Writers, do you need work?

There are jobs out there! Look at this classy winner of a writing opportunity.


I hope no one out there is desperate enough to even consider this “opportunity”. It sounds like a mill to churn out crap books for the Amazon e-book program; only the person commissioning all those words is going to profit from it at all.

Another possibility, since it cites “blog” “content writing” as a skill, is that this is one of the sources of these annoying come-ons I get. Every day, there are people who send me queries asking if I’d like to commission them to churn out blog content! On any topic! Cheap!

I don’t answer “no”. I answer DELETE.


  1. rq says

    Also $600 per 160 000 words (and it sounds like only those that are free of grammatical errors, so miss a comma and no money!) is a crap rate.
    According to my calculations, it would take about 75 hours to type out 160 000 words at the required speed (2160 words/hour), which adds up to $8/hr (Is that even the minimum wage anymore?). If you stretch that over the 14 days, that’s over 5 hours of typing each day. Seeing as this is for non-fiction writing, I wonder when you get time to do research.

    Short version: Sounds like a bad deal all-round to me; I’d delete the offer, too.

  2. skeptico says

    …per 160,000 words which are free of grammatical errors.

    Er, that should be “…per 160,000 words that. are free of grammatical errors.”

  3. The Mellow Monkey says

    So you’re working your ass off for $300 a week and because you’re a “ghost writer” you’re not even going to get name recognition for all that? I’ve seen some sleazy writing gigs, but that one is definitely special.

  4. blf says

    The previous team of monkeys quit en masse. The organgrinder is desperate, that Shakespeare ain’t gonna write itself…

    (Yes, I realize Shakespeare is fiction, and the ad claims it wants non-fictional monkeys…)

  5. Jake Harban says

    They’re offering me $600 for 160,000 grammatical words without any stated requirements as to what those words actually say? Where do I sign up?!

    Here’s a writing sample I’m ready to send off:

    Lyotard uses the term ‘capitalist subpatriarchialist theory’ to denote not theory, but posttheory. However, Lacan promotes the use of textual discourse to attack sexism. The characteristic theme of the works of Joyce is a self-fulfilling totality. It could be said that any number of dematerialisms concerning the cultural paradigm of consensus may be revealed.

  6. cubist says

    Looks like a job for a software tool that generates text to whichever specifications. Wouldn’t surprise me if Jake Harban @5 has already gone there.

  7. says

    Every day, there are people who send me queries asking if I’d like to commission them to churn out blog content! On any topic! Cheap!

    Oh gods, I’m still getting those too. Some days there’s a whole slew of those things.

  8. screechymonkey says

    It could be worse. Does Milo Yiannopolous even pay the “interns” that churn out his drivel?

  9. Stardrake says

    This comes out to about 2.7 cents per word. That was a decent rate in the pulp fiction era of the 1930’s. 80 years later, not so much!

  10. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Uh huh. So, 8 hours per day. 30 minutes for lunches. 5 days per week. 2 weeks. £450. Writing more or less flat out. Without making a single grammatical error (bearing in mind that quite a lot “correct” grammar is down to subjective preferences anyway, and that an error, in many cases, is simply a matter of taste). For less than minimum wage, even after the crash of the pound. Fuck. Right. Off.

    Yes, I would love to find work as a writer, but I think I’ll stick with getting my book writted, and trying to trick publishers into thinking it’s the next Harry Potter, despite the lack of wizards. Or magic. Or quidditch.

  11. cartomancer says

    Produce verbiage that amounts to a doctoral thesis every two weeks for less than £500 a shot?

    I have only one word for that. The word is four letters long, and I’m not even going to charge for it…

    Mind you, it only specifies that the words be free of grammatical errors. Doesn’t mention anything about orthography, semantics or tone…

  12. Rob says

    Not to mention that on top of the 5.3hr a day (14 days) flat-out writing schedule you have to attend 8 phone/skype meetings (unpaid as it’s not word generating) and presumably do enough research on the factual topic you are writing about to be, you know, vaguely coherent.

    So, 74 hours writing, lets say 8 hours meetings and a skimpy allowance of 30 hours research on some topic (you are writing a book after all) makes for minimum 8-hour days straight for 14 days or US$5.36 and hour before tax and expenses (you are providing the computer, internet, office space etc).
    If you make a ‘mistake’ or don’t deliver the required number of words on schedule I bet the penalties are significant.

    As others said. Fuck. Right. Off.

  13. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says


    I have only one word for that. The word is four letters long, and I’m not even going to charge for it…


  14. moarscienceplz says

    I think you slipped a decimal point. 600.00/160000 = 0.375 cents per word. And yes, I believe even in the 1930s that would have been an insult to writers.

  15. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Ahh, yes, the so-called “gig economy”. Stable hours? No chance. Benefits? You must be joking. Decent pay? HAHAHAHA!

  16. says

    Well, there’s always copy-and-paste from Project Gutenberg. It requires minimum effort, I doubt that the scammer behind this is going to check, and the person will end up being the one facing plagiarism charges, not you.

  17. says

    I am surprised they are not trying to spin it as good for exposure, despite it being a ghost writing position, as that is usually one of the excuses given for poor or nonexistent pay. I do some freelance technical writing at flat rate, but as the documents can not be over 1400 words, and are usually in the 1000-1200 range, it works out to 8 to 10 cents per word most of the time. I cannot imagine doing it for much less than that considering how much time it takes, the research I have to do for each document. The only way I’d accept 0.375 cents per word would be if I could copy and paste the one word repeatedly.

  18. leskimopie says

    Would a 160,000 word single sentence of repeated ‘buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo’ count as grammatically correct?

  19. says

    The National Novel Writing Contest each November requires that entrants write a a novel in 30 days. There’s a minimum word count of 50,000. The average novel is around 90,000. This job offer requires the equivalent of two to three novels for $600. I’m beginning to think this employer isn’t on the up-and-up.

  20. quotetheunquote says

    …per 160,000 words which are free of grammatical errors.

    Er, that should be “…per 160,000 words that are free of grammatical errors.”

    Good point – maybe what this person really needs to do is, hire an editor .

  21. drst says

    *puts on librarian hat*

    left0ver1under @ 18 – most of Project Gutenberg’s content is in the public domain so there aren’t copyright restrictions on it, actually.

    mysteriousqfever @ 22 – NaNo isn’t really a contest in the traditional sense. There’s no single winner picked at the end of the process – anyone who gets a verified word count can claim one of the prizes, which are mostly discounts on software. But a lot of people participate without trying to win and just use it for motivation.

  22. petesh says

    @5 & 22: Slow down, you are paid by the word, not the letter. I think no more than one long word per sentence is good. And at those rates, small words are all they can hope for. Two sounds in one word is a bit much, don’t you think?

  23. Rick Pikul says

    @drst #24

    Just being clear of copyright problems isn’t enough to protect you from being guilt of plagiarism.

    Remember, if you forget to cite it, you can plagiarize yourself.