Nosy writers

Do you want to write for Magnificent Nose? You skip to the bottom of this page and fill out the writers’ form if you like. But this page spells out what we do and what we’re looking for, so reading it will help your chances of being accepted.

What does the Nose publish?

The theme of storytelling crops up on the site again and again. The posts on the Nose tend to be somewhere in-between personal writings and formal essays: Casual in tone, but with a definite beginning, middle, and end, even if those parts are thematic and not literal. Sometimes something just feels like it’s a conclusion, you know?

This isn’t the “correct” way to write at all, it’s just what we’ve evolved into over the past couple of years. I impose editorial opinions on my writers, but that goes both ways: They change my thinking over time. Quite a bit, as it turns out.

For example, current regular columnists Steven E. Athay and Leanne Yong have made me a better editor. Previously featured columns by Ceil Kessler and Sara Goas also taught me a lot about my craft. (Particularly Ceil, who showed me it’s okay to be a little silly.) We also get a peppering of guest posts from Julie Goldberg, and Grazina Strolia, and your friendly editor writes a bit, too. Everyone brings something new to the mix on the site. Read some of their posts and you’ll see what we like here.

Magnificent Nose isn’t a high-profile blog — yet — but as the Nosy Editor and the scheduler, I’d like to make the site more varied, and I’d like it to update more often. This site isn’t trendy, it isn’t a reblogging or links site; it’s a place you can come to find good writing.

Magnificent Nose is looking for regular contributors who will provide literate, interesting, fun pieces. Why not try a few posts with us and see how it goes?

What would the Nose need me to deliver?

Well-written, interesting articles of (very roughly) 500 to 1000 words, but a good article that’s too long or too short is still a good article. Articles with problems are sent back with comments, or rejected.

It would help if you can write about stuff we don’t cover well.

For example: I write about music and editing, with the occasional piece on bicycles or a book review; Martha tends to wrote about training and communication; while Grazina doesn’t really have the time to be a regular contributor (although I hope that will change), based on topics she has in the works, she’s interested in people, sociology, and history. Sara writes about writing, and Ceil writes a funny advice column.

What would I get out of it?

Not money, I’m sorry to say, although if we ever start selling ads on the site, the writers will get a piece of what their words bring in. I sincerely hope that will change soon; I have hopes and plans for Magnificent Nose. What you will get is an editor who will go through your drafts for formatting and typos, sometimes making suggestions if something can be improved, and, importantly, without changing your voice.

In other words, all you have to do is write and we’ll take care of the fiddly stuff.

You’ll also get a deadline, and for some people (including me), a due date is the best reason in the world to sit down and write. For others, it’s just writing regularly that helps.

In the end, you’ll get to point to your posts here as evidence you can write well and meet those deadlines.

I want to start my own blog, why should I contribute to the Nose?

Because we already have a small but steadily growing audience. (I’ll discuss numbers with you privately if you like.) However, there’s no reason you can’t do both, and maybe some articles at the Nose would send a little traffic your way?

How often will you need articles from me?

I’d start a new writer out with a guest post, then a once-a-week schedule, and we can go from there. The site is currently updated three times a week. I’d like it to update every day, even multiple times a day, but I don’t have the time or the energy to write articles more often than that and still maintain any kind of quality.

Why are you calling blog posts “articles”?

Words have power, at least in my mind. While blogs have come a long way since the 90’s, despite the many blogs out there with high-quality writing, the word “post” still makes me think of dull writing riddled with typos, bad grammar. Article makes me think of publications like Wired, The Atlantic, or Slate, where the writing is good, well-edited, and it’s hard to tear yourself away from the page.

Can I send you fiction as a writing sample?

No. Except for our flash fiction weeks every few months, the bulk of what the Nose publishes is non-fiction. Please send us essays or other non-fiction instead.

Okay, this all looks good to me; how do I apply?

Right here! When choosing a writing sample, keep in mind that we just want a taste of your prose. A shorter excerpt of a longer work is okay if it stands on its own reasonably well, and a link to a specific post is fine. But a link to an entire blog or a section of a journal pasted into the form won’t really work; I only have so much time to read these. Something that’s 300 to 500 words with a beginning, a middle, and an ending would be ideal.

Please remember that your writing sample should be either something pasted into the field, or a link to a specific piece.

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