Writer All-Call: Follow Up

The all-call (you know, this thing) is going well. We’ve got a few dozen submissions so far, and I’m looking forward to reading through them snagging some new folks for whatever the heck my next project turns out to be.

We have had a few questions that come up often enough to merit this post, however. So, here is another bulleted list!

  • Read the all-call. That’s what we want. No more than 1000 words, ideally split between setting/fiction and mechanics. If you want to do 1000 words of not-mechanics, please make at least some of it game prose (tell us about a bloodline even if you don’t make up a new Discipline), because we just don’t do that much fiction and game prose is a different thing.
  • We aren’t buying your submission. If you send in that hypothetical bloodline, we’re not going to take that and hire you to write that particular thing for a book, in all probability. What we will do is use your submission to gauge whether your writing is what we’re looking for. So, exactly what you send us is less important than how well it’s written.
  • If you are a previous WW freelancer, you don’t need to submit. Just make an inquiry with me or another developer and see if there’s work for you. In some rare circumstances (like, it’s been a really long time since you’ve worked for us and you haven’t been doing any game writing in the interim), we might ask for a recent writing sample, but generally if you’re already in a WW/OPP book, you do not need to submit.
  • All writers are hired on a freelance, work-for-hire basis. This isn’t a permanent gig or a job for which you’d have to relocate. It’s one book at a time.
  • We’ll hire you no matter where live; it’s not just USA (that said, we do publish in American English, so it’s good to swap out your ‘s’ for ‘z’, I guezz).
  • A tip: Don’t start out your email or submission with “I suck, but here we go.” Likewise, don’t start out with, “Your game has some serious problems, but luckily, I fixed them!” Be professional. “My submission is [for this game line] and is about [quick summary]” is groovy.
  • I don’t know that I said this in the first all-call, but let me say it explicitly: Please attach your submission as a .doc, .rtf, .odt, or .pdf (I prefer .doc, but it’s not a deal-breaker). Don’t put it in the body of an email.

Otherwise, keep submissions coming!






24 responses to “Writer All-Call: Follow Up”

  1. […] Talked a bit about the Onyx Path Writer All-Call being spearheaded by Black Hat Matt MacFarland. We’re looking for writers who love to write RPGs, folks who can do both setting and rules writing, newbies or seasoned professionals. If you think you have what it takes, check it out here: https://theonyxpath.com/do-you-want-to-walk-the-onyx-path/ and then this follow-up: https://theonyxpath.com/writer-all-call-follow-up/ […]

  2. […] In generale, tutti i Processi di Approvazione si muovono abbastanza agili seppure qualcosa è ancora da limare, riescono tempestivamente a seguire tutte le attività comprese Domande e Risposte che arrivano dagli utenti in relazione alle ultime attività in corso, come Writer All-Call: Follow Up. […]

  3. Dave Avatar

    Will everyone who submits at least get a form letter saying that they did not pass muster, if that is indeed the case?

    1. Matthew McFarland Avatar

      Pretty sure I addressed this in the last paragraph of the previous message, but just in case:

      I’m going to try and give people feedback, but the truth is that there’s not just one person acting as the gatekeeper here. A number of potential developers are looking over the submissions. So, the answer is, no, folks are unlikely to get a form letter in any event.

  4. Jason Andrew Avatar

    Great advice to any freelance writer seeking to gain new opportunities.

  5. Levi Avatar

    Is it possible to make multiple separate submissions for different game lines?

    1. Matthew McFarland Avatar

      In this life, there are nothing but possibilities.

      But seriously, you’re better off sending us one really kick-ass submission and saying “This submission is about Mage, but I would also be interested in working other game lines as well, such as etc.” I don’t think we’ve broken 75 submissions yet, but we’ve gotta be close, and we don’t really have time to read multiple submissions from the same person.

      Remember, we’re not likely to buy what you send in. We’re just interested in whether you can write. If you can, we’ll tell you what we’d like to write.

      1. Levi Avatar

        Sounds good.

  6. SD Avatar

    Hi, I was wondering if I, counting in recerenfes and notes, I can exceed the 1000-words limit.
    Namely, the submission is around 1000 words, but with the necessary notes and bibliographic references, it’s around 1100-1200. It’s still good?

  7. Ahriman Avatar

    OK, I have a query. The above asks for 1K word TOTAL. However, when I check the general submissions guide https://theonyxpath.com/submission-guidelines/
    It says 1K words of Setting Fiction & Mechanics. This is pretty damn confusing. Which takes precedent here? I’ve just written 2K (first draft and it will be run past fellow players/GM’s) but it still feels like I’ll have to whittle this like crazy.

  8. Frank Avatar

    Is there a closing date for these submissions or is it going to be an ongoing theme?

    1. Matthew McFarland Avatar

      As mentioned in the first post on the subject, there’s no closing deadline.

  9. Darth_Meow Avatar

    Ok, I have something written and I think it’s pretty good but it totals out at 1900 words or so. I don’t know how to trim it down without losing a lot of it’s descriptive flair or not being a complete write-up. What should I do?

    1. Matthew McFarland Avatar

      Three paths are open to you:

      1) Show it to a friend with some editing experience, ask them to help you trim.
      2) Trim it down yourself. Brevity, soul, wit.
      3) Turn it in as-is and take the chance that the developers will open it, go “fuck, this is long,” and not read it. (This is actually unlikely; it’s more likely that we won’t read all of it.)

      1. Darth_Meow Avatar

        Thank you! I will go over it myself first, trim it down as much as I can, then open it up to friends for additional advice. It’ll probably remain overlength, but I’ll definitely improve it before sending in the final draft. Thank you for the kind words and quick reply!

        1. Darth_Meow Avatar

          OK, I’ve gotten no replies from those I’ve sent it off to edit and review, and I really cannot find anywhere to trim without making it incomplete and the creature type unplayable as a result.

          I suppose I’ll have to take my chances.

  10. frank Avatar

    In the happiest of events and you say “yes” that’s the one, when would the submission author be told?

    1. BlackHat_Matt Avatar

      If a developer decides to hire someone, that developer will get in touch. There’s not, unfortunately, a “you’re in!” stage of this process.

      1. frank Avatar

        No problem, thanks for letting us know 🙂

  11. Brandes Stoddard Avatar

    Would you consider the possibility of a very brief email confirming receipt of a submission? I realize you must have a great volume of submissions, but since we won’t know how it’s gone until and unless we get an answer in the positive, it would be reassuring to know that the submission was received in the first place.

  12. Tiger Avatar

    Is it all right to ask for an update after a certain point? Let’s say I turned mine in two months ago and haven’t heard. Would it be rude to ask about it? Thanks.

  13. Jason Dennison Avatar
    Jason Dennison

    So where is this NDA that was being spoken of? I’d like to sign it so I can submit my thing. (Heh.) Can someone use a big pointer and point it out for me?