The Border House Wants You (to write for us!)

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means we’re coming up on a third anniversary for the site.  Wow, has it been that long?  I’m fascinated by its growth over the past few years and really enjoy the community we’ve built up here.  But many of you have noticed that we’re just not outputting as much content as we used to, and it’s definitely not because there isn’t anything out there to cover!  We are in desperate need of new writers here, to liven up the space, bring some fresh perspectives, and increase our coverage of a wider variety of issues.  Please, will you consider?

What We’re Looking For:

  • General news coverage.  If you’re someone subscribed to hundreds of blogs through your Google Reader and you love scouring Twitter and the web for news and information, we’d love to have you.  We’d like to increase our coverage of the games industry through an inclusive light — not everything has to be a deep analysis.  We’d like to be a great place to come to get caught up with the latest happenings in video games without stumbling across language that offends and alienates.
  • Indie games!  Admittedly, many of the editors and writers here spend most of their time playing AAA titles (who can pass up a BioWare game after all) so our coverage of indie games is seriously lacking.  The indie games scene is also one of the most progressive – where lots of really interesting innovations in intersectionality are happening and we’re sad that we miss out on a lot of it.  We often hear disappointing sentiments that The Border House isn’t covering the great things happening in indie games, and the truth is that we don’t have anyone dedicated to playing these titles and discussing them here.  Could it be you?
  • Writers of color.  We can always be more diverse and we’d love to have more discussions here around race and ethnicity in games.
  • Like-minded e-sports players.  Games like League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Dota 2, Smite, etc. are on the rise and dominating the free-to-play space, so we’d love to see more coverage of these areas.  Particularly since they tend to be less inclusive than other genres in gaming, we’d love to inspire some change here.
  • Virtual world enthusiasts.  Second Life is still alive and well, and there are always interesting events going on that are progressive and interesting to cover.
  • Lower income gamers.  We feel pretty strongly that the video game hobby is a passion that everyone can share regardless of their socioeconomic situation.  We’d love to have a regular feature about sales, bargain-bin gaming, playing older freeware/cheap games, etc. to help out those less fortunate.
  • MMO coverage.  What better place for interesting interactions than multiplayer RPG type games?  Whether it’s the large MMOs like WoW, SWTOR, and GW2, or whether you’re playing the obscure free-to-play MMOs, we want to hear about it.
  • Contributors who don’t necessarily consider themselves game journalists or bloggers: we still want you!  We love the diversity of voices and one of our strengths is that the voices we broadcast are not ones that are frequently heard.  We will help you with editorial, with article ideas, and with support to help your voice be heard.
  • Regular columnists or occasional guest posts, either one is fine.  Ideally, we’d love to have more full writers who contribute regularly, but we’ll take what we can get!
  • Okay, I give up, we want basically everyone.  Console gamers, PC gamers, handheld/mobile gamers, you name it.  We want to amp up our content cadence in a big way, and we could absolutely use your help if you support The Border House’s efforts and greater vision.  You must be familiar with feminist concepts and not at the 101 level please.

What We Offer:

  • This is not a paid position, sadly.  We all operate on a volunteer basis, so please consider that carefully.
  • Your byline attached to every post, where you can link to your other sites and endeavors or personal projects.
  • The occasional free copies of games.  If you are ever interested in reviewing a game but don’t want to pay for it, you can reach out to the editors and we’ll see what we can make happen.  In many cases, I’m willing to personally pay you out of my pocket if you can give us some unique angle about the game you’re playing.   We also get offers for free review copies on occasion, though they are generally mobile titles.
  • Absolute freedom of schedule.  Many sites operate with a set editorial schedule, requiring you to adhere to posts on a particular day.  This is a very valuable management style that works well for most sites, but for The Border House it’s important that we allow as many voices to participate as possible.  As a result, we do not have any requirements for how many times a day/week/month that you post.  If and when you have something interesting to say, we ask that you write it up.  This could change in the future, but for now we think it’s a very inclusive method of operation for us.

How to Apply:

First, read our mission statement.  Next, read our discussion policy.  If you like what you’ve read, please send us an email at editors@borderhouseblog.com with the following information:

  1. One sample guest post of the kind of content you want to write here.  This can be something original created for the purpose of this application, or it can be something you’ve written at the past on your own blog that we have permission to guest post.
  2. If you include images in this guest post, make sure they are well captioned for sight-impaired readers who may be using a sight reader to access the website.
  3. A 2-4 sentence bio about yourself that we can post along with the article, which can contain links to your personal blog or website along with information about yourself to help frame your perspective for the post.
  4. Whether you’re interested in a regular ‘full-time’ writing position (misnomer since we don’t have any hour requirements) or just a guest post.

Our typical process is that we’ll post up your guest post and let you know immediately if we think you’d be a good fit for a author spot on the site.

We hope you’ll consider writing for us but if that doesn’t interest you, we’d love if you could spread the word and tell anyone you know who might be interested.

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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5 Responses to The Border House Wants You (to write for us!)

  1. Ilex says:

    Kudos for including low income gaming as a possible theme, I’d love to have more freeware and older/cheaper games brought to my attention. I haven’t been able to afford up to date consoles or games in a long time and it often makes me feel a bit left out of the gaming scene in general.

  2. Anjasa says:

    I tried to send something to that email, but it’s getting bounced back / rejected by the server:

    Delivery to the following recipient has been delayed:

    editors@theborderhouse.com

    Message will be retried for 1 more day(s)

    Technical details of temporary failure:
    DNS Error: DNS server returned answer with no data

  3. Chelsea says:

    I have a question that’s been nagging me for a little while, and it seems particularly pertinent now that I want to make sure any submissions I might consider sending are formatted correctly.

    I’ve worked in web accessibility, and while I am always glad to see descriptive captions, I was wondering why you don’t put them in the image’s alt text rather than the caption? Screen readers will read the alt text, or the title attribute in absence of alt text… which usually isn’t particularly helpful. For example, in the latest What Are You Playing, I believe a screen reader would describe the image as “Kat_GR” (as there is no alt text) before moving on to the caption below.

    I’ve been seeing this approach a lot lately on blogs and admit to finding it rather odd. Is this an in-house style for a reason? Is it a limitation of whatever blogging platform used here? Am I somehow misinformed?

    I hope I’m being clear. Basically, I’d like to know why images here are formatted like this:

    <img class="size-large wp-image-9796" title=”Kat_GR” src=”http://borderhouseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Kat_GR-540×303.jpg” alt=”” width=”540″ height=”303″ />

    …rather than like this:

    <img class="size-large wp-image-9796" title=”Kat from Gravity Rush” src=”http://borderhouseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Kat_GR-540×303.jpg” alt=”A blonde woman wearing a black and gold outfit” width=”540″ height=”303″ />

    The latter method would not only allow screen readers to navigate more smoothly, but it would also save space and boost your post’s findability (having good image metadata is attractive to search engines).

    Anyways, sorry to go on at length! :)

    • Alex says:

      Hi Chelsea, thanks for pointing this out. I will let the authors know so we can try to be more consistent about alt-text across posts.

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