For several years now, I have simply wanted to pay people to write good retro gaming content.
Now, I am delighted to be able to say: It’s time to do it.
Welcome to RetroPitch 2017!
Basically, the idea is that I want to publish commissioned special features on SkirmishFrogs.com once a month, and I am ready to start accepting your pitches for these slots.
RetroPitch 2017 is an event that will be looking to accept six commissioned works for the second half of the year. If this event is successful, we will continue to make it a regular thing, maybe quarterly. However the pitch event itself is conducted, the goal is to support getting one special feature per month on this site.
Let’s get the “how much are you paying” question out of the away right now — I am currently able to pay $30 per piece. Is that a lot, for premium written content? No. But it is something, and to be frank, there are simply not many places on the web that pay anything for retro-gaming-centric content, so I am happy to offer it. This may change in the future, for better or even for worse (if I’m being entirely transparent, it will depend on the fortunes of my Patreon, which funds this endeavor), but as of this moment $30 is the flat rate per feature.
What SkirmishFrogs Is Seeking
I am seeking well-written content about old video games that informs, educates, entertains, challenges, and/or inspires.
Word count, stylistic choices, and content category (news, opinion, etc.) are not constrained rigidly at this point. Rather than present a narrow vision for contributors to fit into, at the moment I am open to hearing a wide variety of different ideas and simply choosing my favorites from there. I am interested in your distinctive voice being excited to speak on something. I trust that would-be pitchers would use some common sense, though — I would rather post a 500-word feature about weird, previously unknown glitches in a classic title than a 30-word lewd poem dedicated to one of your favorite game characters, no matter how passionate you are about… that.
Pitch elements that would excite me right away include:
• Exclusive scoops on a news item of interest to retro gamers
• Stories from great writers who are not gamers
• Ideas that are truly bizarre in some form yet somehow also truly compelling in their literary merit
Pitch elements that would need extra selling power to garner my interest include:
• Reviews; if you simply wish to review a retro video game, you better have one hell of a hook
• Any simple, fact-based rundown of a topic that reads like a Wikipedia page and contains no new reporting or insight
• Opinion pieces that boil down to a complaint, especially against a specific person
Really, I’m just looking for good written content about old video games. I don’t want to complicate that notion too much!
Now, persuade me that your content is the stuff I want.
How To Pitch
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include the phrase “RetroPitch 2017” in your subject line. It should go without saying that if you cannot follow this simple point of direction, I will have serious doubts about your ability to follow through with an assignment.
Tell me what you want to write. Which is, of course, um, what a pitch is, basically, right? [ Also, maybe don’t use as many commas as I do. ] Maybe you have never pitched your material before, which is fine! This is where you will clearly explain the vision of the thing you want to write, hopefully in a way that would convince me that I would want to host it on this website. Your pitch is going to give me an idea of the tone and quality of your end product, so be prepared to take the pitch itself seriously if you want a chance at being received well.
Remember, I am asking for your pitch, not the completed piece — while I am not giving a cap on word count here, if you cannot sell me on your concept in a few hundred words or less, you are not starting with great promise.
Include links to samples. Please include at least two links to prior work, even if not about retro gaming specifically, or a link to a portfolio. If there is something you have done elsewhere that you are proud of, I would love to see it, and be confident that I would take pride in something else you do.
I expect to receive a much higher volume of pitches than the amount of articles that will eventually be published here. While I will do my best to reply to every pitch, do not take it personally if my response is in the form of telling you I am not interested in your work at this time. Keep in mind that a rejection now does not mean you cannot try again in the future.
For some pitches, I may respond with questions. In our dialogue we may be able to craft your content toward something we can work with, or we may clarify the truth that SkirmishFrogs is not a great fit for the piece at this time.
If your pitch is accepted, you will receive a deadline, and your completed work received by that deadline (preferably by Google Doc link, but we can discuss this) will be published here with your byline. You should receive payment via PayPal within a week of the post going live. In theory, we will all enjoy your Thing and everyone will be happy and it will be a wonderful experience for us all.
The deadline for RetroPitch 2017 is June 30th, 2017. Pitches received after this date will likely just be ignored, sent to the realm of eternal deletion as I roll my eyes. If you cannot hit this deadline, I would hesitate to give you another. After all, I have to set a cut-off somewhere; and, besides, hopefully we will keep doing similar events in the future.
Please note that I will not reply to your pitch right away. I trust you can understand that the time-sensitive nature of this event means it makes sense to sit back and see how many pitches I get before I start making immediate decisions.
If you have any questions about this event, let me know!
Seriously, I am really, true-to-my-heart thrilled about this, and more excited about this idea than anything else I have done in a long time. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for years, honestly. Whether pulling in talent from outside our humble little pond, or rewarding retro games writers for their first time gettin’ paid, it makes me smile to consider it. I look forward to some cool stuff resulting from this process. I look forward to the busy mess it will be at first.
I hope this is a positive contribution to the retro gaming community.