons with a global readership. Don’t assume everyone reading your essay is from the United States.
  • HowlRound is not an academic journal—the writing style should be clear, accessible, and public-facing. We invite contributors to this series to be exactly who and where they are. (To get you started, check out these examples of great past HowlRound essays, How Liberal Arts Theatre Programs Are Failing Their Students of Color, How We Grew a Student-Centered Anti-Racist Movement at Our Institution of Learning, and Public Access Archives: The End of the Theatre Industry.)

If you have any questions about this process, please email [email protected].

To sumit a pitch for this series, visit our contribute content page.