Writing for NAQT

Old college threads.
Locked
User avatar
setht
Auron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Writing for NAQT

Post by setht » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:32 pm

Hey gang,

as you may know, this year's DI SCT set suffered from having a large number of questions written at the last second combined with a lack of time for set editing, at least on my part--and the two are linked, as I was stuck trying to write questions to fill out various parts of the set until the last second. Unfortunately I think that the ICT set production effort is headed in the same direction: a little over half the set is finished with a month to go, but the number of new questions not written by me that have shown up over the last several weeks is a drop in the bucket. Many of NAQT's more experienced members seem to be stretched thin covering various lower level sets every week and I suspect that those demands on their time will continue until very close to ICT. If this post has no effect on ICT production, then I expect that the set will be completed at nearly the last second, and I expect that it will suffer from bonus variability and other undesirable characteristics that could be avoided with more work (just as SCT did).

Some of you may remember that two years ago a bunch of circuit people drafted and signed a letter to NAQT pledging to help produce questions for NAQT in exchange for various policy changes on NAQT's part. NAQT then made those changes, and several of the letter signers have gone on to write questions for NAQT (in a few cases, quite a few questions), but I think it's fair to characterize the amount of help that NAQT has gotten in the past two years, from the signatories as a group and from the circuit as a whole, as underwhelming. I find this puzzling; I thought the people who signed that letter generally took a position of negotiating concessions from NAQT based on the position that without help from the circuit, NAQT would eventually wither and die after passing through a phase of producing crappy tournaments (and based on the shared opinion that crappy NAQT tournaments and NAQT's eventual death would be bad for quizbowl). By my count, the letter signers as a group have produced just over one tournament's worth of questions in two years, and have a grand total of four questions in the 2011 ICT set; most have not even signed up to write for NAQT, let alone submitted questions.

I've directed some of my comments to the letter signers, but anyone who feels like helping out will be greatly appreciated. I know many of you intend to play DI ICT, but anyone in that situation can help by writing some DII ICT questions and/or writing easier stuff to help clear out the other sets that NAQT has due between now and ICT. Obviously anyone who isn't playing DI ICT this year can also do those things, but I'd sure appreciate seeing some more questions show up in the DI ICT set so I have something to edit.

If you have any questions about this, post here or drop me a line at satelite@gmail.com.

Thanks,
-Seth
Seth Teitler
Formerly UC Berkeley and U. Chicago
President and Chief Editor, NAQT
Emeritus member, ACF

User avatar
Frater Taciturnus
Auron
Posts: 2463
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:26 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:43 pm

setht wrote: I know many of you intend to play DI ICT, but anyone in that situation can help by writing some DII ICT questions and/or writing easier stuff to help clear out the other sets that NAQT has due between now and ICT. Obviously anyone who isn't playing DI ICT this year can also do those things, but I'd sure appreciate seeing some more questions show up in the DI ICT set so I have something to edit.
One of the problems with sectionals was that, in DII, there didn't seem to be a distribution or list of needs or an organized effort to get people working on the set until really the last possible minute (I think I first got an email about writing for DIISCT a week before the tournament). Looking at Ginseng, I am very pleased to see that such a list exists now for ICT so that I (and probably more people) can get working.
George Berry
georgeberry.vcu@gmail.com
--------------
J. Sargeant Reynolds CC 2008, 2009, 2014
Virginia Commonwealth 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
Douglas Freeman 2005, 2006, 2007

User avatar
Auroni
Auron
Posts: 2998
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Auroni » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:49 pm

I'm happy to help. I was working on my batch of NAQT writer's kits questions (I got about 5 done before tests and stuff kicked in), which I will finally be able to finish when my finals are over with.
Auroni Gupta
UIUC
ACF

User avatar
setht
Auron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by setht » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:53 pm

Frater Taciturnus wrote:
setht wrote: I know many of you intend to play DI ICT, but anyone in that situation can help by writing some DII ICT questions and/or writing easier stuff to help clear out the other sets that NAQT has due between now and ICT. Obviously anyone who isn't playing DI ICT this year can also do those things, but I'd sure appreciate seeing some more questions show up in the DI ICT set so I have something to edit.
One of the problems with sectionals was that, in DII, there didn't seem to be a distribution or list of needs or an organized effort to get people working on the set until really the last possible minute (I think I first got an email about writing for DIISCT a week before the tournament). Looking at Ginseng, I am very pleased to see that such a list exists now for ICT so that I (and probably more people) can get working.
Well, part of the thing with DII is that some amount of the set consists of converted DI questions, so it's always an open question exactly what will be needed for a given DII set. This becomes even less clear when the DI set isn't anywhere near finished until the last second and conversions are going on until that last second. I'm not working on the DII set so I don't know for sure, but I suspect that the list that's currently up for DII shows what is currently needed, and I suspect that that list will change as DI questions come in and some of them are converted for DII. In any case, writing DII questions will help, whether with this year's set or with some future set.

Thanks,
-Seth
Seth Teitler
Formerly UC Berkeley and U. Chicago
President and Chief Editor, NAQT
Emeritus member, ACF

User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:31 pm

I was going to make a post on a rather similar subject about the NAQT letter and what's come of it. I've been the first or second set editor on IS 102, 104, and 105. This has been partially out of choice and partially out of necessity; there aren't enough man-hours to make the sets happen otherwise. And they suffer, every single time, from the fact that a big part of my role as set editor is invariably to write about 20 questions the night before. If everyone who signed the letter wrote ten questions a month, we would be in un-fucking-believable shape completing sets. As it is, we never are. It's a little frustrating to be one of the few people among the letter signers who've stepped up in a big way, while a lot of those who haven't still congratulate themselves on the concessions they earned from NAQT. The concessions--the additional IS set and the computation in particular--are invaluable, and, let me tell you, I couldn't be happier that they happened. But I'm really disappointed that so few people in the community who signed the letter took seriously the part about signing up and helping NAQT.

People on this forum love to give Matt Bruce shit. That's partially deserved, because a lot of his older questions--well, Matt, they're not very good. A lot of his newer questions are pretty decent, really. But the thing that actually matters about Matt Bruce's contributions is that they are 100% the reason that IS sets get finished. If he weren't willing to pull all nighters before every set and mass-produce questions, which then someone in my position edits as rapidly as possible, and to do dozens of repeat and feng shui checks on the set, then NAQT just wouldn't function.

So, letter signers, your inaction is a vote in favor of the Matt Bruce questions you like to make fun of--whether justified or not--and a slap in the face of an organization that produces ten IS and IS-A sets and a national championship every year. Pick it up.
Andrew Watkins

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:07 pm

In case some memories need to be jogged, all of the following people signed the letter pledging to write for NAQT:
Sarah Angelo
Rob Carson
Charles Dees
Ian Eppler
Ted Gioia
Dan Goff
Auroni Gupta
Ike Jose
Gautam Kandlikar
Anurag Kashyap
Eric Kwartler
Jonathan Magin
Eric Mukherjee
Evan Nagler
Cameron Orth
Dan Passner
Dan Puma
Ahmad Ragab
Aaron Rosenberg
Charlie Rosenthal
Bernadette Spencer
George Stevens
Guy Tabachnick
Daichi Ueda
Jerry Vinokurov
Andy Watkins
Matt Weiner
Harry White
Dwight Wynne
Zhao Zhang

Some of us have made good on this and begun writing for NAQT, but way more of these signers sure haven't. You know who you are.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

User avatar
Ondes Martenot
Tidus
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: Troy, N.Y.

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Ondes Martenot » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:29 pm

I agree entirely with Seth and Andy. If anything, Seth may be understating the problem since after ICT there is HSNCT, which I'm sure will come down to the wire just like every other NAQT set this year. By and large its the same 15 or so people who do the bulk of writing for IS sets. Most of these people, especially the real heavy hitters, are people no longer active in the game. Now, I'm not saying that a college player will sign up for NAQT and match the output of R. Hentzel, but if 15-20 of the people who signed this letter actually wrote for NAQT and each contributed around 15 questions per IS set (which really isn't that many questions), NAQT would be in a much better position. Unless my memory faults me, only three people on the list provided by Charlie have joined and provide significant contributions (as opposed to joining, writing ten questions, and never being seen ever again).
Aaron Cohen, Bergen County Academies '08, RPI '12, NYU-???, NAQT writer, HSAPQ writer, PACE writer

User avatar
Matt Weiner
Sin
Posts: 8411
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:48 am

So I just said something in IRC that I'm going to paraphrase here in case it helps anything:

Seth and Andy are 100% right in this thread. I have expressed my own disappointment many times about people who signed that letter not writing for NAQT. I am not writing for the 2011 ICT because i'm pretty actively coaching VCU for it and for ethical reasons i need to know as little about the set as possible. However, I have written and edited for NAQT in the past and will do so in the future. People not in my position should write for this set. Also, people should write more for all sets. Every question you write for an NAQT IS set or an HSAPQ set is one less question that someone out of college has to cover and one more good question that you get to play on at SCT or ICT instead. Everything is connected and you can make all sets better by writing for any of them.
Matt Weiner
Founder of hsquizbowl.org

Magister Ludi
Tidus
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:57 am
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Magister Ludi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:16 am

To be fair, with Jerry and Jonathan working on ACF Nationals (and Matt feeling he is ethically barred from working on ICT), I'm not sure how many people on this list Seth expects to write for ICT aren't playing it. I signed my name on this letter and will be happy to contribute questions to the HSNCT or future SCTs if they are desperate for questions. Moreover, I strongly sympathize with NAQT's disappointment about the paucity of new writers who joined after they accepted the terms of the letter. However, I see very very few names on this list (other than Matt) who I think really should be writing a lot of questions for ICT that is not currently signed up to do so. Maybe this thread is an elaborate ploy to squeeze out a few questions from Eric Kwartler or Evan Nagler, but I think it would unfair to blame a bad ICT on the people who signed this letter considering how few of them are eligible to write for it.
Ted Gioia - Harvard '12
Editor ACF, PACE

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:06 am

That's pretty myopic, Ted. Seth and Matt both laid it out already, plain as day.
Many of NAQT's more experienced members seem to be stretched thin covering various lower level sets every week and I suspect that those demands on their time will continue until very close to ICT.
Also, people should write more for all sets. Every question you write for an NAQT IS set or an HSAPQ set is one less question that someone out of college has to cover and one more good question that you get to play on at SCT or ICT instead. Everything is connected and you can make all sets better by writing for any of them.
This thread isn't just about writing for the ICT. If you are playing the ICT, then you can still help make the ICT a better tournament by writing for the high school events that distract NAQT's writers who are ineligible for ICT. NAQT's high school sets are most filled with questions by NAQT's editors, who are the people who normally should be filling the ICT up. Every decent question you submit for high school events or for Sectionals frees up time for those writers to write another question for ICT.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

Magister Ludi
Tidus
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:57 am
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Magister Ludi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:52 pm

I understand that Charlie, but I see some pretty specific calls for people to write for ICT in this thread. In fact, the thread was started due to a dearth of submitted questions for ICT.
setht wrote: By my count, the letter signers as a group have produced just over one tournament's worth of questions in two years, and have a grand total of four questions in the 2011 ICT set; most have not even signed up to write for NAQT, let alone submitted questions.
Matt Weiner wrote: People not in my position should write for this set.
What I'm saying is that the most effective way to get more high quality questions submitted for ICT is not grandstanding in this thread claiming every question I write for Div II ICT or IS sets is going to greatly improve the ICT, because frankly I am unconvinced that it would necessarily be a good thing to free up editors such as Craig Barker or Matt Bruce to write more questions for ICT. I think it would be more effective strategy to target the specific people who could actually write for ICT and contact them privately reminding them that they signed the letter, or talk to other good writers who didn't sign the letter but have an invested interest in the community. Basically, the way to produce the best ICT is not just getting Seth or Andrew to be the chief editor but putting together a team of capable writers in addition to a few good editors. I would suggest that NAQT should try to recruit to recruit a team of really qualified writers and editors right now for next year's ICT.

Let me just reiterate that I sympathize with the overall point of this thread, but I just disagree with the specific strain of it that suggests the quality of this year's ICT is somehow contingent on the people who signed this letter working on lower tournaments. The quality of ICT is contingent on NAQT putting together the absolute best team, and the best writers are often busy working on other tournaments and with their personal shit so they need to be lined up early.
Ted Gioia - Harvard '12
Editor ACF, PACE

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:06 pm

What I'm saying is that the most effective way to get more high quality questions submitted for ICT is not grandstanding in this thread claiming every question I write for Div II ICT or IS sets is going to greatly improve the ICT, because frankly I am unconvinced that it would necessarily be a good thing to free up editors such as Craig Barker or Matt Bruce to write more questions for ICT.
Replace those names with Andrew Yaphe, Seth Teitler, and Jeff Hoppes (the people who are probably most affected by this), then reconsider your position.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

User avatar
Theory Of The Leisure Flask
Yuna
Posts: 843
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:04 am
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:55 pm

I'm not the world's best or most prolific question writer (and was not part of the letter-writing contingent), but would be willing to pitch in esp. on NAQT's college-level sets for a little while, at least while I'm still looking for a Real Job (TM).
Chris White
Bloomfield HS (New Jersey) '01, Swarthmore College '05, University of Pennsylvania '10. Still writes questions occasionally.

User avatar
I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell)
Quizbowl Detective Extraordinaire
Posts: 1641
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:25 pm
Location: Wichita, KS

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:45 pm

I'm stretched pretty thin time-wise, but I'm probably long overdue for starting on my writer's kit.
Dan Goff
HSQB sysadmin

Virginia Tech '13
South Carolina '15
and a couple other places
Not Thomas Dale HS

STAAATS

User avatar
Mechanical Beasts
Banned Cheater
Posts: 5673
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:49 am

Three weeks later, a grand total of one person has signed up to write and had a writer's kit approved: thank you, Auroni Gupta, for being one of the still terribly few people to follow through on the promise they made to NAQT.
Andrew Watkins

User avatar
setht
Auron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by setht » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:44 pm

Hey,

now that the (collegiate) national tournaments are finished I'd kind of like to talk things over with people in connection with getting more circuit people working on NAQT sets. To give a bit of context: this past year I signed up as head set editor for DI SCT; I wound up also taking over as head set editor of DI ICT after Andrew had to step away unexpectedly due to a new job. My understanding is that we should not expect him to have time next year to work on either set. Matt Keller also had to step away from subject editing DI SCT/ICT bio and chem some time ago; again, my understanding is that he will not suddenly have more time this next year. Meanwhile, it has become clear to me that I cannot afford next year to devote the amount of time that I spent this year on SCT and ICT. My hope is that I can be more efficient with the time that I do have and that I can spread out some of the workload over the summer, but most importantly that I can convince enough circuit people to sign up with NAQT (and also contribute--signing up is nice, but having a super-long list of mostly-not-active writers is not actually useful) so that I'm not stuck trying to edit one or both sets and also writing substantial portions in the last month. If enough people are signed up and appear to be active (and in particular, if there are contributions to the SCT/ICT sets) at some point relatively early in the process--e.g. by early fall--then I will be happy to continue as set editor for SCT and/or ICT if NAQT is interested in having me do that again. If not, then I will need to step away from the task.

I'll hang out in the IRC for some large-ish chunk of time this evening in case people want to talk about possibilities for next year, discuss what it's like working with NAQT, air any unaddressed grievances that are keeping them from signing up, or whatever. I'm hoping most of the people who signed that letter to NAQT 2 years ago can take part in these discussions (especially those who haven't signed up with NAQT yet); I'm also hoping a bunch of other people who are possibly interested in signing up with NAQT will also show up and say what's on their minds. I'll also try to show up the next couple evenings. Please also feel free to drop me a line at satelite@gmail.com.

Thanks,
-Seth
Seth Teitler
Formerly UC Berkeley and U. Chicago
President and Chief Editor, NAQT
Emeritus member, ACF

crimsonscholar
Lulu
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:52 am

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by crimsonscholar » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:09 pm

I hope I am not misunderstanding things, but if it is not too late, I want to write for NAQT. I did discuss with Chad Kubicek about this before, and I have intended to send some in.
Jonathan Thompson
University of Alabama '08 and '15

Quiz bowling.

User avatar
setht
Auron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Writing for NAQT

Post by setht » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:17 pm

crimsonscholar wrote:I hope I am not misunderstanding things, but if it is not too late, I want to write for NAQT. I did discuss with Chad Kubicek about this before, and I have intended to send some in.
It is certainly not too late to write for NAQT in general. My vague sense of things is that the greatest need this past year was in fact more writers for the DI SCT and ICT sets, but getting more people working on HSNCT, MSNCT, IS sets, or anything else can only help--and, as I said before, I'm quite confident that there will be plenty of need for more writers helping out with DI SCT/ICT next year, for anyone interested in that.

Anyone who is interested in writing for NAQT should go ahead and submit a sample of 10 questions at their earliest convenience. There's no need to wait for any particular tournament to approach--if someone wants to write for DI ICT 2012 they can start doing that now, if they want (hint hint).

-Seth
Seth Teitler
Formerly UC Berkeley and U. Chicago
President and Chief Editor, NAQT
Emeritus member, ACF

Locked