FAQs

People can be curious creatures – they ask a lot of questions (which is generally a good thing). If you’ve got a question about  The Velvet Onion, chances are it may have been asked it before. Take a look at the FAQs below first, and then if your question still remains unanswered, please drop us a line and we’ll do our best to answer it. Our contact details are included in these FAQs as well!  Handy or what?

What is The Velvet Onion?
The Velvet Onion is a multi-platform journalistic outlet, which provides critical assessment and external promotion to a group of collaborative comedians, actors, musicians, writers, directors and over creative types, who embody the ethos of the founding groups which inspired its creation – Ealing Live and The Mighty Boosh.  Founded in 2010, we now provide a platform to over 12,000 regular readers in over 160 countries, writing regularly updated news stories, and providing exclusive interviews, previews, reviews and the occasional promotional event and original multimedia work.

With strong links to artists, major production companies and broadcasters, we offer an additional form of marketing for the work we feature, and a trusted source of information for all who – like us – are fans of that work, and those who make it happen. As well as the artists on our pages, we have previously worked in collaboration with BBC, Channel 4, Sky, Studio Canal, Film 4, Entertainment Film, Canongate, Oberon Books, AKA, Phil McIntyre Ents, at:pr and numerous other companies to promote work across television, radio, online, print and the stage.

Our online presence is currently primarily focused on this website, but also includes Twitter, Facebook and YouTube profiles.

Who are The Velvet Onion?
The Velvet Onion team is somewhat interchangable, and has included many names over the years, including several who have operated on short-term projects.  However, the core team are as follows:

Editor in Chief: Paul Holmes

Deputy Editor: Rachel Emms (Mog)

Administrator: Helen Cowlyn

Current Reporters: Rebecca Moody, Rosana Nichols, Paulyne Antoniou, Agata Nowakowska, Gina Snape, Nigel Thomas, Teresa Whelan

If you would like to submit work to the site, or be considered for a role as a reporter, please contact paulholmes@thevelvetonion.com. Please note, all submissions are subject to editorial adjustments, but will receive full credit if accepted – for full terms, please contact the editor. All applications for a reporter role will be subject to intense screening: we take our responsibility and direct access very seriously, and never EVER for granted.

Do you earn any money from The Velvet Onion?

Yes. But very, very little, via our Amazon Store and YouTube adverts. All profits generated from these auxiliary channels are funnelled back into the site to keep it active.

Why haven’t you posted about ____? And why haven’t you posted today?

Two simple reasons: Time and Resources. Our work is entirely voluntary, and dependent upon finding the time in our active lives. We all have full time jobs and families and loved ones who need to spend time with us too, and there’s always going to be those moments when we try to write up a story, only for it to be ‘Brain Fart Time’.

We maintain a high standard for two reasons: 1) We are trusted by our audience, and the artists we cover; 2) We want to do the very best we can, whenever we can. There’s no sense in us regurgitating all the news we see elsewhere, so if everyone else has covered something, we’re far more likely these days to Tweet a link to it, and give one of our friends in the industry a boost of hits. We don’t try to chase them when we don’t have to.

Similarly, if we’re all having crazy times away from TVO, there’s every possibility that we’re either planning to write about something, and haven’t had the time yet, or we just don’t know anything about it – which does still occasionally happen.  Really, if you’re that baffled why we’re not covering a project you’re excited about, or even involved in – contact us, and we’ll get on it if we can!

When are you going to update your page on ____? Isn’t it time you got a new look?

As soon as possible. We’re currently trying whenever we have time in between writing posts, conducting interviews and doing the rest of that thing we call ‘life’ to update all the archive pages, and get them to look a bit prettier.

We’re also talking to web designers who will take over the technical elements of the site, so we can make it look swishier, and make older material more accessible. Stay tuned, but as they’re also doing it for free around their other, more pressing projects, it’s going to take a while yet.

I am a brand new comedian, and I’d like you to feature my video/live gig/jokes. Why won’t you respond to my tweets/emails/begging?
Look. There are people who we are huge fans of out there, that we don’t cover. Our initial group of collaborative artists has grown and grown over the last five years, as more and more artists started collaborating with the already collaborating artists, and it became a collaborative artist collaboration orgy of art. It gets complex.

The Velvet Onion started off as a cool name for a website of this nature, but it turns out to be a perfect metaphor for this brand of ‘New Wave Comedy’. Much like an Onion, there are many layers, and in order to be featured on these pages, you have to be one of those layers. Now, we could make a much bigger onion, but we haven’t got the staff or the time to do so – and the bigger that onion gets, the more our remit becomes exactly the same as every other comedy website – and they can do that job far better than we can.  By focusing on this core group – and the occasional external layer, we can make sure those who don’t get much representation elsewhere are given the exact same attention as those who don’t really need it as much.

So the simple answer to your question is this: Get the people we feature to pay attention to you, and get them collaborating with you. It’s not our job to push them in your direction, sadly, but we wish you well – and hopefully one day you’ll be on here with the rest of them.

What are your contact details?
If you’d like to get in touch with us please use one of the contacts and email addresses below – just pick the one that’s closest to what you need:

Editorial / Press Inquiries

Paul Holmes – paulholmes@thevelvetonion.com

London / The South of England Inquiries

Rachel Emms mog@thevelvetonion.com

Other Inquiries

Helen Cowlyn afroharold@thevelvetonion.com

How did The Velvet Onion come about?
TVO began life as a means of keeping one man busy during a period of unemployment, which coincided with the launch of several projects that needed to be promoted online to an audience of the already-faithful. Within a few months, it had morphed into a mammoth undertaking, with a team of writers, the support of many we were covering, and even a favourable Guardian review.  Since then, it has grown and grown, and we continue to strive for ways of making the site better for you, on a budget of 26p and a Cadbury’s Fudge if we’re lucky.

Is The Velvet Onion the official site for the artists that you cover?
We would like to stress that whilst we have a good working relationship with the vast majority of the artists that we feature (and their representatives), we remain 100% unofficial and independent of them and their work.

How do I sign up for your email updates?

On the right hand side of the website is a section titled ‘Email Subscriptions’. Type your email address into the box and click on the ‘sign me up’ button. Job done.

How do your competitions work?
Each one is different, so there are no hard and fast rules. We guarantee that all competitions are run fairly and no one is given preferential treatment.

Why do overseas entries often get excluded from competitions?
As we run TVO out of our own pocket, unfortunately we can’t always cover the postage costs for sending large/heavy items overseas. Sorry. When one of us wins the lottery we shall review this.

Can I send messages to artists via The Velvet Onion?
Unfortunately we’re not able to act as a conduit between our readers and the artists that we cover. Most of them are active on twitter, so can be contacted this way, or via their management (try google for contact details).

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