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Editor's note: Michael is back again with this month's writing challenge. This time it's all about deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. -James

I would wager that almost all of us here on Bitmob played pretend when we were children. Whether you took on the role of a firefighter, a police officer, or an astronaut, you could learn a lot about yourself through this kind of explorative play. Unfortunately, as we grow older, our priorities shift. Most adults forget how to play and totally disregard how useful it can be at all levels of personal development.

And so, I present this month’s Bitmob Writing Challenge, Pressing Issue, wherein we all pretend that we’re writing for a fictional magazine. While we won’t be producing a physical product, we will be producing content based on specific guidelines intended to simulate what it’s like to work as a freelance writer under strict deadlines and demands.


The Challenge

This prompt will be unique from past challenges because every participant will be given a different task to complete, and nobody will know what task I've assigned them until they apply. The challenge is to post the assignment to the Mobfeed, fully edited and ready for consumption, by the deadline.

While I intend this challenge to impart an idea of what the life of a freelance writer is like, it requires some suspension of disbelief and understanding. While most writers submit their work to an assigned copy editor, we don’t have access to one for this challenge, so self-editing will have to do. Also, you won’t be expected to purchase anything or travel anywhere for your assignment; I don’t want anybody to incur expenses because of this challenge. That’s why it’s important that you follow the submission guidelines carefully by supplying me with enough information to allow me to make an informed decision about which assignment to give you.

As I’ve proven with past challenges, I’m a bastard. I may throw a surprise or two your way. My writing challenges are an attempt to help you improve your writing, and everything I’ve ever asked of the Bitmob community during a writing challenge has a good reason. This prompt will be no different.

Still interested? Here are the guidelines:

Call for Submissions

1) Send an email to michael [at] exploding-barrel [dot] com. Please include the following:

  • Your full name
  • A list of the current-gen systems you own (including portables)
  • A list of the last five games you've purchased that you have access to
  • A brief profile of yourself as a writer that includes your writing specialty (reviews, previews, interviews, op-ed pieces, etc.)
  • Links to three pieces of writing that you feel best represent you, either on Bitmob or elsewhere on the Internet
  • Your resume (this is optional, but resume writing is a good skill to have)

2) Wait for your assignment to show up in your inbox!

3) Follow the individual assignment guidelines as best you can. Feel free to ask questions if anything is unclear.

4) Once your assignment is completed, mail it to michael [at] exploding-barrel [dot] com in .docx or .txt format. If any modifications need to be made, I’ll let you know.

5) Once I’ve given you the go-ahead, post your assignment to the Mobfeed with the tag pressing issue. This is important because it will allow me to include you in the final roundup.

Though some entries will be due sooner, all assignments need to be posted by July 31st, 2010 at the absolute latest. The deadline for Pressing Issue application is July 16th, 2010. The reason for the early deadline for applications is to give you enough time to produce quality work. You can apply late if you want, but you’ll still have to have your work in by the 31st.

As always, I’d like to remind everyone that by participating in Bitmob Writing Challenge prompts you’re not only flexing your writerly muscles; you’re also getting exposure for your work. Many of the previous round-up posts have made it to the front page. That means more eyes on your work, which is always a good thing.

Email me — or leave a comment here — if you have any questions about the challenge. Good luck! I look forward to working with all of you.