How to be a Carillon sports writer
author: john loeppky | sports editor
Time to get hired, folks
In case you haven’t heard me screaming it from the rooftops of residence, the sports section is hiring a sports writer. Here’s a not so serious rundown of what you can expect as the one in the office and how you can succeed in the role.
For one, you have to love sports. It doesn’t matter what sport. In my experience, if someone is interested in one athletic pursuit, they can find a way to get excited about most of them, but you need passion to put behind those words. More than that, though, you have to want to write about campus sports. Fear not, there’s a lot to talk about right here at 3737 Wascana Parkway. Forget what you heard, the Cougars and the Rams are fascinating at best and frustrating at worst.
You also need to be able to hit deadlines. Your cut off is Sunday at 8 p.m. Period. Now, if you’re sick or someone died, then of course exceptions can be made. Think of your editors at the paper as way-more-lenient and way-more-fun-to-drink-with sessionals. We’re qualified (barely), we keep to our deadlines (most of the time), and we’re here to get experience and have fun.
Next on the list of requirements: a writing style. We need to be able to hear your voice seeping through the page. Maybe you’re a stats wizard who can extrapolate data and get even the most thickheaded dolt of a sports fan to understand the intricacies of statistical significances in sports. Maybe you’re a current or former athlete who can give insight into life on and off the field for people who actually put their bodies on the line week after week. Then again, you could be a talented interviewer who is able to glean the neatest quirks and quotes from those on campus that are willing to be in front of the camera. Best of all, perhaps you were born, or moulded, properly to become the sports writer of the Carillon’s dreams. That last one is what many people would call a five-tool player. In baseball, for those who don’t know, that’s someone who can hit for average and power, throw, field, and steal those bases. In writing terms, at least in my section, that means being able to write with style, with good interview skills, be organized, be good in front of a camera or a microphone, and someone who is willing to get things done quickly and with very little prompting.
They’re rare, but they are out there. If you think you’re qualified for the job, send our editor-in-chief, himself a former sports editor, or me an email. Inside of that hallowed form of communication, include a resume, two writing samples, and a cover letter. Tell us why you’d be a good candidate, what skills you bring to the table, and – to prove that you’ve read this article – tell us in your letter what being a five-tooled writer at the Carillon means to your prospective new boss. That email is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Happy writing and I look forward to reading your resumes.
For those who aren’t interested in a paid position and just want to write casually, we have space for you too. We are always looking for new contributors, so send your information along and we’ll keep you informed of our weekly opportunities to find your writing within our pages.