1/17/17 UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who has already sent in your application packet! We will be CLOSING to submissions after this Friday, 1/20, to begin the review process. If you’re still on the fence, to quote Gwen Stefani, what you waiting for?
It’s that time of year again: the days are lengthening, ever so slightly; football is drawing to a close; winter is on the wing. Baseball beckons, with the promise of long nights at Safeco spent watching the sky stain deeper shades of berry. So too is it time for us to kick open the door at Lookout and bring some new folks in.
If you’re reading this post in the dead of winter, I assume you’re familiar with the drill: Lookout Landing has a proud history of being one of the founding team blogs on SBNation, a place where saber-savvy, plugged-in, passionate fans have been coming to chat about the team for years, through the bad times and the worse times. It’s also served as a launching pad for several luminaries in baseball writing, and offers a unique platform for developing one’s own baseball writing voice. We have a rich, diverse community that literally spans the globe, and writing for this community, specifically, with its passion and depth of knowledge, is both a serious responsibility and an incredible gift. We are looking for 2-3 writers for the 2017 season who are willing to take up this mantle.
Who you are:
- First, and most importantly, you really, really love the Mariners, for whatever reason. This team could be incredibly fun, with Swelmets and dancing aplenty, or it could be seven months of being stuck in that garbage compacter in Star Wars. You need to love the team and be willing to write about them even in the fallowest of times.
- You have a voice that comes through in your writing. A writing voice comes from writing, a lot. If you don’t feel like you have a voice, you probably need to do some more writing. A writing voice can also come from having deep knowledge in a particular field. Maybe that’s baseball, maybe it’s math and stats, or history, or psychology. If you have deep knowledge about something that you can bring to bear on baseball, we want to hear from you.
- You have a significant amount of time you can commit to this role. To keep me sane and from turning into a shrieking harpy, I need writers who can commit in advance to 2-3 pieces a week. Not everything needs to be a lengthy feature; sometimes the biggest help is putting up a 300-word news blurb when something goes down on THANKSGIVING EVE, FOR EXAMPLE DAMMIT JERRY DON’T YOU HAVE A FAMILY. That kind of flexibility is incredibly valuable, but so is locking down the schedule early so I don’t have to worry about the site suddenly hitting a pothole mid-week.
- You have ideas for your own pieces and passion projects, and are also willing to accept assignments. Right now, what I’m really proud of at Lookout is we have a variety of pieces up every day, from stats-focused pieces to player profiles to pitching analyses to prospect info to silly things. We’re looking for people who can contribute to this diversity. In your cover letter, pitch us some ideas—what is missing from the site right now? What can you add to what we’re already doing, and what new perspective can you bring? Send us pieces that show your flexibility as a writer and ability to take on different topics.
What you’ll get:
- Not money, unfortunately. After a trial period, during which you show that you will not flee screaming into the night, you will receive a piddly amount of money, enough for beer and pizza, or perhaps two pizzas, if you don’t drink.
- Better. Want to improve your writing? That will happen here. I have an MFA from the University of Washington, have been writing seriously for over twenty years, and I still get better at writing every time I hit “new article.” Over my (relatively brief) time at LL, I have had the chance to work with great editors, who have taught me how to see my work differently; I have been challenged, both by staff members and in the comments, to think about my craft; I have pressed myself to stretch and grow with things like the Edgar series. Writing for an audience, especially this audience, forces you to show up at the page and do something good.
- Exposure/Community/New Friends! I hate to trumpet this one too much because if you do something, you should do it for the love of doing it and not for the glory. But the fact is, if you write at LL, you will be connected to a rich network of people who love baseball and love good writing about baseball, and it will be really, really fun.
What to send:
- A brief introduction letter (brief = should all fit on one page) about who you are, what your experience is, and why you want to do this (why would you?).
- As part of that introduction letter, include some pitches for things you’d like to see on the site/article ideas you have.
- 2 writing samples that showcase your range as a writer. One should be baseball focused in some way—you could mock recap a game (Mariners Mondays is a good place to start) if you don’t have experience writing about baseball. The other can be what you like, but should show a range from your first sample and should not be fiction or poetry. Leave your name off your writing samples, as there will be a blind evaluation. We are especially in need of recappers, so having one of your samples be a recap might be a boon.
Send this packet of goodness to LookoutLanding3.email@example.com. Do it. I command you.
If you have questions, please leave them in the comments or shoot an email to the address above. Thank you for everything you do, person who cared enough to read all 975 words of this, to enrich this community.