Persistence is a Virtue: a case study

In which I am shown to possess a virtue, which would be news to a lot of people.

Persistence pays off. About six months ago I heard about a media startup, backed by a billionaire, with a social justice mandate and a partiality for investigative journalism. I, along with everyone else in the news media, applied. I heard nothing back. Two months later I see an article saying they’re hiring for pre-launch, it has a different email address, I send my application in there, I hear nothing back. Two months after that, I hear that an editor I know very slightly (from commenting on his website for ten years) has been hired as editor in chief, so I dig up his personal email and send him my resume and clips. I hear nothing back, so I dig up his email at the NEW site, which is now live. I email him there. Nothing for a week and a half, then “Hey, I didn’t know you were a reporter! Can you send me some more clips and some pitches” so I do. Then, nothing for weeks. I read another article about how they’re actively looking for freelancers, so I take our email conversation, forward it to the email address in that article and ask, “So, are we approaching the point of a formal No, or are we still in play here?” and I get back an email with an apology, his cellphone number, and the request to “Dial relentlessly until I pick up the phone.” So I do. 12 hours later I have an agreement to freelance for a very, very high-profile startup with serious financial backing.


EDITED TO NOTE: I would have skipped sending things in that One Last Time, except two good friends nagged me on Facebook even in the face of my “oh, I already tried a million times” so there’s two people who just skipped to the head of the line of People I Owe Dinner To.

Job opening: Editorial Fellows at Gawker Media

Deadlines in the monitor may be closer than they appear

Deadlines in the monitor may be closer than they appear

You know the Gawker Posse: io9, Gawker, Valleywag, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin and Jezebel. They make metric shit-tons of money, and so (unlike Conde Nast) they can afford to pay their interns. Would you like to work for them? You bet you would! I hear the office has hot and cold running Adderall! Anyway, here are the specs, and NO you cannot work remotely. Interning means picking up the coffee, and if you lived in Vancouver it would be cold by the time you got it to NYC.

Gawker is once again hiring Editorial Fellows for our New York office.

Editorial Fellows are Gawker’s entry level editorial positions. The ideal Editorial Fellow candidate is a strong writer with a discerning eye for newsworthy stories, has a keen sense of Gawker’s voice, and will be able to work in the Gawker office four days a week.

The essentials:

  • You should want to be a journalist, reporter, writer, or something of the sort when you grow up—prior experience in media is a plus. This is a position we hope will transition into something permanent at Gawker, so a desire to write for us is a must.
  • Basic knowledge of Photoshop, FinalCut, and HTML.
  • You are over 18 and have the legal ability to work in the United States
  • Willingness to learn. We don’t expect you to know everything when you get here, but you should be willing to put the work in to figure it out. While we’ll never ask you to get us coffee, there is some basic administrative stuff—transcribing interviews and research assistance—that comes with the territory.

The stuff you’ll be doing:

  • Research and reporting: We are looking for a very strong writer who is capable of pulling together different kinds of information from multiple sources for editors
  • Spotting stories: Learning how to find and pitch stories from multiple sources and leads
  • Some video editing

Other things:

Editorial Fellows are paid, hourly employees. And if you’re really good (and lucky), one day you could be promoted to an Editorial Assistant.

If you think that sounds like something you’re into, apply here. You’ve got until August 30th to apply.


Pay the Writer, GPOY edition

You know how, when a client doesn’t pay you on time, there’s always a story attached? You know that story? Dead gramma version, cash crunch version, whatever?

Cool story, bro

Cool story, bro

The Blog-To-Book Deal at the Shebeen Club

Canadian writer Darren Barefoot.

Image via Wikipedia

We’re back!

UPDATE: this just in, the venue is the upstairs lounge of Revel Room, 238 Abbott Street just south of Gastown in Hipsterville! Chef is working up some special entrees just for us!

Finally, a real Shebeen Club meeting at last! After a several-months-long layoff, we’re restarting with a bang with the hot topic of the Blog to Book deal. Who doesn’t want to put their already-posted words to work for them? What publisher wouldn’t love an author with a pre-existing following and 400,000 words or so already out there, ready to be judged by an editor? How do you hook up one of these deals? What’s the market looking for: recipes? fiction? poetry? dirty stories about Julian Assange? Duh, all of the above and more.

Join us on Monday, February 21st at 7pm for a timely, lively presentation by Darren Barefoot, one of Canada’s pre-eminent social media personalities, and Trena White, Acquiring Editor of Non-fiction at our own Douglas & McIntyre. Bring your questions, and your URL!

As always, tickets are $20 in advance (available till Feb 16th) or $25 at the door and include dinner and a drink. We’ll announce the venue in a couple of days, once we’ve locked down the menu. The venue is the upstairs lounge at Revel Room, 238 Abbott Street just south of Gastown. Chef is making some special entrees just for us!

Darren is a writer, marketer and blogger. He’s a co-founder of Capulet, a web marketing agency, and a co-founder in Northern Voice, one of Canada’s largest blogging and social media conferences. He’s the co-author, along with Julie Szabo, of “Friends With Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook”. In 2011, he’s only consuming Canadian products, media and services, and writing about the experience at

Trena White

Trena White

Trena White is a book editor. She joined Douglas & McIntyre, a Vancouver-based independent publisher, as Acquiring Editor of Non-Fiction in 2010. Before that, she spent six years in Toronto as Editor at McClelland & Stewart, where she worked with emerging and established non-fiction writers in a wide range of subject areas, including memoir, current affairs, politics and history. She has a Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser University.

7-7:30 meet & mingle

7:30-8 listen & learn

8-whenever pitch, link, Add, Friend, Follow and schmooze!

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Victoria Foodblogger Needed

Shakespeare blogging

Shakespeare blogging

Yes, looks like a paid gig (or I wouldn’t post it). Got this from Craigslist, via Twitter. EAT is very high-profile, and they do make money, so ask for some. The “Internship” is a red flag, but they do put a dollar down, so obviously they’re open to negotiation, depending on what you can do for them.

EAT Magazine is looking for a food blogger for our website to write about Victoria events and news. This would include attending new store and restaurant openings, winemaker dinners, following-up on press releases, assessing new product launches, finding industry news, being proactive and keeping an ear to the ground for what’s new.

The right person will have:

• A strong network of contacts within the Victoria food, hospitality and restaurant scene
• Good writing skills
• Flexible hours (many events happen at night and on weekends)
• A love of food
• Posses a deep understanding and knowledge of all things culinary
• Good people skills
• Basic camera skills
• Wine knowledge would be an asset
• A desire to build a writing career

Note: this not a full-time job. It is also not a posting for a restaurant critic.

Please write the editor expressing your interest. Tell us a bit about yourself and include the reason why you’d like to be an EAT blogger, your expectations, samples of your writing and your resume.