Pop Classics

Incisive critical commentary in short, punchy volumes of pocket pop



You love pop culture. We know you do. And we want to read about it.

You might be best known for writing about music, politics, or the adventures of made-up people, but ECW wants to give you a chance to expound on something different. On that thing that makes an evangelist of you, that makes you hold party guests hostage long after the coffee has gone cold or has you playing a Rage Against the Machine track for your grandma or streaming Fleabag episodes for your dad. 

ECW staffers share your pop culture passion, and we’re looking to expand our successful pop culture list with new titles for our well-known Pop Classics series.

Pop Classics offers intelligent but accessible arguments about why a particular pop phenomenon matters. Possible subjects include TV, music, books series/authors, film, social media influencers, and video games. It can be something nostalgic (Babysitters Club novels) or contemporary (Beyoncé), as long as it’s something meaningful: to you, to its genre, to pop culture, and maybe even to society as a whole. Maybe you think about the ways in which the frenetic energy of young TikTok stars mirror the chaos of late capitalism, or how Anthony Bourdain’s immersive travelling created ripple effects on race and inclusion. Whatever it is, we want to hear it.

Running between 20,000 and 40,000 words, Pop Classics are short books that pack a big punch, and just might be the thing to give your dinner companions some peace . . . or give you a legitimate reason to keep on talking.

“At its beating, rose-red heart, The Bachelor is basically just two things: it’s a game show, and it’s a love story — more particularly, a marriage plot. And before you think about it too hard, the pairing sounds so natural that it’s hard to believe someone even had to think it up. Like, wait, was that not already a thing? After all, the game show and the marriage plot are, arguably, the defining innovations of middle-class entertainment of the 20th and 18th-into-19th centuries, respectively. Both genres are so endlessly popular and endlessly replicable that the twain shall meet seems more like a command than a proposition. The Bachelor as inevitability.”

Excerpt from: Most Dramatic Ever: The Bachelor, Suzannah Showler.


To submit a Pop Classics proposal, send an email to Jen Sookfong Lee at jenl@ecwpress.com with the subject: “Pop Classics Proposal: Friday Night Lights” (or whatever your subject may be). 

Your proposal should include the following elements:

  1. Who: A CV that details your writing experience and includes links to previously published work
  2. What: An outline of your proposed book: Your central thesis, a proposed table of contents to show us how that argument would develop, and a sample of up to 500 words
  3. Why: Some basic information on the subject, target audience and why the time is right for writing about this topic

Feel free to spread the word: share this proposal with other pop culture enthusiasts of your acquaintance.


Frederick Blichert on Jennifer's Body