Instructions for authors at

Above all, Eric's the editor and owner of CJ and has final say on what's published. He may edit your work or suggest changes, and he'll always be reasonable and supportive, but he has final say. Authors and photographers are recognised with bylines, but CJ is a work of love so there's no payment.

CJ aims to promote modern jazz in Canberra, but may include occasional, related, visits to classical and other musics, even perhaps to other art forms. It occasionally covers jazz outside Canberra, esp. jazz with Canberra connections and local festivals.

CJ works on the assumption that jazz players are all committed to their art, and are not in it for the money. (Let's face it, who would be?) Therefore, jazz is virtually always worthy, even if it differs in quality, originality, capability, etc. This means: description is in, value judgements are out. Jazz in Canberra is a small community and we all benefit if we help each other. Also, you play better when you're feeling confident, so quality improves and the whole community benefits from generous peer support.

Think of articles as reports of concerts, gigs, etc, rather than reviews. Be supportive rather than damning. Damn with faint praise if you must. You won't always be in the mood; take that into account. Some personal comments can make the report more relevant to others, but remember you are peripheral to the article: this is about the performers, not about you.

Reports must include names of players and bands, and what instruments they play. This may be in a final summary paragraph. Within the text CJ prefers first names, but full names are needed for the index. Your report may include lists of tunes, and perhaps a discussion at the level of each tune. Try to express the playing styles, approaches, etc, of each player. Use musical knowledge and examples (eg, "strains of Bitches brew"; "frequent tritone substitutions"). Make the article interesting and informative for people who know music. Use this to distinguish players, rather than give value judgements (good/bad). Also, think of non-musicians and even people who don't know much/anything about jazz. Can you educate them by talking of the emotions, the intellectual aspects of improvisation, the history of jazz, the status of jazz in Australia, etc? Try to promote jazz as an intelligent and emotionally satisfying high art form, as well as a good night out.

Talk to the band. Tell them about CJ and that you'll write them up. Give them the URL (the easiest to remember is "Search "canberra jazz" in Google and it's number 1"). Perhaps ask them to pose for a photo, and take a "family snap" of band members.

Feel free to use a thesaurus to find the right words and to be colourful. I mostly use the Macquarie dictionary and thesaurus when I'm writing. I find it provides useable, modern, Australian language. It's cheap and a paperback. I also find Merriam-Webster thesaurus ( ) and Encarta thesaurus ( ) are helpful. Use an (Australian) spell checker.

Provide photos if possible. I publish as 800x600 portrait on the site, so feel free to edit and resize. Generally avoid flash and orient as landscape. Band pics are a very difficult field of photography due to low light and constant movement. Use high ASA, wide apertures, perhaps sports or low light settings, support camera with monopod or whatever, take lots of pics to get a few steady ones, get both wide shots of the band and closer individual shots, perhaps get pics of the audience or location, try to cover all performers, study visual composition.

Email the finished article to CJ with pics and any messages to the editor to Eric at

Feel free to contact Eric at CJ if you have any questions or plan to write for CJ.