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Help Wanted: Shit jobs for writers!

So, my parents read this blog occasionally and they don’t like it when I use bad words, but hey, this is my blog and a shit job is a shit job, and there’s just no other way to say it.

It’s been a few years since I’ve needed to rely on Craigslist for work. When it was good, it was good, but my writing career got better. I started working for Matador. I got private clients for the research, translation, and academic editing work I do. I got a guidebook contract and then another and started publishing articles in “real” magazines.

But after reading this article about a guy living off Craigslist, I decided to take a peek at the local writing gigs to see what kinds of offers are out there:

JOURNALISTS NEEDeD  [No, that lowercase “e” is *not* a typo on my part-Julie]

Interested in Journalism or an aspiring writer?

Join and create your online magazine on and promote yourself to a world audience!

We are looking for writers to post interesting articles and stories in a wide range of topics, including Heath, Environment, Business, Education, Politics and Sports.

Articles must be original work, thought provoking and well written (grammar and spell check) with a maximum of 250 words. Writers are encouraged to include pictures or videos with the articles. Compensation will vary based on article.

If you are interested in this opportunity, don’t hesitate and send your resume and writing samples to us immediately
How many errors can you find in this uber-professional listing?



i need people who can play up beat songs that are fun and cheerful
think Sherk or disney movies.

i need some song to be written about theses short stories that i’ve written i dont know how to play music write song.
i need some one who knows how to write

No shit you need someone who knows how to write, because you certainly don’t.


Manhattan Blogger: BARS, HAPPY HOUR, FOOD, HOOK UP

i just started im looking for 4 bloggers to write maybe 2 articles a week!
Mostly about bars, clubs, food, news and night in manhattan! if you want to be apart of something
bigger this is for you! we are on ground level and going up with hopes of going nationwide in a year!
only good thing to come and as the site grows and money starts rolling in you will get paid!

this is no pay sorry

Yeah, I’m sorry, too.


and my personal favorite…

20-Something Female Blogger/Writer Wanted

So my name is Travis Dillinger and for the past 80 days I’ve been doing this little blog/website/social experiment. The meat & bones of it is that I’m trying go have encounters/dates/situations with 100 girls in 100 days, and I’ve been chronicling the experience. Now, for one of these dates I thought it would be fun to go out with a 20-something blogger who was fully aware of the site and she’ll guest blog it. It will help gain exposure to both of our blogs. We’ll go out, get a cup of coffee or a pint of Guiness, and just hang out. I’m not expecting sex or anything really too crazy, we’ll just go out and have either a good time or a complete disaster. You can read what I’ve been doing at


What always entertained me about Craigslist–and what hasn’t changed since the last time I checked the site–was the buzzing hive of furious writers who, instead of actually writing and making some money, spend their days counseling fellow writers not to take these shit jobs:

This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He expects you to write for him for free. Let’s talk means you write for him and he MAY pay you if he feels like it. He doesn’t give full instructions on what he wants done either.

To my fellow writers, stop accepting these gigs that don’t pay you for your services. Being able to write well is a skill. Not many people are able to engage their audience through written words. If these people have enough money to get web designers, and bandwidth from month to month, then they should be able to pay you for your time.

Don’t be fooled. it takes a good amount of money to keep a site going, especially with advertising.

Know your worth and stop giving up your hard earned work for free.


OMG. I never respond to these things. But I can’t take it anymore. Do you think you’re going to get a publisher (or literary agent in some cases) by posting a Craigslist ad? Do you even know what a publisher is or does? You don’t pay a publisher. A publisher pays you. Do a little research. Find an agent (not on Craigslist) through the traditional method-sending a query letter. That’s how I find my agent and publisher. And if you’re really looking for an editor or a ghostwriter, don’t offer proceeds of a potential sale because in the current economic situation you’re never going to get your book published if you’re a first-time author. My agent can’t even sell new works from previously-published authors. Please, get a clue!!!!


12 responses »

    • Aww, in all honesty, it wasn’t fair of me to include your gig in this piece, mainly because it’s not the kind of gig most freelance writers would actually go after. But it was just too funny not to include.

      If I were 20, unmarried, and not a parent, I’d totally take you out for a drink just because I think your project is really funny.

  1. Pure gold! The technical writer in me is shuddering. You should respond to the date one, if for nothing else than ridiculous material.

    • He actually replied! I told him that if I were 20, unmarried, and not a parent, I’d take him out for a drink. Alas, I’m 32, married, and have a 4 month old kid.

  2. Dang! I just turned 21, have no intentions of marrying (not in the near future anyway) but I’m on a different continent! 😦

    I’ve seen many ads like these in my local newspapers
    and a friend of mine actually responded to such an ad- she wasn’t paid, her article was filled with typos and she had a hard time trying to remove it from the world wide web.

  3. Hilarious! That 100 girls project is truly entertaining and the others…well, let’s just say, I hope writers are able to find better freelance jobs out there.

    Julie, how about adding mentor to your resume?! 🙂

  4. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha. These are awesome. I don’t understand why people accept these jobs. But I’d probably take that guy up on a date offer seeing as how I haven’t had one in ages.

  5. Craigslist is as entertaining as it is useful…ok, maybe more on the entertaining side. But I’ve landed a gig or two–well-paying, legit–off Craigslist adds. Just have to be smart and careful.

  6. Megan-

    You’re right- I found Matador through Craigslist, and most of the private clients I have now I met through Craigslist as well. But is it just me, or does the quality of the writing gigs seem to have gone way downhill in the past couple of years?

    Entertainment factor, however, has gone way up. 😉

  7. I can never get over (or around) the ‘when the money comes rolling in’ argument. As if!

  8. This one had me laughing out loud. I tried looking for writing gigs on Craigslist for about 15 minutes a few years ago but promptly gave up due to posts like these. The 100 Days project is hilarious! I love that he specified he wasn’t expecting “anything really too crazy.”

    • Did you see that the 100 Days guy wrote me? To be fair, he probably shouldn’t have been included, as his wasn’t exactly a writing gig, but it was good for giggles, so I felt compelled to include it.


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