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Volunteers Wanted: New Writer Positions Available for This Devils Blog

We need your help. We need three volunteer writers from the community to fill three specific positions for this site ahead of the 2015-16 season. Requirements, what the positions are, and how this will work are detailed in this post.

8/14 Evening Update: Thanks to everyone who has submitted entries.  All positions are just about filled.

8/13 Evening Update: Thanks to everyone who has submitted entries for all three positions. I'm about close to filling the fantasy writer and day news writer positions.  So this post has been updated to reflect that.  Again, thanks to everyone who has submitted entries so far.

Yesterday, I've announced that you, the reader, will decide the new name for this very New Jersey Devils blog.  I thank you for your help and if you haven't voted yet, then please do so.  Today, I am requesting help from you, the reader, for help on this very New Jersey Devils blog.  Simply put, we will have some new writing positions and I need more volunteers to fill that role contribute to this very site.

I take a lot of pride in this site for the amount of content that is put out on a regular basis.  I tell others that hockey really doesn't stop and I'm very pleased that it truly doesn't, this post and yesterday's notwithstanding.  However, we need to expand the type of content we provide on a regular basis.  For that, I am hoping that there is someone out there in the community who is willing to do it, ready to own it, and aiming to sparkle with it.

There are three positions that must be filled ahead of the 2015-16 season and one that's not as critical but something I've been thinking about adding for some time.  First, let's set some requirements for anyone hoping to apply.  If some of these look familiar, then it's because they are; I took them from last year's call for writers.


#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 or their own personal soapbox. This is and always be a site by the fans for the fans about the team. 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 and accept this is a Devils site.

#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 of this site, I don't see how you can follow direction on how to make a post or when things need to be posted.

#3) Be available - and honest in your availability. With these three positions, there's going to be some variability in terms of when something has to be posted or something has to be done for the site.  It'll make more sense when I explain them, but this isn't going to be a simple once-a-week thing.  You won't be expected to write essays, but I do expect you to be honest in terms of when you can make posts and honor committments and when you can't.

#4) Develop and share your passion.  You don't have to be a perfect writer - I'm definitely not - but you will have to take this seriously to a degree.  Again, 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..

#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 ahead of time.

#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.

#8) Don't post your entry here. I'll explain the submission process in a little bit. This isn't an open audition like last summer and given the more specific nature of the positions, I'll be making the decisions.  That said, I won't post anything from what I get, so please don't do the same.

#9) No attachments. If/when you apply, just put everything in the email.  I will not be looking at any attachments.

The Three New Writer Positions Available

OK, enough requirements. There are three specific types of writers I'm looking for the coming season.

#1. Fantasy Hockey Writer - Filled!

8/14 9:50 PM Update: The position is filled. Thanks to all who entered and expressed interest in the position.

8/13 8:15 PM Update: As I'm close to filling this position, please do not send in more entries for this position. Thanks!

Fantasy hockey isn't my thing, but it's definitely an interest among a lot of hockey fans and a lot of Devils fans.  Therefore, I would like a volunteer who's into fantasy hockey, the Devils, and writing about both.  The ideal person for this position would be someone who will write up a quick fantasy overview post once a week that focuses on who's hot for New Jersey, who's not, and who else around the league is of interest.  Just a brief (no more than 1000 words) post about fantasy matters.  The ideal person will work with the other writers for any fantasy-based ideas (see: Ryan's work with all of the passing).  Lastly and just as critically, they will run a number of fantasy leagues for the writers (this is something that can be posted in the overview, basically how good/bad we are at it) and readers of the site.

If you are interested: Email me an example of what you write for a regular fantasy hockey post, what your availability is, and a brief description of your passion for both fantasy and Devils hockey.  Please put the following in the subject line: 2015 Writer - Fantasy Hockey - (your username on this site)

#2. Day News Writer - Pending to be Filled

8/14 9:50 PM Update: The position is filled. Thanks to all who entered and expressed interest in the position.

8/13 8:15 PM Update: As I'm close to filling this position, please do not send in more entries for this position. Thanks!

As you may or may not be aware, but a lot of hockey news breaks during the day.  Most of the time, we have something to say about it but it's usually well after the news breaks since most of us are tied up with work and other commitments during the day.  This is where you would come in.  Your role would be to get timely posts up citing the news and providing a quick, intelligent opinion about them. This way readers can react right here much sooner; should the news warrant further comment, that can come later.   As an example, take this post about the new numbers for three players. That's close to what I'm looking for, except pithier and closer to when the news came out.  During the season, this would be suitable for any injury updates or significant player movements (a call-up, a scratch).  If you can do this, then you would immediately become a crucial part of this site.

If you are interested: Email me an example of what you'd write for a news story during the day.  Don't pick the new numbers, something recent would work for this.  Show me you can link to news, write something brief (let's say about 500 words), and a brief description stating your availability during the day.  Please put the following in the subject line: 2015 Writer - Day News Writer - (your username on this site)

#3. Moments Writer - Pending to be Filled

8/14 9:50 PM Update: The position is about to be filled. Thanks to all who entered and expressed interest in the position.

We're very good at deep analysis at this site. We're not so good at highlighting moments from games when they happen. Given the nature of the Internet, that's a bit of a problem. This position will address that. Your main task will be to post and share Fanshots of moments that happen in games or other relevant Devils hockey bits from social media.  If it's something material about the Devils, then get it on up.  At the end of a game, I'd like this writer to compile the highlights into a brief post along with links to stats and a quick take on the game. This would be called an Initial Reaction, which will allow readers to react to the game as I or another writer put together a more detailed game recap. That's an ideal; but the critical part is someone to focus on finding, posting, and sharing the moments. This writer will work closely with the Day News Writer as well as Nate, who makes the every-other-day links posts, to provide full coverage of these moments.

If you are interested: Email me an example of what you would identify as "material" content or a moment to share during a game.  Include a brief description, which will state your availability during the day and willingness to share these moments.  Please put the following in the subject line: 2015 Writer - Moments Writer - (your username on this site)

The Non-Critical Position - Still Open

I'm not at all sure if there's anyone interested in helping with this, but I have a bold idea for the site. While this is primarily a Devils site, I do think there's an area of coverage that would be appropriate. Especially with some of the new names that's being decided on. That's local hockey, specifically Princeton and high school hockey.  New Jersey may not be churning out NHL players left and right, but there have been plenty of high schoolers who have went on to play in college with one or two being picked up for the draft.  There's only one school in D-I hockey in the state, Princeton, and that's not regularly covered on this network.

So if you're really into Princeton hockey and/or NJ high school hockey to provide general summaries of what's going on, then shoot me an email, and let's discuss what you'd like to do and what I can do for you.  Let's see where it goes.  I'm not making this a full position because even if there is someone(s) willing to do this, I'm not sure how it'll be handled yet.  The Devils will always be the main focus, but this would be something different few blogs currently provide.

How This Will Work

So you followed (and met!) the requirements and there's a position you're interested.  Great.  The position itself tells you how to apply specifically for it.  My email address is in the masthead of this site.  Again, follow the directions for how to title the email and remember, I'm not going through attachments so put it all in there.

I will be making decisions first come, first serve.  So don't delay too long before applying.  That said, you will wait a little bit.  I'm not going to be looking at anything before Wednesday, August 12, 2015.  Do not send me anything until August 12, 2015. I want those interested to think about it for up to two days, confirm with themselves whether they can put in the time.  I know it's the summer and so some of you are more available than usual, but I need these positions for the season and that has to be considered.  Think about it, take the time to put something together, and put in something good.

When I find someone for the position, I'll update this post marking it as filled.  I'd prefer to announce who got what position when all three are done, but that'll depend on the response.  I'm doing this now because I want those selected to be fully ready for the site when the season starts back up.  I know I'm demanding quite a bit and all I can provide is a platform.  But it's a platform for one of the best sites on the entire Internet about the New Jersey Devils.  Thank you for helping providing the new name, thank you in advance to everyone who will apply, and thank you for continuing to read this site.  We'll get back to actual posts about hockey and the Devils tomorrow.