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Nov 1 / Sean Swaby

How to create a writing sample that will get you the gig

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, who would have been a great MMA writer, made every word count

 UPDATE: While this post contains excellent general advice for writers who hope to succeed with any publication, it is no longer an accurate reflection of “how to create a writing sample that will get you the gig” at Bleacher Report. This more recent post explains exactly what B/R’s Writer Admissions Team looks at in a writing sample and why. If you’re thinking about applying to the Writer Program, please read that post.

* * *

For obvious reasons, submitting your prose for strangers to sift through and pass judgment on is an anxious exercise. After all, it’s your hard-earned words that you spent hours putting one in front of the other to craft that perfect phrase.

So when what you thought would be your opus is met with rejection, your natural response is: “What the f*** are these guys thinking?” And that’s fine. That’s the attitude you should have. It should motivate you to keep getting better.

As someone who has been intimately involved in screening new writer and Featured Columnist (FC) applications, I’ve seen it all. Everything.

The one thing we want you to understand is that our Content Team wants all you would-be scribes to flourish.

There are plenty of helpful resources on Bleacher Report to aid you in your quest to become an approved writer and/or join the FC ranks. Here are a few of the obvious ones: Bleacher Report’s Content Standards, Style Guide and, of course, the “Writer’s Tips” section here on the B/R Blog.

In addition to highlighting these important resources, the aim here is to provide you with some informal tips to help you put your best foot forward when submitting your new writer or FC application.

If you follow these tips, perhaps perception might meet reality when you submit your “Death of a Racehorse.” Or, at least, you’ll be met with a more favorable response after submitting your application.

Present Your Work Professionally

A text message or an email is one thing. An article that could potentially be featured on Bleacher Report’s front page or the top of a Google News search is quite another.

Act accordingly.

Online media has grown up, so don’t treat your submission like a message board post. Your readers will expect to see something credible, so don’t let them down with a wave of emoticons and acronyms.

If your goal is to break into the publishing world, Bleacher Report is a great start. That said, even if casually writing for B/R isn’t considered a “job” per se, you should treat your application just as seriously. Your ability to turn a phrase doesn’t mean that a hiring editor won’t immediately toss your résumé in a trash can—OK, move it into their desktop trash—if you fail to catch an obvious typo.

In other words, if you don’t take your application seriously, why should the editors who review it?

Punctuation Matters

There’s a popular saying among grammar geeks:

“Let’s eat, Grandma!” “Let’s eat Grandma!”

For those who think that being clever trumps being correct, keep in mind that the comma in the first phrase saved Grandma’s life. It matters.

Every punctuation mark, every capital letter, pretty much everything you put in your writing has a specific purpose.

In other words, if you’re putting an ellipsis … between every train of thought or every sentence … it doesn’t look aesthetic … and it doesn’t look hip …

It just looks wrong.

Along that same vein, capitalization should be taken very seriously. Two of the biggest automatic rejection triggers are lowercased team and player names.

Similarly, don’t capitalize random letters. Just because something is Important in your mind doesn’t mean it Deserves to be Capitalized.

Two of the most common mistakes are when writers capitalize specific sports and positions. “National Basketball Association” is capitalized, but “basketball” is not. It’s a game, not a formal title. Neither is “quarterback” or “striker.”

It seems obvious to most, but you’d be surprised how many writers ignore the rules of capitalization.

Names Matter Too

You’re claiming to be an expert on the Miami Heat. So who the hell is Dwayne Wade? I’ve heard of Dwyane Wade, but not this Dwayne chap.

If you’re a world football junkie but refer to a certain North London side as the “Tottenham Hotspurs,” you’re not cut out (yet) to be writing about world football for a broad audience. Also: see, “Cardinals,” Stanford.

There’s no faster way to undermine your own credibility than by botching the spelling of a name that takes five seconds or less to verify. Google is a powerful tool, and probably faster than a spell-checker. Simply throw that tough-to-spell name into a Google search and Google will return the correct spelling for you.

Likewise, you should be just as meticulous with any factual claims.

Any of the aforementioned common mishaps result in an automatic rejection.

Seduce Your Readers, Don’t Dance Around Them

The web is littered with content—and there isn’t about to be a shortage of it. If you don’t arrive at your point immediately, you risk losing readers right off the bat.

Online sportswriting gives you a bit more creativity with your leads than your run-of-the- mill Metro section crime story. I’ve always considered it an extension of creative non-fiction. Still, you want your work, and especially your lead, to be as clear and concise as

Writer Program Manager King Kaufman wrote a guide to help writers craft leads.

You should approach the rest of your submission the same way, too. Any veteran editor will tell you during a revision that you should go back and make sure that every word counts.

There’s a time and a place for flowery language. Like poetry. With few exceptions, online sportswriting is not one of them. Big words are all good and fun, but you don’t want your argument or opinion to get lost in a sea of superfluous language.

And With That, You’re Off

Or off, at least, while being aware of a few of the most common pitfalls that result in rejected writer applications.

The biggest takeaway is this: Send your submission exactly how you would expect it to appear published on Bleacher Report—beautifully crafted, free of easily avoidable mistakes, factually accurate and, of course, really freakin’ interesting.

Sean Swaby is Bleacher Report’s Featured Columnist Coordinator.

* * *

Photo: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, public domain

  • Omar Elkassabany

    Well I’ve typed my application and sent it in last Wednesday and its been almost a week. Is that an indication of a rejection or will I be notified if I make it or not?

    • Anonymous

      Omar, you will be notified either way. Response time for Writer Program applications is typically 3-5 business days. Today is the second business day since Wednesday. Since we had a four-day weekend rather than a two-day weekend, and a lot of applications come in over weekends, it might be running four to six days this week while we catch back up. But you should hear back by, at the very latest, early next week.

      • michael broughton

        i never was answered and it has been about 2 weeks

        • Anonymous

          Michael, I’ll look into it.

          • Manuel

            I sent my application about one week and a half ago and I have no response yet, Is that the sign of a rejection?

  • Lucas Carvalho

    How do I use a slideshow as my application?

    • King_Kaufman

      Well, I missed this question 6 months ago. Sorry. But the answer is: Just write it out on one page. Just make it clear what would be the intro slide, what would be the first, second, etc. slides, and describe the photo you’d use for each.

  • Oh Cue Pie

    Yes, Hemingway was the master at this — short words, sentences & paragraphs — and lotsa action!!!

  • Abs_2012

    how do i start

  • Giovannithibodeaux

    do you have to wrie every day

  • Giovannithibodeaux

    do you have to write everyday i mean

    • Anonymous

      Write as often as you’d like.

  • Jude

    Are the guildlines to attract writers or to always make right comments? I’m more of a Q &

    a writer! So how do i recieve answers to the questions that i want a response to?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t understand your question. What do you mean “how do I receive answers to the questions that I want a response to?” Do you mean when you’re interviewing someone?

      At Bleacher Report, we find that Q&A articles don’t do nearly as well, traffic-wise, as pieces that incorporate an interview into a narrative. Readers want to read a story, rather than questions and answers.

      How you get answers to the questions that you want a response to is … ask them? Isn’t it? If that’s not what you’re asking, let me know.

  • Www J1305music

    Please responded to me ……. very intertested in getting started…………

  • kingkshon73

    i swear it said 3-5 days its been 6.

    • Anonymous

      I apologize for the delay. First of all, it’s 3-5 *business* days, and keep in mind that last Monday, as well as the Monday before that, were not business days.

      We tend to get a lot of applications over weekends. In the last six weeks we’ve had a four-day weekend and two three-day weekends, not to mention that college students, who make up a big part of the applicant pool, have been on break. So we’ve been getting a lot more applications than usual, and we’ve “lost” four days of evaluation time to holidays.

      What I’m saying is: We’re running behind, and we probably will be for a little while. Right now, it’s more like 5-7 business days, so today, the team should be finishing up with applications that came in on Wednesday, Dec. 28. We’re hoping to catch up in the next few weeks and get it back down to 3-5 days.

      Thanks for your patience.

  • Ashton Barborek

    I sent my application in on Friday the 6th, when do you think it will be looked at? Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      As I’ve said in other comments, we’re currently operating on about a seven-day backup. So you should expect to hear back by next Tuesday, the 17th.

      Again, we’re hoping to get this waiting period back down to five business days soon, and we appreciate everyone’s patience.

  • guest

    As a British writer, do I have to adhere to the American spelling system?

    • Anonymous

      King’s having connectivity issues, so I’m pasting his response:

      “No. We allow our British writers to misspell words like color and favor in the British fashion. Ha ha.

      “Serious answer: It’s fine to use British spelling, though it’s preferable to use U.S. spelling when you’re writing about U.S. sports. So a British writer writing about, say, the New York Yankees should use U.S. spelling, unless writing from a distinctly British perspective.”

      Dan Bonato, Copy Chief

  • Dylan

    I’m currently submitting my application for the second time. I hope I get accepted this time I loved writing for this site before the new standards came out

  • Rateb Masoud

    I sent my application last week January 7,2012. I was told by a
    Bleacher Report writer that my application was perfect it was a bold
    report. I wrote about how the New York Knicks are hands down the
    best team in the east. I hope i get a reply soon, Thank You.

    • Anonymous

      Rateb: We’re asking people to give us seven working days, so you should hear back by Tuesday (Monday is a holiday). Send me an email (king at bleacherreport) if you haven’t heard anything by Wednesday morning.

  • ryan wiggins

    How hard is it to get excepted? Because im the chief of my school newspaper and im in 10th grade and my article was around 700 words.

    • Danikno81

      *Accepted. ;)

    • Anonymous

      Roughly 20 percent of applications are approved, so it’s tough, but if you can write reasonably well, you should get approved.

      • Chris

        Writing is not enough. You have to have something to say. Differently, more passionately, or from a different point of view. Plus, you must be knowledgeable about your subject. 30% of writing is research. 50% is passion. 20% is writing skills.
        Then you have a 60-60 chance of making it!

        • Kamran

          Isn’t King Kaufman the head of the writing program? I feel like I trust his word most.

    • HudsonBuckeye

      you probably should know how to spell “accepted”!

      • ryan wiggins

        For one, it’s called autocorrect on the iphone. And for two, if you’re going to correct me about grammar “you” needs to be capitalized.

        • Alex Thirtle

          If you’re going to be pedantic about spelling and grammar then might I add you can’t start a sentence with a conjunction, such as “And”.

          • Jake Martin

            Shut up Alex

          • Spencer Fleury

            Yes you can. That rule has been ignored for so long that these days, it’s a “rule” in name only. The rules of grammar generally adapt to follow actual usage customs, though it does take a while. People start sentences with “and” and “but” all the time, so it’s only a matter of time before this rule withers away and disappears as well.

  • Joey6971

    Should I strictly adhere to the word count recommendations in the application ? I have a 550+ word article and the Bleacher Report application process ordered me to “please keep the application between 200~500 words. Should I shorten my article?

  • Johnknox1

    I got my rejection letter today. Gutted does not come close to how I’m feeling. I love the high standards that are set on BR tho – I will be back with an improved article soon.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry to hear it. Work on your writing and re-apply when you’re ready, after 30 days.

  • Austin_barker

    so can I not write until I’m rejected or accepted? Because it won’t let me lol. Every time I click write it just takes me to the apply page.

    • Anonymous

      You cannot write for Bleacher Report until your application has been approved. If it’s not approved, you may re-apply after 30 days.

  • fingatalk

    Where do writers get their information from Im a big mma fan and would like to write about that

  • Dylan Martin

    I sent in my application a week ago and still have yet to get a response

  • sprintasdf

    Hey i submitted my application on January 9th, and still havent heard anything. When should I hear back?

  • tyler rackliffe

    I love bleacher report and hope to write, not just read it, in the near future. That being said, I sent in my application over a week and a half ago. I am still waiting for a reply. I also emailed you, King. I hope you got it. I just want a chance to write for this great site! Even a rejection letter would be better than this boring wait, haha. should i re-apply? i have received no letters at all.

  • Big Rich

    I show no bias I write about topics and scenarios that I think would be great as quote “what ifs.” I believe it motivates others to want to engage in debate and make sports fun for fans.

  • Clarkpriday

    I kind of sent in a poor piece of work that was simply an extract of a 2,000 word article. If I get rejected because of that, can I reapply with the same account?

    (I sent it in on the 20th)

    • King Kaufman

      Wondering why, if you thought it was “a poor piece of work,” did you send it in? Why not turn in something good?

      The answer to your question is you can re-apply after 30 days.

      Good luck.

  • Brad_squires721

    Just sent in an article I wrote for my school newspaper they received a lot of positive feedback. I hope I get accepted to write for this site, it has been a tough year already, getting accepted and writing as much as I want can take a lot off my mind. Hopefully the people at Bleacher Report see that I have some charisma and give me a shot, I really do believe I can be a great writer.

  • Clarkpriday

    Sent in some better work. Would love a shot

  • Brad_squires721

    I sent in my article last Tuesday and have not heard anything back yet. The first time I sent in and was denied I received an email two days after saying I was denied. Hopefully this is a good sign and I get to write.

    • Anonymous

      did you get in?

  • Anonymous

    how long does it take to get a reply after you send in an application?

    • Anonymous

      We generally say up to five business days, though at certain times of the year we get a ton of applications and it backs us up an additional day or two.

  • Anonymous

    i submitted an application last Wednesday and still haven’t heard back. Does that usually happen?

    • Anonymous

      You should be just about due for an answer. I’ll ask the applications review team to double-check for your submission and make sure you get an answer by tomorrow.

      Good luck.

      • Anonymous


      • Jkanygin

        I’m in the same boat as byufan32, I sent in an application last Wednesday (March 7th), and have yet to hear back. I’m wondering if this is normal,or if there has just been a heavy volume of applicants?

  • Sara Stapleton

    3-5 business days can’t come soon enough, it seems. Reading tales of rejection woes in the mean time only makes it seem much longer. By my estimation, I should be expecting to hear of my fate by Wednesday at the latest.

    Hopefully my article on the application doesn’t read as melodramatic as this particular comment I’m posted. I am, however, quite antsy.

  • Ben Oldiges

    Why has this process been introduced?? I was invited to join and write three years ago ,wrote numerous articles for this sight only to be told I have to go through this new process?? I come up with my ideas of what to write slowly, its hard to wait when I have something to say right now

    • Anonymous


      The application process was introduced about two years ago as part of an effort to raise the quality of the writing on Bleacher Report. B/R began as a platform for anyone who wanted to write about sports, but ultimately decided that we wanted to know that a person could write well before we opened the platform to him or her. I don’t believe that’s an unreasonable requirement.

      All writers who were on the site at the time were asked then to go through the applications process, as all prospective writers have been since then. Once you apply, assuming you are approved, you won’t have to wait when you want to say something. Once approved, you can write whenever you want.

      Good luck.

  • Dudedoinou27

    I sent in my application a week ago today and yet to get a reply. I guess I might have to wait a few days. Where would I see if I got accepted or not

    • Anonymous

      By email.

  • Simon Mulatay

    To tell the truth I’m slightly scared of applying… What’s it like being a B/R writer?

    • Anonymous

      It’s just like being a non-B/R writer, with the exception that you write for B/R, and those of your friends who think things like that are really cool will think that’s really cool. What is it that you’re scared of?

  • Jblomomainoo

    Ok, Ok, be frank with me, read this prose below and let me know if you will enjoy reading from me.
    Coaching from the stands is a passionate outburst of many a soccer fan. Guess what, this fan was so dead right with his commentary that others nearby looked at him wondering if he shouldn’t be on the sidelines.

    Seventy minutes into the game, Manchester United was losing 2-0 to their opponents, Sir Alex Furgeson lined up 3 substitutes hoping to change the game. The fan mentioned the players to be substituted and who was to substitute each player. He was 100% correct! Astonishingly, he added that it was a grave mistake citing the reasons and correctly predicted that Manchester United will concede again.

    These words were uttered in 2 minutes 7 years ago, but has built a strong belief in my understanding of the game and wish to share my passion for soccer through previews and commentaries.

  • Johnny J

    How much does it pay?

  • Steven Medina

    I love the bleacher report i applied yesterday wrote an article about the state of the bills franchise not nearly as descriptive as i wanted to be but i had to condense a lot to make it under 500 words other wise i would have covered everything, hope i get my shot.

  • Panayioti Manaris

    I submitted my application on tuesday or wednesday of last week but havent got a response yet. am i not quite due for a response yet or should i have got something back?

    • Anonymous

      If you submitted it Wednesday, today is Day 3. Look for a response by the end of the day Wednesday.

      • Panayioti Manaris

        oh im sorry i forgot about the business days part. thank you

  • Derek Jacobs

    So besides writing well, is there anything else that I should include in my piece?

    • Anonymous

      If you write well, you should be fine. That’s the No. 1 thing we look for. Also Nos. 2 and 3.

  • Kevin K

    Hi, I was wondering if there is a certain age requirement to be a writer. I am very young, but I eat, sleep and breathe sports. Its is my passion and I want to be able to express my opinions to everyone. What should I do?

    • Anonymous

      First of all, eat vegetables, not sports.

      Our minimum age is 13. For those under 18, please get the permission of your parents/guardians before signing up.

      Good luck!

      • Kevin K

        thank you I am only 15 so that is good news, because I want to go into sports journalism

  • Kevin K

    Im not sure what to write about, or what format I should be writing in for my sample

    • Anonymous

      Write about something you think people would want to read about. What sports topics are trending on Google, Yahoo, social media etc.?

      You can write a standard article or a slideshow. If a slideshow, just tell us [Picture of XYZ here]. You don’t need to find the pic and you won’t be able to upload it.

      That help?

  • Tarun Sathish

    how important are the answers to the other questions on the application form? Or in simpler words: are my chances of being accepted going to be higher/lower based on how I answer?

    • Anonymous

      They’re important but they’re not as important as the writing sample. The writing sample is the most important thing, and it’s not close.

  • Panayioti Manaris

    hi i submitted my application last thursday and still haven’t received a response. Could they maybe not have gotten it or something? I hope i dont have to send another one

    • Anonymous

      I’ll send the applications review team a note to make sure you haven’t fallen through the cracks, but I think they’ve just fallen a little behind the usual 5-business-day response time because of some vacation days this week.

      • Panayioti Manaris

        thank you so much for your help

  • Sj634b

    I was never answered and it has been about ten days

  • Kevin K

    Hi, I applied last Thursday and have not recived a response.
    Can you help me out?

    • Guccikom

      recived????? and you still expect a response, spare the world

  • da

    nicely said, except the photo caption about Mr. Hemingway. any author who creates a paragraph consisting of a single sentence, containing 17 uses of the conjunction “and”, is not an author who “makes every word count.”

    • da

      oops. the reference for that was “The Sun Also Rises”.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, he just got sloppy there and stopped caring, right? Had no idea what he was doing all of a sudden.

  • Tom chase

    concerned about those with disabilities if you don’t except anyone with remotely a small amount wrong even after grammar check I fear your being to critical I believe you have the right to want to have excellence but those with language disabilities and issues will never be able to get a start anywhere if the’re always shut down and not given a chance Just a thought I love sports especially NFL and the draft and I know my stuff but it’s tough to get a shot when I have these disabilities in the way.

  • Joe Perfetto

    Wow, this one article has as much information about writing as my AP English classes in High School…Very well done

    • Kunal

      Subtle bragging? Lol

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure I understand what Bleacher Report should be doing to accommodate those with disabilities, by which I assume you mean learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

    • tom chase

      even as far as language disabilities there are so many issues out there for people who have trouble with writing but love sports and talking about them as well as even writing about them it’s tough trying to get the right explanation out there with the right phrases on top of that spelling just trying to make you aware not sure anything can be done about it. Maybe add a tool to help those that have trouble with getting the right phrases out there and the right language for writing

  • Mitch Petanick

    I submitted an application on May 26, and still have not received a response. Should I resubmit?

  • Yvette Brisco

    Do you accept previously written articles for the writing sample? If I have something that was published on another site that I’m particularly proud of, would you be willing to take a look at that?

    • King_Kaufman

      We’d like you to write a new piece for the sample. Part of what we’re judging is your ability to write something timely, and we have no idea if the story on another site was edited by someone else. You’ll stand a much better chance if you turn in original work.

      • Yvette Brisco

        If the individual is not selected, based on the submission or other factors, what do you do with the submission?

        • King_Kaufman

          I’m not sure I understand the question, but I think the answer is: Nothing. That is, if you’re asking if we publish the writing sample, the answer is no.

  • Noah

    How long should applications be? Is there a minimum or maximum?

    • King_Kaufman

      From the application:

      The best writing samples are those which demonstrate the talent and professionalism of their authors. In order to put your best foot forward, you should take a few minutes to digest the criteria outlined in our Content Standards, Attribution Guidelines, and Style Guide—and then you should choose a topic that allows you to showcase your passion as a fan and your expertise as an analyst in 250-500 words.

      • Kunal

        YES! Listen to him! I wrote a 2,800 word article for the sample, with perfect grammar and no apparent errors, but was still rejected! I’m guessing it was from not reading directions lol :(

  • Dylan Martin

    I submitted my application a week ago and still no response. How much longer should I wait until I get to writting another one?

    • King_Kaufman

      You are in the queue. Good chance the Applications Review Team will get to you today. Tomorrow at the outside. Good luck.

  • Hafeez786hussain

    i don’t have any experience in journalism but i can write down anything that comes to my head depending on the topic im covering

  • Hafeez786hussain

    im only 17 years old by the way

  • Tarun Sathish

    If I have had no formal journalism education, does that severely hurt my chances at being accepted, or does it not make much difference?

    • King_Kaufman

      No, that won’t hurt your chances. Submitting a good writing sample is the key.

  • Levante_mcclure

    I have a question, do i write anything that comes to mind or do you guys assign me to write something?

    • King_Kaufman

      Hi. Sorry for the delay. It can be both. If you’re willing to accept assignments and your work is good enough, we’re happy to give them to you. You may also write about whatever you’d like, provided it’s about sports. In between those two, we have various suggestions to guide you as you think about what to write about on your own.

  • Marshal Flip III

    I have a question. I typed A.J. Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox into a Google search. Like you said there was Bleacher Report at the top of the search. However, instead of finding a quality piece of online journalism, I instead found an article with major flaws. Flaws that I would not expect from such a reputable source such as Bleacher Report. Flaws such as the journalist stating that the Sox won 19-2 on Monday. Wrong, it was Tuesday. Furthermore, the journalist also stated that the Sox bullpen shut down the potent Texas lineup for 5.1 innings. Wrong again. It was 4.1 innings. In conclusion, it seems that either the screening must become more stringent or these potential online journalists, or this site is basically just a farce, claiming to be quality online journalism. Either way I would like to right for this site, since the top page of a google search is a big freaking deal. Do you sea what I did their?

  • Curt Popejoy

    Are you able to re-apply if you are denied? I am not sure why I was denied since no feedback is given, but I feel very confident in my writing, and after reading a ton of work on the site, I am very confident my writing is just as good.

    • King_Kaufman

      Yes. You may re-apply after 30 days.

  • Jpotter33

    I sent in my application several weeks ago, but I still have not received a reply. How can I know if my application has been reviewed or not?

    • King_Kaufman

      I sent an email to the address listed with this comment.

  • Reda Bouhaddada

    If I’m slightly over the 500 word limit, 514 words, is that a problem

    • King_Kaufman

      No, that’s fine.

  • Guest

    Is it okay if my sample is about 600 words? Also, can my works cited just be a list of the web addresses I used or does it have to be more thorough?

    • King_Kaufman

      500 words is better, but if you can’t cut it to that, 600 is OK. Web addresses are fine to list previous work.

  • mitchpetanick

    King…I submitted a sample last Thursday and haven’t gotten a response back yet…nothing in my spam folder either

  • Narasimha Rao

    King, I had submitted a sample yesterday, but I forgot to include a link of previous work. Is that alright or do I have to send it again?

    • Keith Thomas

      Hi Narasimha … My name is Keith and I am the Writer Application Coordinator here at B/R. Per King’s request, I took a look and I see that your sample has indeed been received and should be reviewed by someone on the Application Review Team in the coming days.

      The team is well ahead of our 7-10 business day projections for application review turnaround.

      Best of luck!

      • Narasimha Rao

        Thank you, Keith! If the team is ahead of schedule, by when should I expect to hear back from B/R?

      • Austin Vojta

        If you’re way ahead of schedule and I submitted my application over this holiday weekend, when can I expect to be hearing back from you? Thanks for your hard work and dedication!

  • AXWELL311

    what do you pay?

    • King_Kaufman

      We do have paid writers, but the vast majority of our writers are not paid. Here is information about the Writer Program, where the vast majority are, along with an application.

      We provide the platform and editorial support, feedback and education. For more on educational opportunities, here is information about our Sportswriting Internship and about our Bleacher Report University program.

      Those writers who distinguish themselves can become Featured Columnists. Here is information about that program.

      Some of our top FC’s, writing about the most popular and important teams and topics, are paid. This is part-time work and part-time pay.

      We also have Lead Writers, who are full-time. Here is a job listing for that position.

      We are always on the lookout for new Lead Writers. Those who appear to be in the running for spots that come open will hear back.

      Have a look at those links and if you have any questions I’d be glad to try to answer them via email at king at

  • JakePepponi

    I submitted an application about 6 days ago and every time i log on and click “write” to see if my application was accepted, it says “SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION NOW”. Does that mean it was rejected?

    • Michael R

      Check your e-mail it will tell you there.

  • Jacob

    King, I was wondering whether my application has been seen or not. Its been about 6 days roughly and I would gladly appreciate a response to ease my anxiousness.

  • Talya Entwistle

    Are there any “terms and conditions” in regards to who can actually apply for this? Things like whether we have to be a legal resident of the U.S.A, age limit, etc?

    I’m 15 years old, I live in Australia and I love to write. However, I don’t want to spend hours on a piece of writing, only to find out it’s not even possible for me to get accepted.

    • King_Kaufman

      There are no geographical restrictions. We love our Australian writers, even though they spell kind of humourously. You have to be 13 to sign up as a user or to apply to write. We ask those under 18 to get their parents permission first. Good luck.

      • Talya Entwistle

        Oh that’s great, thank you!

        We spell kind of funny, huh? I’ll be sure to use Word spell check to make sure I’m spelling like an American! I have to get used to it anyway if I’m moving there when I’m older.

  • Pennie Pen

    I just wrote an article summing up the Bears game today, and would like to submit that.

  • Andrew Smith

    I’ve written many columns for b/r over the past two years, but I stopped writing last spring when my brother got cancer. I would like to resume writing now, but while i can login and edit my old ones, the site won’t let me write new content. I submitted an application to have my creditials returned 3 weeks ago, but I never got a response. Can someone tell me what is going on?

  • Steve Pizarro

    I submitted an application approximately 3 weeks ago and I have not received a response- it would be great if someone were to e-mail me with the response

  • Steve

    In case if my application gets rejected, will i appraised of the grounds of rejection?

    • King_Kaufman


      Sorry, but no. We receive more than 200 applications a week and often approve as few as 3 percent. We just don’t have the time or resources to explain to each applicant why they have not been approved. If you read the Writer Tutorial and the B/R Blog post How to create a writing sample that will get you the gig, and you’re honest about assessing your own writing, you should get a pretty good idea of what you’d need to do.

  • Ian Ji

    So for the application should we include a title and our name like it would look like an actual article? Or do we just start writing beginning with the first word?

    • King_Kaufman

      Yes, you should write a headline.

  • joseph

    will I be penalized if my writing sample goes over the 500 word limit? It is currently 552 words.

    • King_Kaufman

      No, you won’t. We’d prefer you to keep the writing sample under 500 words, but going 52 words over is not going to be the difference between being approved and not.

  • Ray Garza

    What could the writing sample consist of? Can it be an opinion piece?

    • King_Kaufman

      Yes. From the application:

      Choose a topic that allows you to showcase your passion as a fan and your expertise as an analyst in 250-500 words.

  • kadeSS

    Can I apply if i only plan to write 1-2 articles each month? I am a med student and i do not think that i will have enough time to write more. I am passionate about football(soccer) and would like to contribute to B/R.

  • Callum Byrnes-Krickl

    I submitted an entry a few months back, but got rejected. I’m fine with this but I was hoping I could get some kind of feedback on what I could have improved on my piece. The e-mail I received suggested I go to the community forum. I went to the forum only to notice it gets next to zero traffic. So is there any way I can still get feedback on my entry article? Thanks.

    • King_Kaufman


      Sorry for the slow response. Will send you some feedback via email.


  • Jacobskis

    Can you still get accepted if you dont have any experience. I am a great writer and a tennis enthusiast. I was told I should apply here by friends because i write articles and just show them to my friends privately. If i apply could i get accepted with no experience?

    • King_Kaufman

      In all honesty, it’s all but impossible to be approved as a Bleacher Report writer if you don’t have any journalism experience. It’s theoretically possible for someone with no experience to create a writing sample that would meet our current standards, but I’ll put it this way: You would be the first.

      There’s no harm in trying if you’d like, though I think your time would be better spent gaining that experience, through school publications, journalism classes, local or regional publications, your own blog, group blogs or other online publications that are looking for beginning writers, self-education using the many free or paid resources available on the web, etc. If you’re going to apply, please read the update of this blog post, which is linked at the top. Good luck.

  • Kyle

    This is bullcrap. I’ve had many people tell me through sbnation, yahoo, personally, and through other sites how great my work is, and I see work on BR that’s crappy all the time and yet I can’t get accepted? I capitalized and correctly spelled team and player names, didn’t capitalize the sport, and followed the rules. I’ve done this like 3 times and still nothing.

    • King_Kaufman


      Three things:

      1. Please see the updated link near the top of this story. That’s the post you should read.

      2. Drop me a line at king at bleacherreport dot com. Let’s take a look at your situation.

      3. The fact that people at SBNation, Yahoo, etc. tell you that your work is great doesn’t mean it’s good enough for Bleacher Report, or that it’s the right fit for Bleacher Report. No offense to those other places. They have their own standards that aren’t the same as ours.


  • Will

    Hello Mr. Kaufman,

    I just got an e-mail from Bleacher Report saying that I didn’t get accepted for the second time. I know it says in the e-mail that you are unable to provide specific feedback for writing samples, but it’s hard to know what I need to improve on if you guys don’t tell me what I got marked down on. Would you be able to take a look at my writing sample and give some specific feedback? Thanks.

    Will Denner

    • King_Kaufman


      First of all. See the link at the top of this blog post. That’s the blog post you should be reading.

      Second, I aske the Writer Admissions team to give me a quick review of why your application was turned down. Here’s what they said:

      “The main issues were with analytical structure (didn’t include a
      thesis), support and repetition. Without the thesis, the argument loses
      focus. He’s pretty close but still needs some work.”

      Hope that helps.


      • Will

        That definitely helps. Thank you very much.

  • Jack C. Catalano

    Mr. Kaufman, I would really like to work for Bleacher Report. I’m a huge and passionate sports fan and I do have a blog that talks about sports. I can submit some of my articles if you want me to.

    My computer is down right now but if I do fall behind on my articles, I could just double up for the next day. I’ll be honest. I dont have journalism degrees. I have an Associates Degree in General Studies from a local Community College. The one thing I can give you is the passion I have for sports. Even if I get hired and maybe people might not like my articles, I will try my hardest to have people like my articles. The truth is I really need a job right now. I’m in a financial crisis right now with high bills and not enough income coming in and anything that would help parlay me into doing this for a full time gig so I could have a career and a name would really be appreciated. Thank you.

    • King_Kaufman


      I’m sorry to hear about your financial distress, but I’m not going to lie to you: If you don’t have journalism education or experience beyond your own blog, you’re not going to be a candidate for a paying job at Bleacher Report.

      Good luck.


      • Jack C. Catalano

        I appreciate that you replied to my inquiry. I’m sorry it took so long to respond. Thank you for wishing me good luck.

  • Jasmit Kaur Sahi

    Very impressive points