New Voices Writing Contest




Eligibility: Anyone who has not published a feature-length article in a print or online publication (see FAQ for terms and definitions)

Submission Fee: FREE
Apply online: APPLICATION CLOSED FEB 16, 2020
Applications Open: November, 10th 2019
Submission Deadline: Midnight (12:00 a.m. EST) February, 16 2020
Jurors: SNAG’s Editor and members of the Publications Advisory Committee

Winner Notification: Mid-April 2020
Winner Announcement: SNAG’s annual conference, Grit to Gold: Future Fifty – May 20 – 23, 2020 in Philadelphia, PA
Award: A feature length article in Metalsmith magazine and $650 USD paid at the time of publication
Publish Date: Volume 41, Issue 1 (2021)


In celebration of its 40th year of publication, Metalsmith magazine invites new and aspiring writers to submit proposals to the New Voices Writing Contest. Do you have a research topic that feels congruent with the varieties of content featured in Metalsmith? Are you interested in broadening the discourse within the fields of jewelry, metalworking, adornment, design, and craft? Do you have a fresh perspective, unique voice, or a radical idea? We want to hear about it!


Who is eligible to apply?

Anyone whose writing has not been published as a feature-length essay or article in a print or online publication. For the parameters of this competition, “feature-length essay or article” is defined as a piece of original writing of roughly 700 words or more. “Print or online publication” is defined as any printed, digital, or web-based magazine, journal, newspaper, or book. Works derived from content published on an applicant’s personal blog will be considered.

How do I know if my topic or approach is right for New Voices?

Consider the mission statement of Metalsmith magazine: to document, analyze and promote excellence in jewelry and metalworking. In fulfillment of the goal of producing a significant document of the field, editorial content will emphasize contemporary activities and ideas, with supportive content to include relevant historical work and critical issues.

Metalsmith‘s editorial content is designed to reflect the dynamism and diversity of the metals field. Proposals can consist of but are not limited to:

  • Artist Profiles: in depth explorations of individual creative practices, bodies of work, or other significant contributions to the field.
  • Historical Features: new research and analysis on periods, trends, schools, studios, etc that are relevant to contemporary practice
  • Thematic Articles: discussions of broader developments and issues shaping the field

For more examples of the varieties of content covered by Metalsmith visit our website.

What if my proposal is selected?

The selected proposal will be published as a feature-length article in the 41st volume of Metalsmith and awarded $650 USD at the time of publication. All submissions to New Voices may be evaluated for future publishing opportunities.

What do I need to do to apply?

Fill out the application via Google Forms

Only complete proposals will be considered.

A complete proposal shall include:

  1. Applicant’s Name and Contact Information
  2. Writing Sample (500 words maximum)
  3. Abstract/Proposal (200 words)
  4. Proposed Title (10 words max)
  5. 3 reference images

I’m not an academic so I’ve never written an abstract! What should I do?

An abstract summarizes the thesis or “big idea” of an existing text. Even if you haven’t written the full article yet you can still write a proposal based on your preliminary research and ideas. Some questions to consider: What is your topic and what are your main points? Are there facts to reinforce your argument? Does the article address a gap in coverage of an artist, material, art movement? If so, mention this in the abstract or proposal.

Do I need to have the text completed before I submit to New Voices?

No! You can submit a proposal based on a topic or idea. However, your proposal should demonstrate that you have started some preliminary investigation into the topic.

What if I have a completed text, can I submit it to New Voices?

Yes! However, please follow the guidelines for acceptable content. We want an abstract/proposal and an excerpted writing sample ONLY. Do not submit a full text as part of your application.

What kind of images should I upload?

Images should help illustrate your proposed topic. They could be of artworks, artists, tools, studios, etc . . . Just make sure that whatever you include helps represent your topic and provides a visual reference for the content of your proposal.

Application Terms & Guidelines 

  1. Open to writers who have never had a feature-length article or essay published in a print, digital, or online journal, newspaper, magazine or blog. There are no restrictions on age, professional experience, educational background, or geographic location.
  2. There is no submission fee. Applicants may submit one entry only.
  3. Applications must be submitted through the online form at
  4. Applications close Sunday February 16 2020, 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  5. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. SNAG/Metalsmith accept no responsibility for entries not received due to technical difficulties.
  6. One applicant will be selected by a panel comprising the editor of Metalsmith & Metalsmith Tech, and SNAG’s Publications Advisory Committee. The committee will assess submissions based on concept, relevance to the field, clarity of proposal, and demonstrated writing ability. All decisions made by the panel are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  7. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by mid-April 2020 and the winner will be announced publicly at SNAG’s annual conference in Philadelphia, May 2020
  8. The selected author must provide the editor with an outline of the piece and a preliminary draft of the text no later than July 15, 2020
  9. The selected writer is responsible for the production of one piece for publication, due no later than October 1, 2020, including: research, writing, securing images and rights for publication; and all other related activities.
  10. The topic and content of the piece is at the discretion of the awardee and editor but must relate to the mission of Metalsmith Magazine. The awardee will work with the editor to develop the concept and provide guidance through the development of the piece.
  11. The awardee will receive a fee of $650, paid upon publication of the article.
  12. The finished piece will be published in Metalsmith Magazine volume 41, issue 1.
  13. The writer will ensure that their work is original and in no way constitutes an infringement of copyright, moral rights, or other rights by a third party.  Metalsmith will not be held liable for any legal action as a result of the work developed and published.
  14. Application images should be submitted as a JPG or Tiff under 3MB.
  15. Metalsmith reserves the right not to publish the piece at their discretion.
  16. The writer must provide their own personal, public liability and any other necessary insurance for the duration of the project.
  17. Applicants will be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.