Arts & Culture » Culture

Metro Times’ Everyone's a Critic Contest


Yep. That’s right. It’s Metro Times’ music writing contest. It’s for all of you who fancy yourself the new Lester Bangs, Cameron Crowe, Richard Meltzer or Stanley Crouch, those who rant on music site message boards, or basically anyone who’s ever wanted to be a critic — or tell those big-head critics where to go.

We’re looking for writers who can uphold the integrity of music, with an in-depth knowledge and critical eye for the subject. The contest seeks to recognize work that is well-written, original and informative, and is a pleasure to read. (Hint: Write passionately and subjectively, in other words, give a shit.)

You can analyze a concert, a CD, or profile a musical artist you think is worthy of attention. Themes can run the gamut: What’s the worst concert you’ve seen recently, what’s the best? What record changed your life? What record should have changed your life? What’s the worst record you’ve heard? What’s wrong with the current state of pop, of radio, of concert promotion, of club life? What role does music play in our culture? If you write about something you love, tell us what you hear in it. Ditto if you write about something you loathe.

This contest is limited to those who have never been paid for writing. This is an amateur contest, remember. Submissions will be judged by a panel of recognized music journalist pros. Who knows, you may wind up being a regular contributor here or elsewhere.

The rules are simple:

• The contest will be divided into two age categories, under 18, and 18 and over.

• If you are a musician, you can’t write about your band.

• The contest will be open to all genres of music: soul, R&B, hip-hop, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, techno — whatever counts as organized noise.

• The word count should not exceed 1,000 words or be less than 300.

• Submissions must be typed, double-spaced, with the entry form (Download PDF below). E-mail submissions are welcome — just send along the information outlined in said form to

• Best submissions will be published in our big music issue on May 7. Prizes to be announced.

• Submissions must be delivered to Metro Times no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23.

So don’t dawdle, and, above all, don’t be shy. Send your copy in. Brian Smith, music editor

Download entry form

E-mail your submission to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

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