Call for Writers -- 2013

It's been almost four years since our last Call for Writers, but the time has come again for us to turn to the boundless talent of our community and shamelessly beg for your pretty words and clever wit. Previous Calls for Writers have brought to us such talent as Julian "Rabbit" Murdoch (who, to date, has not been responsible for us going out of business) and Russ "Fletcher" Pitts (who eventually flew the coop to help run The Escapist and now Polygon). Now we are looking for the next great GWJ writer.

Writing for GWJ is currently a volunteer effort, but it is an opportunity to build your portfolio, get feedback from a supportive community and develop your skill. And, in truth, what we are looking for above all else is excellent writers who want to help produce content for us because they have a passion for this community and for the games industry.

The thing about writing in the gaming space is that there are no promises. That said, many of our writers have gone on to have successful freelance careers and write for countless publications from magazines to some of gaming's most recognized websites. We also have an active community of writers who support and help guide one another, and, as I suspect you already know, our readership is exceptional.

If you are interested in becoming a recurring writer for GWJ please read on for submission information.

NOTE: Submissions deviating from the guidelines below will not be considered.

What to Submit: Please submit a 750 word - 1000 word original commentary on any topic relating to the video game industry. We are not looking for reviews, previews or non-gaming related content.

Submissions should be in a Word Document format and attached to an e-mail. E-mail entries should be sent to [email protected] with the subject “Call for Writers '13 Entry.” Any entries submitted to an incorrect address, with an incorrect subject or without proper attachments will not be considered.

Submissions should be double spaced with traditional 1” margins.

Do not submit links to your blog, old articles on other sites, or your resume. We are looking for original, unpublished material which would be suitable for publication on our front page.

Writers retain all rights to submissions, and we will not print or distribute your submission without prior approval.

When to Submit: Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm CST February 8, 2013.

Things You Need to Know: GWJ expects all writers to participate in a peer feedback and editorial review process.

We do not guarantee that a new writer position will be made available if submitted drafts fail to meet our needs or standards. This isn't a contest where we announce a winner. It's a job application. By the same token, we retain the right to terminate writer relationships at any time and for any reason.

We are unlikely to be able to provide feedback on drafts or explain "why wasn't I selected?" While we are looking for excellent writing, we are also looking for that voice that just fits. The reality is that we will probably have to say no to some genuinely talented writers in this process. If it makes you feel any better, we don't like doing it either.

Tips of Crafting a Good Submission:

Be creative — seriously, points for creativity
Hook us from the start — We tend to get a lot of submissions, and are easily distracted.
Proofread — Typos, that’s a paddlin’.
Edit, tighten and improve — Your first draft can be better. Get someone to look at what you write, take your time and put something together that stands out.

Good luck and we can’t wait to read your articles!

Comments

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Not for me, but I always look forward to reading new and interesting perspectives from the talented people here!

Good luck to all!

I feel like I should try and submit something, but God damn do I have zero faith in my own abilities.

I'll think on it.

ccesarano wrote:

I feel like I should try and submit something, but God damn do I have zero faith in my own abilities.

I'll think on it.

Last time they had a call for writers I sat out because my son was 2 months old. For the past several years, I've regretted that decision. The worst they can do is not pick you, so go for it.

I have some good ideas, but really can't figure out which to run with. I may crowdsource my ideas later if it's not against the rules. I'm hesitant of telegraphing a great idea beforehand, so Elysium if you're reading this let me know if brainstorming is encouraged or not.

ccesarano wrote:

I feel like I should try and submit something, but God damn do I have zero faith in my own abilities.

I'll think on it.

It's ok!

90% of the times I put phosphorous to pixels I feel like I'm either rehashing something or committing terrible crimes against grammar and the GWJ readership. Thankfully, the review gauntlet for writing is extremely cooperative and rigorous, which helps the process along.

I wouldn't say I'm a particularly talented contributor, but the GWJ writers have done wonders for my confidence through their editing. Don't put too much stock in doubt, since rejection serves to make your writing stronger. Go for it!

That's my pep-talk for anyone out there that would like to try, but is hesitant.

I would love to, and I actually am a professional writer (well, Medical Writer), but after seeing the quality of the articles that get posted here, I'd feel like a white belt having to teach a kung fu class.

Budo wrote:

but after seeing the quality of the articles that get posted here, I'd feel like a white belt having to teach a kung fu class.

That's part of it. Another is feeling like this site has a specific voice, and I'm not sure how well I can fit my own to it (or if I should even do that).

I have an idea for an article I may submit, though. So we'll see.

I'm hesitant of telegraphing a great idea beforehand, so Elysium if you're reading this let me know if brainstorming is encouraged or not.

No rule against it, but one thing to think about.

Part of this gig is really being able to contribute regularly. For me, the toughest thing week to week I think about is "what the &%*# am I going to write about this week?!" Thinking of a topic and then being able to say something interesting about it is going to be part of the gig. So, I would just say it's ok to crowdsource if you just really want to get a killer idea this one special time, but don't lose sight of the fact that coming up with something to write about is part of the deal.

I would love to, and I actually am a professional writer (well, Medical Writer), but after seeing the quality of the articles that get posted here, I'd feel like a white belt having to teach a kung fu class.

I completely understand this. I can tell you that at least twice a week I read something that someone else wrote (often on this site) and feel like the biggest clown-hack that ever tried to click a mechanical keyboard. Just turn that voice off, and plug something down on paper and press send.

Elysium wrote:
I would love to, and I actually am a professional writer (well, Medical Writer), but after seeing the quality of the articles that get posted here, I'd feel like a white belt having to teach a kung fu class.

I completely understand this. I can tell you that at least twice a week I read something that someone else wrote (often on this site) and feel like the biggest clown-hack that ever tried to click a mechanical keyboard. Just turn that voice off, and plug something down on paper and press send.

Ah why not? I'll give it a go.

...just need a topic now...

I echo the sentiments of those before me. I would often receive praise for my writing ability, but I still lack the faith (or perhaps better put, the balls) to step up and make a real go of it. I still do not feel the time is right for me to venture onto this path. I have no background in professional writing, nor do I frequently participate in the circles that would compliment my selection of keystrokes. I went no further than High School and my interest in reading as well as writing went into hiatus for a few years during that time, as well as thereafter. As a result I often wonder if I read too much into the endorsements that I should do something with my (supposed) knack for words.

I am relatively new to this community, but I thoroughly enjoy the articles that are clearly penned by talented wordsmiths. It would be daunting to attempt breaking into this team. Nevertheless, if you're thinking about it and have a little bit of confidence and a touch of experience I would recommend entering the running, right now. It can only lead to good things. It's a great opportunity. Go for it!

For anyone feeling unequal to the challenge, remember they let me write for them. More than once.

Note lack of smiley. You wouldn't believe what some of my stuff looked like before they took me in hand and made me think it through. We all work together and help each other and we're better for it.

We don't bite, at least not hard or any place where it would show to inspire awkward questions. Write something. Give it a try.

Have a glass of wine, put on a smoking jacket, turn up the Barry Manilow and dim the lights, because writing successfully for GWJ is like making sweet, sweet love; you just have to get yourself in the mood.

Spoiler:

I assume. Having never written for the site, that is what I infer from the talent that presents itself rather regularly here

Yay, fresh asses to paddle blood!

momgamer wrote:

Note lack of smiley. You wouldn't believe what some of my stuff looked like before they took me in hand and made me think it through. We all work together and help each other and we're better for it.

This is entirely true. Well, except replace momgamer's "my" with my "my". Or, uh, something like that.

Minarchist wrote:

Yay, fresh asses to paddle blood!

momgamer wrote:

Note lack of smiley. You wouldn't believe what some of my stuff looked like before they took me in hand and made me think it through. We all work together and help each other and we're better for it.

This is entirely true. Well, except replace momgamer's "my" with my "my". Or, uh, something like that.

And speaking of paddling, Wordy's gonna see that one, man......

Good Lord, how is it that articles like the "search queries that brought people here" and "call for writers" seem like they happened a couple of years ago actually happened five and four respectively?

RolandofGilead wrote:

Good Lord, how is it that articles like the "search queries that brought people here" and "call for writers" seem like they happened a couple of years ago actually happened five and four respectively?

I know, right? It seems like only two years ago that I remember seeing the last 'call for writers' post, but apparently it's been four years.

As Steve Miller would say, "time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin', into the future."

momgamer wrote:

And speaking of paddling, Wordy's gonna see that one, man...... ;)

I will never stop putting punctuation outside of quotes. NEVER!

ccesarano wrote:

I feel like I should try and submit something, but God damn do I have zero faith in my own abilities.

I'll think on it.

I was listening to last week's Idle Thumbs on my way to work and "Famous" made an interesting comment on this point. He said that when he first got to college, he got sh*tty grades and felt like everyone in the room was a much better writer than him. Then, he realized that, despite that, he just had to sit down and do the work, like it was a job. Eventually, he got better, even though he still feels like he is a hack.

I don't know if I have the time to write for the site on a regular basis, but I may just submit an entry anyway, if only for the experience.

Minarchist wrote:
momgamer wrote:

And speaking of paddling, Wordy's gonna see that one, man...... ;)

I will never stop putting punctuation outside of quotes. NEVER!

At some point I learned that's how it is supposed to be done. Is it not? Are the rules inconsistent?

TheCounselor wrote:

I was listening to last week's Idle Thumbs on my way to work and "Famous" made an interesting comment on this point. He said that when he first got to college, he got sh*tty grades and felt like everyone in the room was a much better writer than him. Then, he realized that, despite that, he just had to sit down and do the work, like it was a job. Eventually, he got better, even though he still feels like he is a hack.

Y'know, I listened to that Podcast as well, but forgot all about it. Thanks for the reminder.

Then, he realized that, despite that, he just had to sit down and do the work, like it was a job.

This!

In the long run, it's not about whose the best writer. It's about who can you depend on to deliver to the deadline, and who is willing to put in the work. Don't get me wrong, writing something worth reading is important, but that comes in time from just plugging away.

I just want to say that the kind words of encouragement from Momgamer, Minarchist, and Spaz are both uplifting and terrifying. Momgamer's piece on getting back into competitive FPS gaming completely echoes my experiences, Minarchist writes awesome analytical articles that I think would fit right in to magazines like PC Gamer, and Spaz is hillarious. Those are big footsteps to follow in.

I've decided not to tell too much of my ideas, at least not until I've written more. But I think I've narrowed things down to what I think would be a light-hearted article and one that would be extremely personal and perhaps a bit heartwrenching. Not sure if my first article should be "entertaining" or just interesting to read.

It's the 20teens now... We can't submit a gdoc?

I have had a few idea kicking around in my head for awhile, maybe I can get one down at somepoint. I almost feel like reading everyone elses great stuff that I owe it to the community to at least give it a shot. If that makes any sense.

NSMike wrote:

It's the 20teens now... We can't submit a gdoc?

You can submit one, it's just not going to get read because you didn't follow the rules.

ccesarano wrote:
Minarchist wrote:
momgamer wrote:

And speaking of paddling, Wordy's gonna see that one, man...... ;)

I will never stop putting punctuation outside of quotes. NEVER!

At some point I learned that's how it is supposed to be done. Is it not? Are the rules inconsistent?

AP style (which is what GWJ uses) has the rule that the punctuation marks are always inside the quotation marks, even though you and and I all learned better back in English class.

I try my best, but Wordy still catches me on that one occasionally, particularly with scarequoted words. That's why I was teasing Minarchist.

You learned outside the quotation marks in school?!

NSMike wrote:

You learned outside the quotation marks in school?!

Yes. In usual parlance, when you're doing an actual quote, the marks go inside. When you're doing a scarequote (like Minarchist's "my" above), it's supposed to go outside.

In the case of the actual dialog, the punctuation is part of the spoken word. In the case of the scarequote, the quotes are only related to the word, and the sentence punctuation should be separate.

Punctuation within quotation marks is an American thing. The British and the colonies influenced by the British education system use a more logical system.

It was a trade negotiated back in the 1880s between the deans of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale. There was an effort being made to create and promote a single, standardized system of punctuation for all the English-speaking countries to be included as part of a unified lexicon edited and published on both sides of the Atlantic by those universities working in concert. Unfortunately, the schools' representatives couldn't reach an agreement on the inclusion of the letter "U" in certain words, the placement of punctuation relative to quotation marks, and a fixed definition of the word "fanny".

You can still see pages of the unified lexicon on display in Kent and Yorkshire, but most of the proofs were sadly lost during the Blitz.

Hell, I'm in again.

Last time around, I really enjoyed knocking together an article. For all I know, it made Elysium's eyes bleed with the awfulness of it, but you don't try, you don't know.

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