Monday, 29 December 2008

Back in the workforce, and looking for writers

After many lazy years working in grungy shorts and torn ganji, we had an offer we could not refuse.

We have pulled out our respectable work clothes and have joined Digital 18 Media Pvt Ltd (part of the Network 18 group) as Editor - Special Features of the Forbes - Network 18 magazine project. The mag has a great team, and we have always had a weakness for start-ups. The goal is attractive too: to create an international quality business magazine with local relevance.


We (as in me, but also as in the magazine) have started commissioning articles, and we want you to let us know if you'd like to write for us. We (as in me, again - unless otherwise specified, it's always me, me, me in this space) are not talking the typical business feature here. The hard-core business stuff will be taken care of by folks far better qualified than we are. (If you want to write the heavy duty biz stuff, we'll put you on to them. Send us links - preferably - or a writing portfolio, and I'll pass them on.) Those are the parts of the magazine focussed on helping the reader make more money. The section we're handling is the part dedicated to helping her or him to put that affluence to good use, to, if you will, live better.

Stories could be anything from half-page quick guides (written by domain experts for intelligent readers who just don't happen to share that area of expertise) to several thousand words of rigorously researched, in-depth copy that looks at every side of the issue and has a point of view.

What about? Well, anything really. Make it interesting! Broadly, we want to help the intelligent reader expand his/her knowledge of issues, experiences and trends. No matter what the area, we will first want this question answered: why should our reader care, or need to know about this? And second, can your writing kick serious butt?

We can't go into details of sections and so forth, for that will mean the F-N18 team will take us out at dawn and shoot us (and you know how we hate getting up early), so, instead, just to give you an idea of the things we like, we went a bunch of stuff we have mailed to friends (there's an archive here, which you're welcome to go through) and pulled out a few.

We'd do a Sachin Tendulkar piece if we could get someone to write with as much style and substance as Federer as Religious Experience - David Foster Wallace in NYT
A nice fitness story: An Enduring Measure of Fitness: The Simple Push-Up - New York Times

Understanding Carbon Emissions Big Foot - New Yorker

The history of the web: How the Web Was Won

Travel and Books - The Guardian - Part One, Part Two

If we were doing a story on popular TV, we'd want something like It's Saturday Night!

Education? Give us an IIT / IIM story like The American Scholar - The Disadvantages of an Elite Education - By William Deresiewicz

Or how about this piece on Late Bloomers - Malcolm Gladwell - New Yorker

Great writing, great research, fascinating story: Mercenary - Esquire

A gimmick, yes, but what style, what depth! Pearls Before Swine - Washington Post - Gene Weingarten

Pico Iyer: On Travel and Travel Writing:1, 2, 3

The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller - New York Times

Great popular culture / trends piece: Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy: The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll -- New York Magazine

A cut-the-BS tech piece: Breaking the Myth of Megapixels - New York Times

Lit debate? The New York Inquirer: Against Literary Readings (and Especially Q & A's)

Anyone up for a 50 most important Indian web influencers piece? The 50 Most Important People on the Web - PC World

Behaviour and technology and pop culture: Downloading Is a Packrat's Dream

Complete whimsy. But what a nice read. Nick Tosches: Autumn and the Plot Against Me:

A novel year-ender: 50 Things We Know Now (That We Didn't Know This Time Last Year) 2006 Edition

Travel, the economy: Russian Airports - The Economist

Advertising Steven Pearlstein - What Happened To Creative Advertising? -
Or The Future of Web Ads Is in Britain - New York Times

Health, pharma: Eternal Sunshine

On Crit: Giving It All Away - New York Times
And while on the topic: Harry Potter and the Death of Reading -

How children lost the right to roam in four generations | Mail Online

Science, a rant: The new age of ignorance | Science | The Observer (: Click through at the end of the article for the celeb quiz. See if you can do better. :)


Scribbler said...

Hey! I'd like to offer myself for the cut-the-bs-tech-pieces and also some pop-culture type stuff focusing on the Net...

B Singh said...

this noble reader was wowed by the list of so many well-written articles, and can offer excellent skills in bookmarking.

zigzackly said...

Write to me with ideas?

Shiny Tiny S
We're always open to good reading.

Ravages/CC said...

The saar has managed to once again list a few of my favourite pieces of writing. Thanks muchly to the saar.

My own writing is going through a sad, sorry phase. In any case, I don't think I can ever meet the standards that the folks in the list have set. But I shall definitely send the saar's request to a few people.


Any openings (writing of course) for us (not to be outdone in the first person plural)?

Shruti Sareen said...

somehow this computer is not able to open the links... I'll try again a few days later from some other computer...
I think I could definitely offer myself for "lit debates" and "on crit"... for stuff relating to education or the internet, I might find that I need to research a fair bit before actually turning out something of quality...
(courtesy caferati listings!!)

Finny Forever said...

hi - is there an email id to which samples are to be sent?

Anonymous said...

Hey Zigzackly, I got so engrossed in the extensive list of samples article that I forgot to send you my blog link. I have been writing on various topics ranging from travel, food, sreious social and gender issues, to gimmicks and ligh reads, creative short stories, poetry and even some technical stuff and provocative current affairs. Have a loko at my blog. I also blog for 3 other places... including sulekha.


sarah islam said...

Hi zigzacky

I am really interested in writing for the magazine. I would be really interested in doing light opinion pieces on politics. I am also interested in food and history. I blog at

really hope we can work together:-) thanks!

Unknown said...

Hello, has this offer been closed?

Sunil Tinani said...

Hey Zig,

Check if these opinions interest you:

Mail me if you like my stuff: sunil_tinani at Yahoo dot com.


reluctant blogger said...

Hey would u be needing editors too??

zigzackly said...

Saar, you do yourself an injustice. But thanks for spreading the word. And you're welcome.

You would have got my mail by now?

I'd say you would very definitely find that research would help.

This blog name at gmail finds me.

Typos in your own URL do not bode well for quality control!

History interests me. Took a look at your blog. Saw only long extracts from posts by other people... Perhaps you want to point to a specific permalink or two?


Will take a look.

Nope, not at the moment.

Anonymous said...

where can one mail you regarding this?

eyefry said...

I just stumbled on this post, after a few months of absence from this neck of the woods. I'd love to write for you. Writing samples, work profile, etc. have been linked to from the sidebar at
I hope I've not been too late in replying!

priyanka's said...

I would like to write for this endeavor..

I write at:

Looking forward to working together..


the One said...

Had emailed you about this a couple of weeks ago, Zigzackly. Hope you received the missive.