SparkNotes, purveyors of Barnes & Noble’s popular online and print study guides, is looking for writers to add content to the existing literature guides on our website (www.sparknotes.com). These supplemental guides will run about 10,000 words, and will be composed of several 400-600 word essays on literary concepts (genre, style, tone, foreshadowing, etc), a compilation of quotes and resources, and three 800-1,000 word sample essays. We need a fairly quick turnaround, with the possibility of revisions, and our rates are competitive.
While a background in English literature is a plus, the ability to write specifically for our audience is paramount to this freelance work. The SparkNotes voice is more that of a tutor than a professor. We avoid academic jargon in our guides as our readership does not come to us for content that may read like an academic journal article. Our guides are also not “voicey” in any obvious way—we avoid editorializing, first person, and humor. Our goal is to demystify literature and make complex ideas understandable. Writers should be comfortable explaining literary terms and concepts, analyzing classic literary works in a variety of genres, and synthesizing ideas with clarity, precision, and insight. To get a better idea of the kind of writing we’re looking for, take a look at our summary and analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mocking/).
If you are interested in the project, please send a one-paragraph description of your relevant academic and/or professional experience, along with a single-page writing sample demonstrating your ability to analyze literature for a general audience, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualified applicants will be required to complete a writing test.