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Lookout Landing is hiring

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No baseball, no problem.

Seattle Mariners Introduce New Manager Don Wakamatsu Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Hey friends, John Trupin here from Lookout Landing. Five and a half years ago I responded to an open hiring call here at LL. Without reservation, the experience has changed my life. Though I’d long been a LLurker, the opportunity to write here - at the time fully for free - helped me develop a community, grow as a writer, and learn enough to fill a cheesy feel-good family movie trailer. One of the things I’ve learned since being made the Deputy Managing Editor (Kate promises my big shiny badge is in the mail, it’s just four years delayed) is that even when you love doing something, it can be difficult to maintain the necessary fervor, especially when the subject of that fervor stretches from March-to- October, with 162 events to cover, plus spring training and, well, never in the history of this blog but THEORETICALLY playoffs. The creativity and energy of new ideas and growing writers is what has been at the heart of this site since its inception. Whether your perspective is humorous, scientific, heartfelt, statistical, esoteric, a blend of some or all, or something else entirely, we would love to hear from you as an applicant. Some important details!

What positions are you hiring for?

We are looking to hire at least three writers at the moment, but may add more depending on application quality, ability to commit to writing, time availability, etc. As you consider the positions below, please also keep your own capacity in mind. We understand that - at least to our derpy subsection of the internet - writing about the Seattle Mariners is Super Cool (or at least that’s how we pitch it at family gatherings), but it’s also a not-insignificant commitment of time, mental/emotional resources and sanity. Specifically we are seeking.. .

  • ONE writer able to commit to writing at least one game recap on any weekend day/night of the season. It can be Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday, but everyone deserves to have a life and Kate is part of everyone. Ideally, this role will also be flexible to filling in the occasional midweek ‘cap, though those are typically easier to fill. If you are a frequent LL reader, you will know the genre of recap writing is our most open-ended in terms of style, so do not tell yourself “oh I’m not a good enough writer” or “oh I don’t have enough baseball knowledge” and certainly not “oh I don’t have enough experience”. If you like the Mariners enough to drag yourself out of bed on a Saturday morning for a 10 AM Chris Flexen start in Houston, you’re already more than halfway there.

- What this looks like: It’s Friday night, baby, and you’re glued to At Bat. Maybe you’re charting every pitch of Robbie Ray’s seven inning perfecto, maybe you’re screenshotting The Worst Called Strike of Justin Dunn’s career, who knows? [Ed. note: This sounds a little lonely-dire. Even on Friday nights, I (Kate) or someone else is around in the Slack to bounce ideas off of, or capture that moment you missed while you were trying to figure out where that pitch Yohan Ramírez just threw actually landed vs. where it was supposed to go, plus there’s a usually-lively Game Thread full of people to talk to. You have to work, sure, but you also have built-in game buddies, which is a significant perk, especially in These Unprecedented Times]

  • ONE writer with interest and/or experience writing about the minor leagues. Scouting experience is a plus but not a requisite. If you are familiar with our minor league coverage series systems (State of the Farm, Midshipmen’s Log, et al), we are seeking someone to take over this compendium of minor league happenings and detail.

- What this looks like: Your eyes are glazing over, faint wrinkles starting to develop in the corners of your eyes from perpetually squinting at grainy Low-A footage, you can rattle off Adam Macko’s May starts with ease. This is the life - well, okay, maybe it isn’t now, but in a few years you’ll get to look back and tell everyone You Knew Them Then. Bonus points if you’re able to make pretty, social-media-friendly graphics to get everyone else on the bandwagon with you early.

  • ONE features writer. This is intentionally open-ended, and like all roles on staff comes with the additional possibility of the occasional recap; however, the focus will be on prescheduled #content. This can be data analysis, looks back into Mariners history, pop culture crossover, somewhat unnerving Mariners-adjacent fiction, or any number of other focuses that you can convince us should be published to the good people who read Lookout Landing. This typically will require 1-2 articles per week, depending on length and depth of research needed.

- What this looks like: Did you know that Meriwether Lewis passed his time traversing the United States by balling up wads of old cotton and wrapping strings of rawhide around them? Once they got to a certain size, he’d toss them back and forth in his hands until they disintegrated, at which point he’d begin the process all over again. When ‘ol Mer arrived in what is now Portland, he buried the current iteration of his ball underneath an old alder tree and from there a beautiful baseball diamond grew in its place. And that’s where Lewis and Clark College’s illustrious field stands to this day...

This one’s a wildcard. Write what you know, write what you don’t know but want to know; write what you love (the Mariners), write what you hate (the Mariners).

Dang that sounds cool, but also like work. What does it pay?

Not nearly enough, my friend. Sadly, we work on a fairly limited budget from Vox, meaning our staff Work Very Hard but typically your earnings will cover more your monthly coffee budget rather than rent. None of our current masthead are “full-time employees”. That said, if you are hired, all staff who are able to commit to a per week article count are paid, which is... well, still not much, but it is something that we’ve worked to ensure in the past few years. Even a fun part-time job is still a job, though, and we recognize the challenges that a Wednesday afternoon bullpen game poses to even the most stalwart of constitutions. For your logistical framework, though, this is a contract position with a monthly rate based on an agreed number of article(s) per week, at a minimum of $50 per month, with the possibility of more based on what you are able to commit to. If that is a deal-breaker, we heartily understand.

Okay... so what should I send in? And where?

Where is easy: email us at Lookoutlanding3.0@gmail.com

Important: use the subject line “LL application submission 2022. This will trigger the Google gremlins to send you back a confirmation that we have your submission all properly sorted into its little folder so it doesn’t get buried beneath the avalanche of sports betting press releases and phishing scams that usually run riot in that inbox.

What is also fairly straightforward: Send us some writing!

Let us know in the email which position(s) you’re interested in, and attach a few documents to it (PDF please)...

  • Why you want to write for LL! This can be a traditional cover letter, short as a paragraph bio or as long as you’d like - basically just help us get a sense of who you are, how you see yourself contributing to the LL team, and why you think this sounds like something you’d be great at. Include your social media handles and LL/SBN commenter name (you do have one of those, right?) so we can get a sense of how you engage with sports and the internet at large, as that’s a big part of What We Do Here.
  • FOR RECAP POSITION: Sample recap based on this game from 5/19/21: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SEA/SEA202105190.shtml (sorry)
  • FOR MINORS-FOCUSED POSITION: A sample Midshipmen’s Log based on the games of 6/11/21: https://www.milb.com/scores (click over to the date, then you can sort by organization to just include Mariners games). You can review the format of the Midshipmen’s Log here, but the gist is a recap of the prospect highlights from each game. This needn’t be as narratively rich as the big league cap (though you can have fun with it), but you should take care to prioritize performances from prospects of import, or why an achievement is worth highlighting from a less-heralded name.
  • FOR FEATURES-FOCUSED POSITION: A piece you’ve written that you feel best showcases your writing style. This could be something submitted for class, published on your personal blog, heck, even posted here as a FanPost (pro tip: we love hiring from FanPosts!). Bonus points if it demonstrates your areas of interest or expertise.
  • Feel free to include links/attachments of up to three pieces or writing/work you feel give a good representation of yourself. At least one should be baseball or sports-related if that’s not covered in your initial application, but don’t feel like that’s all you can send us. If your best writing is about perfume or hip hop or Teutonic history but you feel like you can bring that same passion to bear on Mariners baseball, send that to us.

What if I’m interested in multiple roles? And is there #GrowthPotential?

Great! We all wear multiple hats here, and it is easy to expand to writing more: a features writer can of course sign up for recaps, a minors writer can hop in for a recap, etc. These three groupings outline baseline in-season responsibilities, not limitations, though if you are consistently able to put out high-quality content we can re-assess your role and compensation. Beyond that, many LL writers have gone on to work elsewhere in baseball, as writers, analysts, and/or staff on behalf of MLB teams on both the Baseball Ops and PR/Media side of things.

I’m interested, but I don’t have any background in sports writing/I don’t know what all those stats mean/I can’t tell you who won the World Series in 1926/etc etc etc

Having a uniquely compelling voice is of much more interest to us than an ability to regurgitate Baseball Reference on command (although that is still, certainly, of interest to us), so tell that imposter syndrome to hit the road and send in your application anyway.

Baseball is for everyone, but BIPOC voices, specifically those who identify as women or non-binary, continue to be underrepresented in the world of baseball writing. That’s an unfortunate mirror of hiring practices in other spheres: studies show women are much less likely to apply for jobs where they don’t feel they fit the application qualifications or guidelines perfectly, and even companies that claim to have instituted diverse hiring practices continue to uphold racial and socioeconomic biases. While we recognize the importance of actively recruiting BIPOC talent instead of passively waiting for it to come to us, we strongly encourage interested candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to apply to this open call.

When is the deadline to apply?

Please try and send us your application by March 1, 2022 or sooner. (Now is a good time to remind you to use the correct subject line in your application so we don’t lose it! Remember, it’s “LL application submission 2022.”) Considering the MLB season is up in the air, we are pretty open-ended on our hiring window; however, we will be hiring on a rolling basis and have finite resources, both budget-wise and with respect to the time it takes to on-board new hires. All of that is to say, we encourage you to apply sooner rather than later! And just to hammer this home one final time: we are seeking writers with backgrounds of all kinds, because that makes our site and community better while continually improving the way we analyze and engage with the sport. Even if you don’t think you have the experience, the worst we can do is say no, or not right now. So apply away, and we hope to hear from you soon!