If you’re interested in submitting possible stories and essays to Wisconsin Public Radio’s Wisconsin Life, here’s what you need to know:
We currently rotate our regular commentators, freelancers and WPR produced pieces through two spots each week. We seek stories of the people, places, history and culture that make Wisconsin home. Good stories 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 get to the root of who we are as people and explore our human experience. They highlight landscape and development, rural hideaways and urban neighborhoods, musicians and farmers, deer hunting and community gardens. 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.
Radio writing tips:
- 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. Something needs to happen in the story – it can be small and can be internal but something needs to change in the story.
- 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 Packers tailgate party, consider a story about how the Packers’ season helped your father through a winter of unemployment. Instead of describing a walk in the woods, talk about how the experience had a profound impact on you or reminded you of an important moment in your life.
- Find a core value that almost all listeners will find some meaning in and start there. Remember that this is not a forum for outright political advocacy.
- Our stories are short – 500 to 600 words. That times out to about 3:45 max.
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.