NHBB Call for Writers 2016-17

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NHBB Call for Writers 2016-17

Postby Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:18 am

Hello! I'm happy to announce NHBB's call for writers for the 2016-17 season.

To apply to be an NHBB writer, e-mail me at brad@historybowl.com with your name, school affiliation (past and present as necessary), and a list of previous writing experiences (tournaments you helped write for, years worked for other companies, etc.). Writers who have not worked with me in the past are encouraged to include a sample of five (previously written and cleared for sharing) tossups.

I am looking for writers who have had significant experience writing pyramidal tossups at the middle school, high school, and/or college levels. Unfortunately, at the moment, we are not hiring new or inexperienced writers or running the second Provisional Writer Program. With that said, I will be posting the lessons from the program on historybowl.com in the coming days to help new writers continue to practice their craft, and I look forward to eventually getting a chance to run the PWP again.

Writers for NHBB will make between $3.50 and $5 per submitted tossup, based on their experience and question quality, with slightly higher rates for combo questions and lightning rounds. Most writing for NHBB takes place in the form of assignments; I may ask the writing crew for volunteers to tackle, for example, 10 American history questions, providing a bonus for finishing the job promptly. In addition, bonuses are given to writers who contribute a significant quantity to a finished set. These bonuses will generally make writing for a set under current production worth somewhat more than $6 per tossup for experienced writers.


Cultural History Writers

In addition, I am looking for experienced writers to work with me on specific parts of this year's three regular season sets and the national championships. In particular, I'm currently looking for writers to take on our cultural history categories, via the following process. (Similar arrangements may be made with me on an individual basis for the traditional history categories; if you're interested, please e-mail me.)

Each packet of NHBB questions (Bee and Bowl) features 10 questions that are not "pure" history, but rather non-historical categories through a historical lens. The distribution specifically includes one question from each of:

*Science
*Literature
*Religion & Mythology
*Philosophy & Social Science
*Visual Art (including painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, etc.)
*Auditory Art (including classical music, jazz, opera, etc.)
*Recent History (since the year 2000, but mostly focusing on current events)
*Pop Culture & Sports
*US Geography
*World Geography

(This represents a minor shift from last year's distribution, with Sports and Pop Culture being combined into one slot in the distribution, and geography expanding to two to cover the extra.)

As a result, each regular season set needs 16 questions, and the nationals sets need 32 questions, from each of these categories, totaling 80 questions over the course of the season. I'm looking for experienced writers to take on a category's 80 questions. You're in charge of the category, so you'd be responsible for making sure your work was distributionally sound (i.e. "not all sports" in Sports & PC, "not all Shakespeare" in Lit, etc.) and avoided egregious in-category repeats from set to set (i.e. "we're not tossing up Washington Crossing the Delaware four times"). I'd be in charge of making sure your work didn't make other in-set repeats happen, usually by moving regular history questions around rather than asking you to change your work.

You can apply for more than one category (list your preferences, please!) but I intend to only assign any given writer one category.

Deadlines: The C-set questions would be due to me by September 15th, the B-set questions would be due by October 31st, the A-set questions would be due by December 15th, and the NHBB Nats questions would be due in two half-batches, due January 31st and March 15th. Each deadline is 1.5 months apart, so it works out to be roughly one question every three days, or a weekend's worth of writing every month and a half.

Payment: These questions get paid at 25 cents more than a writer's normal writing rate, with two potential bonuses and two potential penalties.
**A bonus of $16 for early-bird delivery of a batch by one week before its deadline.
**A $100 bonus for meeting all 5 set deadlines (early and/or regular) throughout the year.
**The loss of the 25-cent per-question bonus if a batch is turned in after the deadline but "in time" for the set's production (always at least one week after the deadline, at my discretion of whether I'm waiting for your work to packetize the set).
**The loss of the rest of the year's assignment and a $15 penalty if a batch is not completed "in time." You would still be able to write generally for NHBB at normal writer rates, of course.

I don't particularly like putting financial penalties on question writing work, but I feel this is balanced (compare the flaking penalty to the early bird bonus), not overly punitive, and is commensurate with the importance of the job at hand. This assignment is a delegation of the category; if a writer flakes, I have to scramble to fill the gap. If circumstances arise and you don't feel able to finish the assignment for the rest of the year, just let me know ASAP and we'll get things covered, including for that set if necessary.

Requirements to be a Cultural Writer: I'm looking for highly experienced writers for these assignments; optimally, a writer will have previously served as an editor or heavy writer for a high school or college housewrite, etc., that I can read for examples, or will have written enough for me last year that I'm already familiar with their work.


To apply to be an NHBB writer, or if you have any questions, please e-mail me at brad@historybowl.com. Let me know if you're interested in applying for one or more of the cultural positions, or for general writing. Thank you!
Brad Fischer
NHBB Director of Question Production

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)
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Irreligion in Bangladesh
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Re: NHBB Call for Writers 2016-17

Postby Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:19 pm

Update on this year's set production, and a bump of the thread.

I know that, over the summer, a number of strong potential writers may have been interested in writing for us if we were able to meet our desired deadlines and avoid necessary blitzes, especially with regards to Nationals. As we just sent A Set to its first mirror in Oregon, we're now starting production on Nationals; now seems like a prudent time to update the community on how we're doing.

All three regular season sets were written, edited, and reviewed in time for their first use, with the closest cut being a week between A-set's finalizing and first use. Reviews have been solid so far; I've had to correct two minor (i.e. did not affect gameplay) factual errors, one in each of C Set and B Set, that got through final production, but that's all that's been reported to me so far. (As always, if you have feedback/comments/concerns after playing/hearing a set, please let me know!)

Thanks to our current writing staff, over the course of writing the three regular season sets, we've gotten 22% of Nationals weekend finished and edited so far. (This compares to an effective 0% finished at this time last year.) I'm highly confident that we'll have the entire NHBB Nationals weekend in packets by April 1st, giving us two weeks to playtest and a week to print. I cannot thank the writers enough for making this possible; quite obviously, I would not be able to have gotten this head start writing on my own.


We are, as always, hiring experienced history writers (i.e. have contributed to the editing team of a successful college or high school housewrite, have written the bulk of the history as a non-editor for a set, etc.). Experienced writers are paid a base $5 per tossup, plus bonuses based on incentives and voluntary assignments; for example, writing at least 30 questions for a regular season set earned you a $30 bonus, and that type of incentive will be offered for Nationals as well. In addition, I can offer a "signing bonus" to new experienced writers; if you haven't written for NHBB this year or last, sign up as a new writer, and write at least 25 questions for Nationals over the next two months, I'll pay you a $25 bonus. (For purposes of this offer, if you wrote for either IHO but not NHBB's regular production, you're still eligible to be a "new" writer. If you're unsure, just ask!) I'm also looking forward to training more novice writers this summer; there's no IHO this year, and I'm looking forward to using that time to build for the future.

If you are an experienced writer and have considered writing for a hypothetical NHBB that doesn't blitz you to burnout, I can quite confidently say that now is a good time to e-mail me. If you have any questions, please PM me, post here, or e-mail me at brad@historybowl.com. Thank you for reading!
Brad Fischer
NHBB Director of Question Production

Winnebago HS ('06)
Northern Illinois University ('10)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-12)
Coach, Keith Country Day School (2012-16)
User avatar
Irreligion in Bangladesh
Auron
 
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:18 am
Location: Winnebago, IL


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