University of Minnesota
Voices From the Gaps
voices@umn.edu
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Voices From the Gaps' home page.

How to Contribute an Artist Page

There are five steps to contributing an Artist Page:

  1. Select a writer or artist
  2. Seek permission from VG to do a page on that writer or artist
  3. Conduct the research, write the biography and criticism, and prepare the selected bibliography and related links sections
  4. Obtain permissions to republish any ancillary materials (such as photographs) from the copyright holder
  5. Submit your completed artist page, ancillary materials, and permissions to voices@umn.edu

Selecting an Artist

In order to contribute a new entry you must first select an artist who fulfills the following criteria:

  1. She is a woman of color.
  2. She has completed at least one full-length publication (book) that is either fiction, poetry, or literary nonfiction, or is an artist whose visual or sonic works (films, exhibits, music, etc. ) indicate a significant career. Exceptions to this criterion are made for some artists at the discretion of the VG Editorial Board.
  3. No one has yet claimed the option to create an artist page for this artist for the VG project. In other words, any artists on our Artist List who do not already have an Artist Page. In addition, if you know of an artist who does not appear on our list but who fits the criteria listed above, we will gladly add her to our list. Sometimes, the VG Editorial Board will make approve updates or expansions to existing artist pages because of new works or new scholarship and research, including translation and critical reception, since the page's first posting, or because of missing elements from the page, such as images and critical interpretations.

Reserving an Artist

Once you have selected an artist, email your request to complete a page for this artist. Please indicate when you anticipate submitting the artist page. If, for some reason you cannot complete the artist page, please let us know so we can remove your reservation and make the artist available to others to research for an artist page submission.

Researching and Writing

As you begin your research, bear in mind that, as the page creator, you will be the expert on your writer or artist. You will need to familiarize yourself closely with her life, her works, and the impact of her works — her critical reception, nationally and internationally. The most important component of your submission will be the biography and criticism section you will write. Here, you will take the extensive information you have gathered on the artist and distill it into at least four concise, instructive, and compellingly written paragraphs. You will want to provide a broad overview of themes or special aspects of the artist rather than focusing on a single work. In addition, you will be expected to perform your own critical interpretations of some of artist's works. You will also be expected to provide a detailed bibliography including the entire opus of an artist, critical works about her, as well as works by and about her in other languages. If you include websites in your selected bibliography, they should be of significant scholarly quality. Your related links section may include some popular websites on the artist — as long as you also include relevant scholarly websites — and must include the name of the web page you are providing a link for and a brief annotation.

In addition to the resources you would expect to consult (biographies of your artist, her books, etc. ), the following resources, which are generally available in the reference section of most college libraries, may prove helpful in your research. Note that we have indicated the Library of Congress call numbers for these publications. Ask a reference librarian for assistance in using these resources:

This is not an exhaustive list of resources but should provide a number of places to start. If you come across what you consider to be a particularly useful general resource, please send us a note at voices@umn.edu, and we'll add it to this list.

All submissions and bibliographic citations should conform to current MLA style, according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Titles of works should be italicized, rather than underlined. VG reserves the right to reject submitted pages if the content is inaccurate or does not meet Editorial Board standards.

Obtaining Permissions

After selecting images, audio, or video you would like to include on your artist page, determine whether these are copyrighted. A good deal of visual and audio material is in the public domain: one source for uncopyrighted material is the Library of Congress. However, if the image or audio file is copyrighted, efforts to obtain written permissions from the copyright holder — often the photographer, writer, artist, her agent, or the publisher of the source — must be made in order to republish the material on VG. Along with completing your submission, you must write to the copyright holder to obtain permissions to republish any images, audio files, and videos you would like to include on your artist page. Permissions obtained from other websites that have republished the image, audio, or video are unacceptable. Feel free to use our model letter for requesting permissions.

Submitting your Artist Page

When you are done preparing your contribution, simply email it to us. Please send your submission in plain text (.txt), along with any media attachments in the following formats: images in JPEG; audio in MP3 or WAV; and video in MP4. Also email to us your written requests, and their responses from the copyright holders, for permissions to republish your media attachments.

In addition, so that we may recognize you along with others who have worked to develop pages for the VG project, please send us your name and a brief biography of yourself to include in our list of contributors.

Waiting for our Reply

Once the VG Editors receive the page, we will carefully review it, making sure that it meets our standards in terms of accuracy, completeness, and readability. If your submission does not meet our standards, we will contact you with a rejection or to ask you to revise it. If your page is accepted, we will publish it on the VG website and post your biography to our list of contributors.

Agreeing to Editorial Revisions

The VG Editors reserve the right to edit the submission for the purposes of accuracy and clarity. When you submit a page for consideration, you agree to accept all editorial decisions.