Submitting Contributions

Riffs welcomes pieces from all disciplines and industries, to include (but not limited to) academia. Each issue of Riffs is be based on a prompt, but responses can vary dependent upon the contributor’s interest and experience. Riffs|OPEN offers a space for contributions which do not quite fit within the themes of the issues. As the journal title suggests, we are most interested in pieces that take an experimental approach to the consideration of popular music. For examples of previous interpretations, please explore our website.

All abstracts submitted to Riffs will be considered by an editorial panel and blind peer reviewed (where possible – videos including the author (etc) make this difficult) before acceptance and publication.

Word Limit 2,000-4,000 (including references)

The word limit for contributions will depend upon particular Calls. Please check the Call that you are responding to. All contributions should respond to the prompt. We also welcome shorter written pieces, audio, and visual pieces to include photo essays, comic strips and zines.


For full issues, all abstracts should relate directly to the Call and include a summary of the intended written, visual or audio contribution. For Riffs|Open, please make sure that the proposed piece takes an experimental approach and keep in mind the wide audience of Riffs. As ever, links to external websites and the use of images, playlists, audio and video elements are encouraged. Short bios, contact email and a proposed title are also required.


Please email submissions as attachments to the editorial contact given below. All contributions should be provided as a .doc or .docx file. All images and web-ready audio or video clips should also be emailed as separate files, or through a file-sharing platform such as WeTransfer or Google Drive. If you wish to send a PDF file to show the layout of images, please also include the text as a separate .doc or .docx file and the individual image files.


Please submit all images as a high res JPEG (at least 300 PPI). All images will be converted to black and white, so keep this in mind when selecting. Where relevant, submitted documents should indicate where images should fit within text, however, the editorial team reserves the right to make minor alterations to enhance the overall effect of final online and printed version. The editorial team reserves the right to reject images which fall below these standards. Please do not include blurred or low-quality images (unless this is a deliberate aesthetic statement and understandable as such in the context of the contribution). We ask that no panoramas are submitted and avoid GIFs or other formats which do not lend themselves to print. In submitting images for publication, contributors are consenting to their use in print, on our website, social media, and any other relevant application of the images that the editorial team sees fit. In submitting images, authors confirm that they are the copyright holder, or have sought and obtained permission from the copyright holder, for that image. Image credits should be included throughout the contribution. Images that include recognisable individuals require permissions from those depicted. Riffs will not accept responsibility for any inadvertent breaches of intellectual property laws caused by deliberate or inadvertent failure to adhere to these rule on the part of contributors.


Please include a short (up to 300 words) bio with your name, institutional affiliation (if appropriate), email address, websites and other useful/interesting information, positioned at the end of your piece.

References and Endnotes

If you refer to other publications within your piece, please list these in a ‘References’ section at the end. All clear formats of referencing are acceptable. Discographies and weblinks can also be detailed at the end of your contribution. Please use endnotes rather than footnotes.


Abstracts and full contributions should be emailed to info@riffsjournal.org


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.