Please welcome to the Editor’s Q&A corner, Second Nexus Senior Editor, Kinnari Shah. Kinnari tells Beyond Your Blog about the unique way writers get assignments, the type of article that is successful on their site, payment for writers and more!
Q: Tell us about Second Nexus and the timely/topical stories you like to publish.
A: We focus on straight news analysis, with a leftist slant, and with an eye towards what could be shared on social media. Our writers live all over the US; they encompass a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Our pieces fall into two categories: breaking news and more “evergreen” pieces that, while still topical, are less time-sensitive.
Q: Rather than one-off submissions, your writer’s guidelines encourage potential contributors to apply for regular contributor positions. What information should interested writers include in their email to you?
A: If you are interested, please email me at kinnari (at) secondnexus (dot) com with your resume and some writing samples, as well as indicate how you learned about us, especially if you know one of our writers. For your writing samples, it’s best if you can include work that is similar to pieces you’ve seen on our site, indicating both that you’ve taken the time to check us out and feel like we’d be a good fit for your interests and style. Don’t despair if you don’t have something in that style or if your writing thus far has been more personal. In certain instances, I may ask the writer to prepare a “test” digest on a topic of our choosing (that we will pay for if published, and after which add them to our regular roster of contributors).
Q: Once someone becomes a contributor, how often are they required to submit articles for consideration?
A: I send a weekly “grab-bag” of approved topics around to our writers, to claim according to interest and availability, on a first come first serve basis. Because we don’t have a minimum (or maximum) number of articles per any period, writers can set their own schedule, and if there is a time where they know they will be unavailable or too busy, they can opt not to claim anything that go-round. This allows writers to claim only what interests them and encourages them to be realistic about what workload they can manage.I send a weekly grab-bag of topics to our writers to claim according to interest &… Click To Tweet
Q: As an editor, what type of pitches really stand out to you?
A: While we do welcome original pitches, I should note that we then evaluate those according to current metrics of popularity. To be transparent, these days we do end up publishing more topics selected/vetted by our editorial team than original proposals. When making a pitch, however, it would be useful for the writer to explain *why* their proposal is timely (if not obvious), and why they believe it’s important.
Q: Tell us about the topics you cover, and whether there are any (or sub-topics) you are in particular need of.
A: The articles run the gamut from topical stories on science and technology and medicine to politics and social justice to ecology and conservation. Based on the articles that seem to be popular with our readers, we are always interested in writers who have a background in science writing, and also those who have a keen understanding of the law. As you will note, we don’t end up publishing very much in entertainment or arts/culture, though if someone has a suggestion for a good marriage between the arts and social justice, that is the kind of intersection we look for. We don’t publish first person accounts or blog pieces; and we prefer topics that have a national, if not global appeal; nothing too region-specific.
Q: Share with us a few of the posts you think would be great examples for potential contributors to read to understand what is most popular with your readers.
A: Here are some examples of articles that were particularly successful in the past.
- It Keeps Getting Worse for Price Gouging Pharma CEO
- U.S. Will Forgive Massive Sum of Student Debt
- Stanford Rape Case Reveals Troubling Privilege Bias, Creates National Outcry
- A Dynamic Little Planet: Pluto’s Constant Climate Change
- A New and Deadly Epoch In Planetary History May Have Dawned
Q: Second Nexus pays writers for published work. What details can you share about that?
A: We publish three different types of pieces on Second Nexus: long features (~1500 words) which pay at $250, short features (~1000 words) which pay at $100, and digests (~500-750 words) which pay at $50 and are intended to be fairly quick syntheses/summaries of topics in the news. Most of what we do are digests, though occasionally there are pieces that benefit from a longer treatment or independent research/interviews. We also publish breaking news digests, but those are primarily handled in-house.
Q: Where are you headquartered, and do you accept work from international writers?
A: Our headquarters are in New York; however, our editors and writers are based all over the US, and yes, some internationally.
Q: As far as rights go, are contributors able to republish something you have published in the future?
A: While a contributor is always welcome (and encouraged) to share the Second Nexus link to their articles, our contributor’s contract does specify that we retain a proprietary right to material published on our site.
Q: What’s next for Second Nexus?
A: We are constantly redefining what we hope to achieve with Second Nexus, and in time, hope to incorporate more interactive reporting, including expanding our contributor list to include experts in different fields. We are always looking for distinct voices to amplify, especially those from individuals who can bring their own established social media audiences.