Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Looking for Brilliant, Paying for Crappy

Craigslist provides a nice selection of the sort of thing writer's typically see, for example:

We are starting a new magazine in the style of McSweeney's and are looking for freelance writers who can do up to three humorous and insightful articles a month. Figure the average length is 2500 words and none of us will be disappointed.

Of course, there is pay. We buy all rights.

Send your one best sample. It might be a slice of life thing or it could be a humor thing. No straight news clips, please.

We are looking for brilliant.

A little piece of advice, if they don't tell you the pay, there's a reason. The worst part of the offer though is the line We buy all rights. If you're getting paid microbucks or contributor's copies for your brilliant humorous magazine columns you should at least have the hope of collecting them into a book some day.

One or more people have spent the day posting similar sorts of job offers, From Craigslist.LA:

Need scribe who knows 12 languages and can write in 3D Reply to: gigs-595317554@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-03-04, 10:25AM PST

Have immediate need of a writer whose mastery of language is so extraordinary it cannot be described in words.

You should be fluent in at least 12 languages and be able to translate Ulysses into each, particularly Mandarin, in which you will adapt Joyce's impenetrable tome into a Hong Kong action film.

We need all this quickly, in under a week. Well-known talent have expressed interest in these projects while heavily intoxicated.

Although we have tremendous piles of cash buffeting our pillow-topped mattresses, we can offer only $10 for this assignment. Your name will be seen, albeit in a dimly lit, smoke-filled room.

Oh, and your work must be written in three dimensions. We can offer an extra $5 if you can write in the fourth dimension.

-- the original post is gone by now. The world cannot endure such honesty.

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