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 We are looking for original, unpublished material which would be suitable for publication on our front page.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

Pressure makes diamonds.

... or poorly written papers.

We'll find out!

So I double checked my outbox, and while my submission went through ok for some reason my stupid Comcast account is showing that my email was sent Saturday at 4 am. I'm really hoping you guys got to see that it came in before midnight yesterday (sent it around 840 Pacific).

And now we wait...

*bites fingernails*

clover wrote:
IntangibleFate wrote:

Can I get goodjer to do my response?

[17:04] <+clover_> Goodjer: IntangibleFate wants feedback on his writing sample
[17:04] <+Goodjer> clover_: Intangiblefate wants feedback on a point to be writing to the sniper.
[17:04] <+clover_> Goodjer: nope?
[17:04] <+Goodjer> clover_: Nope nope next weekend here is the hipster?

If you're writing about snipers and hipsters, you should be ok.

Nope...not about snipers, could be slightly about hipsters though. Oh well, It was a good try.

If we are not selected, do we get a nice form letter? I know it says there won't be feedback, but a simple "NOPE" email?

Actually, now that I have all the drafts, I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Seeing lots of impressive drafts, and seeing some things that still need some work or time in the oven. So, I ask:

If you were to receive the "no" letter, would you rather just get a no or get some constructive, specific but uncompromising feedback in the draft? Knowing that in some cases, I get three or four paragraphs in, would you rather know and get thoughts about what I read, or just a no thank you and best of luck?

Actually, now that I have all the drafts, I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Seeing lots of impressive drafts, and seeing some things that still need some work or time in the oven. So, I ask:

If you were to receive the "no" letter, would you rather just get a no or get some constructive, specific but uncompromising feedback in the draft? Knowing that in some cases, I get three or four paragraphs in, would you rather know and get thoughts about what I read, or just a no thank you and best of luck?

Part of me would like a simple yes or no, just to know sooner, but I do really like getting feedback. I've done a few freelance assignments and I find the feedback the most valuable part of the process. Of course, that would take a ton of time for you, providing feedback on 20-25 articles or so.

You could try to get the best of both worlds by sending a form letter for "no, thank you," with a note that says to reply if they want specific feedback and you'll get back to them when you can.

Just my two cents. Cheers.

I personally think a 1-2 sentence quick-take would be useful as a compromise between "spending a lot of time on detailed reviews" and "providing no feedback whatsoever." If nothing else, it would help alleviate some of the anxiety that accompanies all creative writing.

Just discovered some mistakes in my piece.

It stings, it stings.

I originally thought a simple "No" would be the best response if I don't make the grade, but I would appreciate any constructive criticism. I realize that's asking a lot of Elysium (depending on the number of submissions) so I'm cool with whatever he can reasonably provide.

Elysium wrote:
If we are not selected, do we get a nice form letter? I know it says there won't be feedback, but a simple "NOPE" email?

Actually, now that I have all the drafts, I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Seeing lots of impressive drafts, and seeing some things that still need some work or time in the oven. So, I ask:

If you were to receive the "no" letter, would you rather just get a no or get some constructive, specific but uncompromising feedback in the draft? Knowing that in some cases, I get three or four paragraphs in, would you rather know and get thoughts about what I read, or just a no thank you and best of luck?

It's tricky. I'm not trained so I may be doing some basic things wrong. I'd definitely be interested in thoughts and observations that could help me in the future but don't feel like you have to come up with comments for the sake of it.

Elysium wrote:
If we are not selected, do we get a nice form letter? I know it says there won't be feedback, but a simple "NOPE" email?

Actually, now that I have all the drafts, I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Seeing lots of impressive drafts, and seeing some things that still need some work or time in the oven. So, I ask:

If you were to receive the "no" letter, would you rather just get a no or get some constructive, specific but uncompromising feedback in the draft? Knowing that in some cases, I get three or four paragraphs in, would you rather know and get thoughts about what I read, or just a no thank you and best of luck?

Elysium, I don't want to speak for the group but I would be the most interested in hearing what you thought of my concept. I brainstormed about half a dozen promising article ideas, but actually writing a fresh and original gaming article was more difficult than I imagined. In a rejection letter, I would like to know how interesting you found my topic and whether or not you felt I had a unique point of view.

Also, I would be happy to participate in an after action review once the finalists are announced. I have a bit of professional editing experience and would be happy to give general writing and grammar advice for anyone who is interested.

Elysium wrote:
If we are not selected, do we get a nice form letter? I know it says there won't be feedback, but a simple "NOPE" email?

Actually, now that I have all the drafts, I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Seeing lots of impressive drafts, and seeing some things that still need some work or time in the oven. So, I ask:

If you were to receive the "no" letter, would you rather just get a no or get some constructive, specific but uncompromising feedback in the draft? Knowing that in some cases, I get three or four paragraphs in, would you rather know and get thoughts about what I read, or just a no thank you and best of luck?

I'd like feedback, personally, as much as possible. It's the only way to get better. I understand it can be hard if (for example) the person is so far away for your standards, and the sting does hurt, but if the goal for the rejections is to encourage good writing for the Call for Writers - 2029, for example, it may help to have a direction to focus on for the future.

I would appreciate some feedback as well. Just a few sentences to direct me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. I've show my work to people before, but it's rare to get something constructive or thoughtful.

but actually writing a fresh and original gaming article was more difficult than I imagined.

Man, don't I know it!

Fair warning guys, regardless of whether I send a lot of feedback or not, it's going to take me a while to synthesize all of these drafts. I'm enjoying it a ton, but it's going to be a lot of work and come with some really hard decisions. If you are waiting by your email for a response within the next few days, you probably ought to pack a lunch.

It's going to be stiff, stiff competition.

Elysium wrote:

It's going to be stiff, stiff competition.

I didn't submit anything, but I'm curious. Will you consider running some articles from authors don't necessarily 'make the cut?'

Elysium wrote:

It's going to be stiff, stiff competition.

Will there be an immunity idol? Can I start tearing-down my competitors fellow writers?

Elysium wrote:

Fair warning guys, regardless of whether I send a lot of feedback or not, it's going to take me a while to synthesize all of these drafts. I'm enjoying it a ton, but it's going to be a lot of work and come with some really hard decisions. If you are waiting by your email for a response within the next few days, you probably ought to pack a lunch.

It's going to be stiff, stiff competition.

So.. this is the period for open bribery, right?

Elysium wrote:

Fair warning guys, regardless of whether I send a lot of feedback or not, it's going to take me a while to synthesize all of these drafts. I'm enjoying it a ton, but it's going to be a lot of work and come with some really hard decisions. If you are waiting by your email for a response within the next few days, you probably ought to pack a lunch.

It's going to be stiff, stiff competition.

Thanks for the heads up, and good luck with the choices.

Elysium wrote:

It's going to be stiff, stiff competition.

8=======D

I'm just glad I actually submitted something, I know I'm not trained and I am sure there are major issues with what I wrote, it was just nice to actually shoot for something that was within the realm of possibility.

I'll echo what's been said above, any feedback is always appreciated, and I don't mind waiting if it's useful.

Unsurprising: Gamers appreciate feedback.

wordsmythe wrote:

Unsurprising: Gamers appreciate feedback.

Force feedback.

I would love to have some constructive feedback on what I wrote, regardless of outcome. I always appreciate new insight into what I'm doing good and bad.

Tanglebones wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Unsurprising: Gamers appreciate feedback.

Force feedback.

It's always nice when they include a Force Feedback test option in the menus...

Very nice... .

That trailing period is just for you, Wordy.

Anything new on this? Oh the anticipation...

mondits wrote:

Anything new on this? Oh the anticipation...

Sean's still slogging through all the entries. He thought he could handle it, but that was before the avalanche of last-minute submissions.

So the big announcement about the winning writer(s) will be made at the PAX East panel, right? Right?

Just kidding. I do have a quick question though - is there any possibility that you will be bringing on more than one writer?

Can't believe I missed this. Next time.