Looking for a Meanland blogger or two

boots with spursThe current Meanland blogger is hanging up her spurs so that cutting-edge collaboration between Overland and Meanjin is looking for a blogger. Well, actually, two bloggers.

We’re holding a competition to find two bloggers to write fortnightly for the Meanland project. The winners will receive a one-off prize of $200, and be paid $75 per week to blog and tweet. One runner-up will receive $100 and have their entry published online.

Meanland, ‘reading in a time of change’, is dedicated to looking at the ‘what’ and increasingly the ‘how’ of the digital revolution and its impact on publishing. Issues we’ve covered include: the collapse of the distinction between readers and writers as more people become involved in creating content; the cultural and political impact of the unparalleled monopolies emerging in the digital landscape; and the psychological consequences of reading and writing online.

To enter: Email .doc entries for one of the topics below to Meanjin’s Deputy Editor Zora Sanders with Meanland blog entry in the title.

Prize: Two winners will receive $200 each. The winners will become Meanland bloggers, to be paid $75 fortnightly from then on. Plus, one runner-up will receive $100.

Deadline: 5pm 16 May.

Word limit:1000 words.

The topics:
• Digital writing, which uses linking, video and commentary, is a return to oral storytelling traditions
• The Internet has not impacted upon my reading habits in the slightest
• Speaking of paywalls…
• Creative solutions to old media problems: what will reading be like in the coming decades?

So, get your boots on and start writing!

Want to help us promote the position? Download the comp pdf.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

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  1. O dear. I am perhaps the only one to have problems with this. Which is something of an uncomfortable position. The nature of this offer does seem somewhat strange after the discussion a few weeks ago about the pathetic working conditions of writers, the constantly scrabbling after money etc etc.
    Surely, rather than having writers having submit their work through yet another dreary competition, it would have been less demeaning to actually honour someone by approaching them and saying ‘hey, we respect your work and would love you to take over Meanland for us. We realise that $75 a post is a pittance, but we can offer you $200 up fron as a sign of our good faith and as a mark of our respect.” I’d guess that this would establish a different work dynamic and embody a different ethic. In my other professional life I often have to ask people to do things for little money that take some talent, great commitment and courage. Asking them to compete for the favour would just be inexcusable.
    I’m sure that Meanjin doesn’t lack access to writers, and Overland certainly has some very eloquent bloggers scattered around the world , nd I’d be betting that the OL editors would already have a good idea of who could do the Meanland job. Asking OL writers and others to compete for a paltry $75 a week seems like an exercise that hasn’t had a lot of thought put into it.

    1. “hey, we respect your work and would love you to take over Meanland for us. We realise that $75 a post is a pittance, but we can offer you $200 up fron as a sign of our good faith and as a mark of our respect.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what Jack would say, if it were her call.

      Speaking of Jacinda, the outgoing Meanland blogger: what an extraordinary pair of boots she leaves behind for filling (spurs and all): erudite, well researched and switched-on management of the Meanland brief: noted by notables as the most sensible and intelligently-imagined discussion so far relating to this new phenomena of e-publishing/e-reading/e-writing. Three cheers and thank you.

      1. Right. I have no idea what you’re talking about Clare. However I think there are several OL bloggers who could make a brave attempt at filling Jacinda’s shoes. I am not one of them I might add, not wishing to have to write for money and deadlines but more importantly not being competent to write Meanland blogs either. It is true that Jacinda has done an excellent job on the Meanland gig. For what it’s worth, which ain’t much, I think her writing went from strength to strength at ML. It’s been a happy experience to watch. The handover to a new writer seems like a missed opportunity that’s all, one that could have been a benchmark and instead just reinforces the same old boring routines of power and so on and so on. Whatever. Good luck to the winners whosoever you will be. Spend your $75 wisely, and only for Good.

        1. All I meant is that I don’t think Jack would have been averse to gracefully handing over to the ‘right’ blogger – but perhaps that person couldn’t be found in her timeframe.

          Competitions are strange things and (for better or worse) the profession of writing seems to be full of them. I guess for some writers, they are motivating opportunities.

          I agree that there are great bloggers from the Overland community (and no doubt beyond) for the gig and didn’t intend to indicate otherwise.

          1. Clare and Jeff:
            Ta for taking the time to respond. Not being privy to how such decisions as to who does what are made, I can only ask, speculatively, how they came about without expecting or requiring any detail as to the internal politics. I am sure that lit journals have their own political dilemmas in many things, and have t be dealt with as ethically as one can. The whole ‘come and compete for the Meanland job’ thing was something of surprise. Good luck with it anyway.

  2. Well, for what it’s worth – not $200 obviously – I agree with Stephen. This is an artificial set of topics which someone may feel inspired to write brilliantly about, and good luck to them, others may not. You would be better off judging on the output of bloggers working away at what they want to write about, and see how that meshes with the style and content you are seeking. You might be pleasantly surprised. Or not, I suppose, as the case might be.

    Anyway, as I am subtly suggesting, check out my blog, see what you think. But good luck to whoever wins the glittering prizes, sounds like a great, well, good, job, for a dedicated blogger.

  3. I take Stephen’s points. We were, however, a little constrained by the terms of the original grant — if we did it again, there might be a better way.

  4. Thanks for the comments. I agree that there are probably better ways to find a blogger. That said, this way also allows us to discover writers we didn’t know existed.

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