Hockey doesn't stop at In Lou We Trust. Sure, the New Jersey Devils are done playing games until 2014-15. But there's so much to do. There will be a draft, complete with our usual array of draft profiles done prior. There will be Free Agent Frenzy right in July, which will be an important day for the upcoming season and years to come. There may even be some re-signed players. All with analysis, opinion, and speculation in between.
And so I need your help to continue that. I'm looking for two new regular writers to contribute their thoughts, words, and love of the Devils on a weekly basis. I'm looking for two volunteers to provide something of substance at least once a week. I'm looking for two people who can chip in with some other pieces, but mainly the once-a-week thing. I'm looking for two who have plenty to say about the Devils and would be interested in putting their name on it for thousands of people all over the world to read it when it is up. If this is you, then I'm interested in you.
As in past summer, I will do this through an open audition. Whether you've been a member back when Jacques Lemaire was serving his second term as a head coach or you just joined the site today, you would be eligible. Also if you follow these requirements for this voluntary position:
#1) Be a New Jersey Devils fan. This seems obvious, but there may be a few who think that they can use this site as a platform for some other endeavor. This is ultimately an analysis & opinion site by fans for fans; so it's required that you are a fan of the New Jersey Devils. Not the Devils and some other NHL team. Not the Devils as a passing interest. Not the Devils as an attempt to "be somebody" and "make a name for yourself." You need to be a fan.
#2) Be a registered and non-banned user. If you haven't registered for ILWT, then please, sign up as soon as you can. It's free, it gives you access to join 300+ other blogs on the SBN network, and add to their respective communities. If you've been banned, then I don't think this is going to work out at all. After all, if you can't follow the rules, I don't see how you can follow direction on how to make a post or when things need to be up on site.
#3) Write reasoned and write well. You don't have to be a perfect writer - I'm definitely not - but you will have to take this seriously to a degree. No one comes here to read what they could read in the AP or hear from some lame pundit espousing the same narratives over and over. One of the big reasons why ILWT is as highly regarded as it is because that the posts are written well enough, arguments are backed up with facts, the writing is respectful to the reader (and the player, you notice it's not just "Bryce Salvador sucks," it's "Bryce Salvador sucks because..."), and content is regular. That's what I will be looking for.
#4) Develop and share your passion. Again, once a week is what I'm looking for. I think it's best to have someone writing for the love of it to let them come up with their own ideas, topics, and pieces that is New Jersey Devils-related. In the position, I can offer suggestions on what to write about if asked; and I will be willing to hear out any ideas you're unsure on. But I prefer someone who's able to do it on their own. Better work comes out of that, which benefits everyone. So I need someone to do that and do so at least once a week.
#5) Be willing to be active with the community. Readers aren't afraid to tell you what they think. I or the other writers may even disagree with what you write; but readers definitely will if they do. Tying into the prior if you present a good argument, then it should hold up on it's own; but ideally you should comment with the other users to explain your point further or just to further discussion along. That's what makes a site like this so different than just a series of essays.
#6) Be able to communicate. Since you'll be a part of a blog on the Internet, it's vital that you're easily reachable by e-mail and you're able to keep open communication with me and the other writers. Occasionally, there may be matters to discuss among all writers or perhaps there's something I or someone else want to pass along your way. Maybe I need to tell you something, so I need to know if you're going to see that and recognize it. Maybe something's come up and real life requires that the blog gets ignored (which I would understand), so I'd like to know you'd actually tell me instead of skipping out on a commitment.
#7) Be ready to put your real name on your posts. If you're selected for any position, then I want you to write under your real name. If you write something worth reading, then it's worth knowing who wrote it. Better to have the world appreciate your work by name than by some pseudonym. Don't worry about your account, changing the user name is easily done.
How to Apply & How This Will Work
Basically: Write one piece about the Devils that you haven't written somewhere else and re-hashing something recent on site (e.g. a post about free agency is OK provided it's not the exact same thing one of us just wrote) and e-mail it to me. It can be in the email itself or in a Word document. Do not write comments about it or write a FanPost or make a FanShot linking to it. Do not write more than one thing and send it to me; one entry per user. (And don't make multiple accounts, that's not allowed.)
In the subject line of the email, put in "2014 ILWT Writer Audition Post - ", your user name (the one you log-in to use this site), and e-mail me the post from the e-mail address you have registered with. For example, if I was entering my own post to me, this would be the subject line from my registered e-mail address:
2014 ILWT Writer Audition Post - John Fischer - (title of post)
This makes it easier on me to filter out those who's who as well as who got themselves banned and avoid reading what things they'd have to say (see General Requirement #2). If you don't follow this format, then I will not read the submission, much less include it in the audition.
I will be accepting submissions until midnight, May 16. I will review all submissions and if it's decently written (so no joke entries), then I'll be putting each one up on the site for public review. From May 19 until I'm out of entries, I will post each piece up under a pseudonym. No, I'm not stealing your writing, but I do this to make the readers judge the work on it's own and not by who it's by. So it'll be attributed to Writer A, Writer B, etc. If you've applied before, please feel free to apply again - if anything, persistence is a plus. However, only send one submission in. If you come up with more, then write those out, pick which one you think is the best, and only send that one.
Be forewarned, I will also encourage the users to constructively criticize the post - something you just need to know how to take when writing on the Internet, much less ILWT. For each post, I'll specifically ask whether the readers would like to read more work like it. If they do, it won't be because of who you are but of what you wrote; and that will factor into my decision. It will also be reviewed by the other writers in private, too, so it's going to be looked at by a lot of people.
Depending on how many entries I get, I'll decide if I'll put up one per day or not. No matter who I decide upon, after it's all over, I'll point out who wrote what post in a summary - so you will get credit for what is posted.
That all said, I won't help you with an idea for the post or help you write it. The idea is to show me that you had an idea or a point to make about the New Jersey Devils, you reasoned it out, and you wrote it all yourself. Show me you want this and the opportunity may be yours. Any general questions can go in the comments here. Otherwise, talk about whatever Devils-related there. Good luck!
P.S. There may or may not be something more or less Devils-related tonight. Think UFA.
P.P.S. One other thing: The headline photo came from the Devils' PR manager, Kerry Graue. (Yes, the Devils read ILWT. Why wouldn't they?) Thank you, Kerry. The photo came with this caption, which explains what it is and why it is:
The New Jersey Devils hosted their inaugural Friends & Family Paint and Skate on Friday, April 25 where fans were invited to paint personal messages on the ice at Prudential Center, skate at the AmeriHealth Pavilion and enjoy a number of family activities throughout the concourse including face painting, balloon art, inflatables and crafts. The Rock welcomed over 600 fans to take part in the day’s festivities. The final product was a multi colored canvas that covered the expanse of the ice surface.
They made their mark for a day. Here, you can make your mark for much longer.