Section 215 seeking newsdesk and feature writers

As our parent site Fansided pushes to add more writers, I’m going to do the same for Section 215.

I have been the editor for Section 215 since January of 2013 (that’s actually a pretty long time in internet terms), and my co-editor, Somers Price, has been with the site since last June, and editor since late December 2013. Somers currently works at CSN Philly, and I will be attending Bloomsburg University as a sports journalism student next fall, so it’s safe to say that we are committed to this.

Since taking over as editor of this site, I have written 1,030 articles. In his time on Section 215, Somers has written over 300 articles. Combine that, and the amount of time that we have spent editing articles, and it’s clear that we have dedicated a ton of time publishing work on here. Over the course of the next year, I would hope that Somers and I can lower our individual numbers, while raising the total number of quality articles our site puts out, and having us spend more time writing feature and opinion articles, than news articles.

So with that said, my plans open up the door for new writers at Section 215. The following positions are open.

Newsdesk writer

In this role, you will be assigned a two-hour period and given a list of sites and Twitter accounts to keep tabs on. Essentially, you will wait for breaking news, rumors, or reports to be published. Once they are, you will report the news and give reactions in a 300-500 word article. These are the type of articles that really bring up the traffic numbers on a site, and push readers to consistently come back to your site. When readers consistently come back to the site, they see the entire sites array of news article and more importantly, the opinion pieces. Ultimately, a site’s reputation is determined by the quality of its opinion pieces.

Feature/Opinion article writers

Even once Somers and I add some more newsdesk writers, a lot of the breaking news stories will still fall on us. When I look around the landscape of some of other elite Philly sports websites, they have three or four (at least) writers who can write down 1,500 to 5,000 word articles that readers not only enjoy reading, but will share across social media. These include pieces that break down popular opinions and prove them wrong, interviews, mock-drafts, slideshows (of much greater quality than Bleacher Report), and game previews and post-games, among other things. I’ll be the first to say that our site needs more of that type of content, in addition to the news articles that we consistently provide.

Are either paid positions?

At this time, the answer to that question is no. But, and this is a big one, taking a position here has turned into paid positions for numerous of our former writers. In my time at Section 215 alone, we have had two writers become editors of other Fansided sites (which are both paid positions) and others take positions at other elite Philadelphia sports sites, such as Bleeding Green Nation and While we are trying to turn this into a site that is at the top of the totem pole on the Philly sports scene, and ultimately be able to pay our staff-writers, thinking of this as a stepping stone in your writing career isn’t a bad idea. How many other people can say that they got be immediately given an opportunity to cover some of the biggest stories and games in Philly sports, and have all of their articles also featured and promoted on Fansided and Sports Illustrated? (Yeah, all of our articles are featured on SI, check that out here.)

Am I guaranteed to be accepted if I apply?

No, you are not. Recently, Somers and I (who are given final say on all applications), have cracked down on applications. We don’t just want decent, we want writers who bring valuable opinions and next-level analysis. I don’t believe that takes someone with a journalism or communications degree (that doesn’t hurt, though), but it takes someone with a serious commitment to doing this at a high level, and getting better with each article. If your application proves to us that either you are already an elite writer, or we can help you to become one, then you will be approved. If not, then no guarantees are made.

Where can I apply?

To apply, click here. If it asks if you were refereed by anyone, put down Tim Kelly. When it asks what site you want to write for, put in Section 215. When it asks about how many posts you could contribute a month, it varies on what position that you plan on taking. If you want to be a newsdesk writer, you should be looking at around eight to ten posts per month.  If you want to be a feature article writer, it depends on how often you can contribute. If you can do once a week, then write four. If you only can write two or three a month, write that. Even if you can only contribute once a month, but it is a great article, then put that. If you can only write once or twice, be sure to write that I specifically said I would review your application, regardless of the fact that you are below the technically required monthly minimum for posts.

As for the writing sample, it does limit you with the word count, but make it your absolute best work. We aren’t just looking for numbers on this site, we are looking for top-notch Philly sports writers. If you don’t feel that you can provide that in an application, then maybe this isn’t for you. If you feel that you would be better served giving a longer application, then you can personally send me an unlimited word sample at [email protected] Make sure to still put in a good 300 to 500 word sample in your official application, though.

Writing this post has excited me about Section 215’s future, and I look forward to reviewing your application, in hopes that you are a part of that future.

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