Now that The Political Observers has been built up into a successful part of the site, I am moving on to the next project.  World domination is within our grasp.

As a way to celebrate the launch of the new project, I am giving away copies of  Selling Yourself Short: A Guide to Short Story Writing.  Go ahead and pop it into your cart, and you will be charged $0.00 for it when you check out.  There are no strings attached – other than the fact that it is a limited offer.

OK, so you’re curious what the new project is.  I suppose it’s time to eschew the secrecy …

I would like to cover the big national stories from the viewpoint of those who are near the action.  My goal is the build a network of contacts that will be able to cover all 50 states and a few foreign countries.  I’d like to get multiple contacts in larger states such as California and Texas and will try to utilize people for regional coverage when I don’t have a contact in the specific state.  For example, if I don’t have a contact in New Hampshire, I may look for my Vermont contact to provide an article.

When a big news story (hurricane, crime, etc) hits in your state, you would write about it – giving the local flavor to a national story.  If you’re a niche blogger, this could give you the opportunity to write about a news issue that might not fit within the constraints of your own blog.  (Yes, Evan, I’m referring to you).  If you’re not actively writing for public consumption, this could be an opportunity to stick your toes in the water and see if people enjoy your work.

In addition to people covering “hard” news, I’m also looking for people who attend big events – The Kentucky Derby or the Super Bowl, for example – to give our readers a firsthand account of these events.  I have a special interest in the Olympics and Olympic Trials.

Note that I don’t expect you to be interviewing those affected by the news (unless you happen to personally know some of the affected people), but rather, the goal is to give a local view of the story based on your years of life experience in the area.

The program is still in the launch phase and subject to change, but at this point, I’m thinking of referring to the group of reporters as “Locals”.  Feel free to suggest alternate names (shorter is better).  I will be creating a page that lists all of the reporters, including a link to the site of their choice.  I will be actively pursuing several specific individuals, but many opportunities remain open.

Here are the basics of the opportunity:

  • You may use your real name or a pen name.
  • I wouldn’t expect to use any particular contact more than 1-2 times per year – if at all.  If there is no big breaking news in your state/area, you won’t be called on.
  • When you are contacted, you should be able to reply with an article within 48 hours (before the story fades).  The quicker the response time, the better.
  • I’m looking for more of a “man/woman on the scene” sort of angle to the stories.  I’m not looking for a heavy political slant, although reporting on how the public feels about the issue is fine.
  • Articles should be in the range of 500-1500 words and should be entirely your own work.  Plagiarism is strictly forbidden and will result in you being permanently removed from the program – zero tolerance.
  • The opportunity will be generally unpaid, but I’ll be happy to link to a site that you run (must be family friendly).
  • If you hand me a scoop that gets considerable traffic and ad revenue, I will pay you for the article.  The amount will be based on the revenue generated.

If you’re interested, shoot me a line at kosmo@observingcasually.com.  Please include a short sample of your writing.  The writing sample can be on any topic – I just want to ensure a certain level of ability.  If I think you’re a good fit,  I’ll add you to my list, and then you simply wait to be called into action!

If you have family or friends who may be interested, send them a link to this article.  Many thanks.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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