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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SF Weekly Seeks Freelance Arts Journalists

Posted on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 1:00 PM


Dear arts journalists and critics: We want you.

We seek talented, motivated freelance writers to help cover San Francisco's multiple arts sectors for our Night+Day section and this very arts blog, the Exhibitionist. The pay is more like beer money than rent money, but you'll get into various events to review them in addition to building your network and name by writing previews and shorter news items about what's going on in the arts world. Sectors we cover include theater, books and literature, standup comedy, alt-sexuality, fashion, film, visual art, storytelling, performance art, sports, queer culture, bicycle culture, and lots of other things that would take way too long to include here. (In fact, you have the opportunity to add things we've not yet covered and maybe haven't even thought about.)

Here are some specifics: We want writers who are informed, and critics who can write clearly that something is good or bad and then back that up with why it's good or bad rather than smart-alecky or dismissive one-liners. You should also be strong-willed enough to stay level-headed when anonymous commenters (as they inevitably do) claim that you're a complete amateur and don't know anything about what you cover.

We ideally want people who've written professionally for a publication or website. That said, talented college students and self-started bloggers are also encouraged to apply. We'll expect you to turn in clean, well-written copy on time and without hassle. If staying up until 1 a.m. completing a review on deadline sounds like hell, this probably isn't for you. While that won't happen all the time, if you're the type we're looking for, you'll do what it takes to get it right. Our writers contribute some photographs as well, so it's a big plus if you're good at that, even if it's with your smartphone.

Writers should be knowledgeable about at least a handful of arts sectors in San Francisco. You don't have to live in the city, but it's crucial that you spend time here and keep up with what's going on in certain scenes. We're not looking for people who stay silent and wait for assignments. Rather, we want to hear from you, hear what you know, and then assign things based on what you bring (read: what you like to write). We rarely write about things outside San Francisco, so if that's the bulk of what you're pitching, you won't find much work here.

Here's a little about what we don't want: We don't want adoring fans who are too close to their subjects and who'll gush at everything they review, or who won't come out and say when something has really missed its target. To writers who cover music or food exclusively: We love you, but there are different SF Weekly sections and blogs for those.

If you think you'd do well within these parameters, send a brief note about yourself, a résumé, a list of three recent events or exhibits you've seen in S.F., and three writing samples or URLs to Keith [dot] Bowers [at] If we like what we see, we'll be in touch.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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