Hey everyone, Austin here.
On a recent Beastcast, I mentioned that one of the new projects we were looking forward to launching in 2016 was a guest writer program, which would let us share our spotlight with up and coming critics, experienced vets, and industry insiders who can share their knowledge in the form of columns, op-eds, and feature stories. Well good news: That program is kicking off this week. For those who are taken completely by surprise (and I imagine that there’s more than a few of you), I wanted to write up a little post about why we’re doing this and what you can expect.
Games (and the culture that surrounds them) are in the middle of an ongoing boom. There is an ever expanding set of niches, subcultures, new genres, and local scenes–and gaming is better than ever because of it. We want Giant Bomb to be a place where you can read, think, laugh, and talk about all of these amazing developments, but the truth is that our expertise (and our time) is limited. As much as I’d love to be able to write with incredible depth and knowledge about eSports, old school RPGs, interactive fiction, anime fighters, city builders, and everything in between, I just don’t have the free time to become an expert in all of these things.
Plus, there are things that I just can’t know without personal experience. I’ve never been the creative director of a game studio. I might be able to repeat what I’ve read elsewhere, but I can’t speak to you evocatively about the many game scenes outside of North America. I’ve written about issues of identity and diversity, but I can only ever speak with confidence about experiences like my own, and the world is filled with a vast and incredible array of different people. This range has been reflected in our Game of the Year guest lists for years now, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to extend that variety of perspectives throughout the whole year.
The long and short of all this? Starting this week, you’ll be able to turn to Giant Bomb for even more insightful and entertaining writing about the games you love and the ones you haven’t ever heard of. This writing will come both from old friends of the site and from a collection of impressive new voices in the fields of games journalism and criticism. To start with, expect to see one or two guest articles every week, with that number potentially growing over the long term.
We’ve been working on this program for a long time now, so I’m really excited for this to roll out. Thanks, as always, for being the sort of audience that trusts us to experiment and find out exactly how to make Giant Bomb better than ever!
Edit: Based on some comments, I just wanted to clarify a few things.
First, yes, freelancers will absolutely be paid for their writing. I have strong feelings about publications paying their writers fairly, and would not move forward on this project without having confidence in our ability to do this.
Second, our guest contributors will be sticking to writing op-eds, columns, essays, and other similar articles. We’re not going to be running guest reviews in the near future. So don’t worry, this doesn’t mean less writing from all of us on staff. If anything, I’d love to see even more writing from my co-workers. (By the way, if you haven’t read Brad’s wonderful review of The Witness yet, go check that out!)
Third, if you’re interested in pitching us, that’s great! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I alluded to above, we’re going to be moving carefully with this at first–just one or two articles a week for the first few months at least. I don’t say that to dissuade anyone from pitching, I just want to be clear that there’s limited availability. Because of this, when you send your pitches in, be sure to send in links to your best work so that we can see you at your best. Also, because bringing guest contributors on requires a degree of bureaucracy, we’re really looking for people who can deliver on more than a single idea. So if you’re planning on pitching, think about sending in a couple of op-ed ideas, a themed column that could run regularly, or a multi-part article series.
Thanks again for all of the excitement and energy you’ve shown in the comments and on Twitter. Can’t wait for you all to read some of the great stuff we’ll have for you soon!