A little over a year ago Outkick the Coverage launched. Since that launch date millions of you have stopped by, we’ve had a lot of fun, and hopefully y’all have as well. On the day we launched you may remember that I said we wanted to feature your writing as well. That’s why we’ve kept the Bullpen tab up at the top of the page even though it hasn’t been used to this point. Truth is, I hoped to get that section up and running last year, but there was just so much work to do with the site. Whether it was writing on my own, selling ads on the site, or taking care of the thousands of details that come from any small business, the year passed in a flash. That didn’t stop lots of you from sending me writing samples and we managed to feature some of that writing, but not as much as I would have liked to use.
A year later, now that our site’s foundation is solid and the readers are here, it’s time to roll out the Bullpen.
We’ll start featuring your articles next week.
What kind of articles do we want? Well, you’ve read the site for a year now so you have some idea and you can also review my original OKTC manifesto.
Those guidelines still govern the site.
Just keep three ideas in your head as a guide to what we’re looking for: smart, original, and funny.
If you can manage any of these three, you’ll have a solid submission piece. If you can nail all three, then there’s a 100% chance we’ll be featuring your content.
The goal of the Bullpen is simple, we want to create an OKTC meritocracy. Create a place where original writing can be featured and actually seen by readers. Trust me, I know how tough it is to want to write, but believe that what you write, no matter how good, will go online and get lost amid the billions of new words being posted daily. Lots of you are probably doing this already, doing your best to find readers in a marketplace overrun with billions of sports pieces. Even if you’re really good, it can be hard for people to find you. So what we’re trying to do is eliminate that obstacle, write well and we can bring the readers to you.
I’m excited to announce that the Bullpen will have an editor, Lori Kelly, a Vanderbilt English grad who has been employed as a science editor at Vanderbilt for the past several years. If she can edit articles about neuroscience and the latest techniques in anesthesiology, I’m pretty sure she can handle your jokes about college football fans. Seriously though, I’m excited that she’ll be in charge of reading all submissions and helping to get your work out to a large audience. She’ll be reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But before you deluge her account you don’t email her your articles, you go to the Bullpen to register for an account.
Tomorrow we’ll send out an email giving you instructions about how to upload your articles. As soon as you hit submit on your articles it comes straight to us for review. We’ll read them quickly and give you an answer rapidly. You can write about any subject you want, any at all, just be creative and entertaining. If you aren’t selected initially, don’t despair, just keep writing. William Faulkner said it takes 200 rejections to get to zero. It won’t take you that long, hopefully. We’re going to be selective because we want to feature the best articles we can, but we’re not going to feature everything because then the truly good content gets lost in the OKTC shuffle. The Bleacher Report will publish just about everything, that’s a fine model for a site, the most egalitarian of all, but it won’t be our model for the Bullpen. We want to ensure that we don’t inundate you with tons of articles everyday and that we can get your work in front of as many readers as possible. That means we’ll be selective.
Over eight years ago I started writing online. There’s hardly been a day since that there hasn’t been a thousand words up online from me. That’s a grind, but it’s also been a tremendous amount of fun. And everything that I’ve been able to do since — writing for CBS, FanHouse, and Deadspin, publishing books, doing television for several major networks, and radio all started from staring at an empty screen in a law office.
If I could do this, you could too, but it takes lots of work and it takes opportunity.
And no matter who you are it starts with a blank screen and a blinking cursor.
So I’m going to try and give an opportunity to be discovered to as many of you as I can.
As the site continues to grow, my hope is we’ll eventually be able to add on the best writers that we discover through the Bullpen to the OKTC staff. In the meantime, we’ll be announcing a couple of additional hires in the near future. I’m excited about them because it signifies that OKTC can be more than just a one man shop and that thanks to the readers we’re going to be around for a while. Starting any business is terrifying, but finding out that the marketplace will support what you do is immensely gratifying.
Thanks for allowing us to grow.
In the meantime, welcome our new Bullpen editor Lori to OKTC and get cranking and submitting on your own stories.