Dear Craigslist Dumbasses….

What the hell is with people posting ads for “writing jobs” on Craigslist, and not bothering to provide the slightest clue as to what they might actually want from an applicant?

I mean, people specify left, right, or ambidextrous when soliciting hand jobs over there. Why can’t you get some helpful info if you’re a writer looking for a gig?

Pro Tip: When you post a vague ad asking for “an unbelievable writer who is creative, reliable, and can write with ‘personality’ and accuracy,” here’s some things to keep in mind:

First, when you ask for writing samples, it helps to state what sort of writing you’re wanting. Are you a fiction magazine? A novel publisher? Sports blog? Fortune cookies? Dirty limericks for truck stop restroom walls? A little info is helpful here. It doesn’t do a prospective applicant any good to send you a short story if you’re looking for horoscope writers, or whatever.

Next, when you ask someone to provide their hourly rate, again…it’s going to be based on the sort of writing we’re talking about, right? If it’s 150-word articles to help you build content for yet another bullshit sports or political blog or movie review site, an applicant’s rate will be different than if they’re ghost-writing your Greatest Fucking Zombie Vampire Hooker Novel Ever.

Also, when an applicant writes to you via the contact link, posing such questions as, “What kind of writing are you seeking?” in order to provide appropriate writing samples as well as a fair compensation rate, what you definitely shouldn’t do is respond within two minutes of the writer’s hitting “Send,” proving you didn’t actually read the e-Mail while instead repeating your request for the writer’s hourly rate.

And finally? $150 an hour.

(Can you tell this is an “opportunity” I’m likely not going to be pursuing?)


4 thoughts on “Dear Craigslist Dumbasses….

    1. Yes. 😀

      To clarify a bit, I have found the occasional short-term project that was worth pursuing. There are the occasional calls for submissions to anthologies or online zines, and every so often something with more meat comes along. Some times I inquire further, and learn that it’s not something I’m interested in doing, but every so often I’ve taken a gig here and there.

      These days, though, pickings usually are pretty slim.


  1. In my area, they’re usually pretty good about being specific about what they want. When they’re not and I press for more details, it invariably turns into something I wouldn’t want to do any way.


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