|December 13, 2011||Posted by Martin Ralya|
With the publication of yesterday’s article by JavaDragon, we officially kicked off our new guest article program. If you’re interested in writing for Gnome Stew, read on!
Why post guest articles?
First and foremost, because we have an amazing community of over 3,700 smart, talented GMs of all experience levels, and we want to highlight your work here on the Stew.
Sure, you could all write blogs of your own (and many of you do), but Gnome Stew can be a great venue to showcase your work without the commitment of running a blog, or without diverting from your blogging niche just to post one or two articles on GMing.
One of my goals in running this site has always been to open gaming- and writing-related doors for the authors of Gnome Stew, if they want those doors opened. Personally, my work here was a big factor in getting me the job I’ve held for the past three years, which I love, and I can trace a direct line from running the Stew to starting Engine Publishing. If Gnome Stew can help open doors for more authors, I’m all for it — and running guest articles could do just that.
Guest articles will benefit our readers in other ways, too:
- New voices, new perspectives: This site has 10 authors because we believe diverse opinions and experience levels are a good thing when it comes to GMing advice. Posting articles by guest authors will take that up a notch.
- More content: There are months where we miss a weekday or two, and we’d like to ensure that there’s an article for you to read every weekday; guest articles will help us meet that goal. Depending on interest (IE, number of guest articles), we might even wind up with more than one article per day on a regular basis.
- Exposure for writers: Every writer wants to be read, and Gnome Stew has roughly 5,000 daily readers. An article here could be a stepping stone to more readers for your personal blog, or a confidence-builder on your road to breaking into the RPG industry.
- A potential door to blogging for Gnome Stew: Down the road (I don’t know how far just yet), we’d ideally like to recruit more gnomes to write for the Stew on an ongoing basis. We view guest articles partly as auditions, with the caveat that we may decide not to recruit new gnomes. When I ran guest articles on my previous GMing blog, Treasure Tables, I had no long-term plans related to those articles — but when I conceived Gnome Stew, I went straight to many of the authors who’d written guest articles for TT to see if they wanted to join the Stew.
- No dip in quality: We take pride in our work here on the Stew, and guest articles will be no exception: We’re not going to publish crap just to fill space. As the owner of the site, my policy has always been, “I’d rather have a day with no article than run something shitty just to fill the slot.” That won’t change.
Our guest article program will also benefit the gnomes:
- Breathing room: Over the past three years, most of our lives have gotten busier, and there are days when it’s hard to find the time to write a new article. We’re not burning out (another reason there are so many of us: spreading the load!), but we’d love the breathing room that guest articles could provide.
- New ideas to riff on: Just as the gnomes riff on each other’s ideas (reading an article and being inspired to write a related piece, for example), and on ideas presented in the comments and through our Suggestion Pot, we want to riff on guest articles, too.
- New blood: Like I said above, we’d love to use guest articles as an avenue for recruiting new authors.
Why did you wait this long to do this?
We’ve gotten requests from folks who were interested in writing guest articles for Gnome Stew ever since we launched the site, which is incredibly flattering and gratifying. Our response has always been the same: “We don’t currently run guest articles, but we’re considering it.”
How come? Ultimately, because up until recently I haven’t felt that it was the right approach for Gnome Stew. I trust my gut with this kind of thing, and my gut said “Not now.”
The question of guest articles has come up on our internal mailing list a few times a year since we launched the site, but the gnomes have always been split about 50/50 on this. With a majority, I’d have said, “Screw my gut, let’s give it a shot!” Without one, we held off.
Now it feels like the right approach — and not because we all want to slack off and never have to write an article again! We love writing articles for the Stew, and sharing them with our readers. It’s incredibly fulfilling in all sorts of ways.
But sites need to change and grow to remain vital and retain their forward momentum, and this is a change I believe Gnome Stew needs to make. We’re ready to give this a shot, and we hope you’re interested in giving it a shot as well!
How do I get an article posted here?
Good question! We’ve kept the process as simple as possible. In a nutshell: Send us an email, wait for a green light, submit your article. We don’t offer compensation for guest articles. You retain the rights to your work, but grant Gnome Stew the unlimited, non-exclusive right to post your article here forever.
For the complete details, head on over to our shiny new Write for Gnome Stew page.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll consider proposing an article for the Stew!