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Aug 10 / Sam H. Quinn

If at first you don’t FC, apply, apply again

Sam H. QuinnFor the Love of the Page is a series in which Bleacher Report Sportswriting Interns explain why they write.

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Unlike most B/R columnists, I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a sportswriter. My writing career began at a school I no longer attend through the words of someone I’ve never actually met.

During the first day of my intro to sports administration class at the University of Miami (where I was a business student), someone mentioned to the professor that he had just been accepted into B/R’s exclusive Featured Columnist program. Being the narcissist that I am, my immediate thought was “I could do that.”

So I applied to B/R, and you know what happened? I was rejected. The brilliant visionary whose blog post you’re currently reading was deemed not good enough for B/R just a few months ago.

It was entirely my own fault. I tried to condense a 6,000-word tome into the allotted “500 words or fewer” space without much success. Still, my nonexistent sportswriting career was over before it began.

Except that it wasn’t.

Completely unsatisfied with my rejection, I decided to give it another chance, and this time I was ready. Having actually read the guidelines, I set about writing a succinct piece on Randy Moss’ free agency. Even though brevity has never been my greatest skill, writing for B/R required me to go outside of my comfort zone and make it work. I managed to create something I could be proud of. B/R agreed and decided to give me a chance as a contributor.

Needless to say, I took that chance and ran with it. I published 25 articles in my first 26 days, each better than the last. Through some very helpful editor feedback and the sheer volume of things I wrote, I managed to go from someone B/R initially didn’t want to someone it promoted to Featured Columnist.

If you’re reading this and still haven’t submitted an application to Bleacher Report, go submit a writing sample now. There is no better way to improve as a writer than by actually writing. Remember, the worst that can happen is you get rejected. And really, that might be a blessing in disguise.

It forced me to evolve as a writer, and because of it, I am now a Featured Columnist with over 500,000 total reads in fewer than five months. To those of you who have been rejected from B/R in the past: Give it another go.

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Sam H. Quinn is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Follow him on Twitter @TheRealSamQuinn

  • Greg Pearl

    And we’re glad you stuck with it, Sam!

  • Scott Carasik

    I’m glad you stuck with it Sam. I enjoy your writing.

    • Stephen Babb


  • Ken Kraetzer

    Being succinct can really be a challenge, if you go into broadcasting you often have to make a point in 30 seconds which can really be a challenge. B-R is doing a great job of giving young writers a chance as well as some not so young writers. Keep up the good work.

  • Doug Rush

    When I first signed up for

  • Doug Rush

    When I first signed up for Bleacher Report in 2009, I too applied to be a Featured Columnist and got turned down.

    I didn’t get discouraged, I worked even harder; building my reputation and continuing to write and write, and I’ll never forget, on December 21, 2009; I was accepted as a FC.

    Almost three and a half years later, I’m still at it, now a two-time FC for the site with over 1.2 million views. Keep up the good work Sam.

  • Wleivenberg

    Terrific stuff, Sam! Congratulations and keep up the great work.

  • Pavan Gangawane

    i just submitted my application and now i am worried as i have no idea how many words i used in my writing sample,what should i do?just for ten days to be over and hope for the best?if you have any suggestions plz let me know

    • King_Kaufman

      I checked. Your writing sample length is fine.

  • Stephen Curry

    do we have to wait 30 days to reapply?

    • King_Kaufman

      If your application is denied, yes, you have to wait 30 days to re-apply.