When I posted a call for writers on Craigslist recently, I was flooded with replies. Two of those replies stood out to me because of their exceptional writing samples.
Unfortunately, “exceptional” in this case does not equal “great writing”.
I recieved two e-mails from two different people who included sexual content in their samples. One writer’s first sample runs an opening sentence discussing his younger sister’s developing breasts, the second writer’s opening line included a reference to oral sex with a tongue piercing.
Neither of these two samples are “wrong” per se, unless of course you take the time to read what the actual job post is about. Nowhere in the Craigslist ad do you find anything about creative nonfiction, Hunter Thompson-style journalism, or whatever these two job seekers were aspiring to with these two samples. The ad uses phrases like “SEO optimized content”, “e-commerce” and “research”, so what these job seekers were thinking when they submitted such writing samples is a mystery.
Chances are, they weren’t thinking at all. Continue reading Confessions of an Editor, Part Three