The 2010 Talent Search Details!

Monday, October 11th – I get a little choked up when I think of everything the game has given me, and it all happened because I entered an article submission contest back in 2002. Now it’s your turn.

Now where did we leave off? Oh yeah, StarCityGames.com is looking for
new talent.

And one of you is going to win more than $1000…

1st – $1000 SCG shopping spree + min 12 month contract to write for us
2nd – $400 SCG shopping spree + min 6 month contract to write for us
3-4 – $100 SCG shopping spree
5-8 – one year free SCG Premium
Additionally, each category winner will receive a 4-month paid spot to write for StarCityGames.com.

I promised you more details about how the Talent Search is going to work, and details you will get. However, before we do that, I wanted to explain why you should consider writing for us (above and beyond the prizes, obviously).

Why Should I Write/Record?

Did you know that Wizards of the Coast finds many of their new potential employees from the writing community? The list of writers who have appeared on our site and then gone on to write for WotC or work in R&D is looooong. Don’t believe me? These are the ones (off the top of my head) with permanent positions right now: Aaron Forsythe, Zac Hill, Tom LaPille, Kelly Digges, Mike Turian. Featured writers and coverage guys? Me, Bleiweiss, The Ferrett, Evan Erwin, Michael J. Flores, Anthony Alongi, Quentin Martin, Steve Sadin, Chris Millar, blisterguy, Steve Menendian, Josh Bennett, Nate Heiss, Jeff Cunningham, Noah Weil… I could go on, but you get the point. They’ve all worked for the main site at various points in time but wrote for SCG before getting their columns.

As it turns out, writing excellent Magic articles is one of the single best ways to get yourself noticed by the folks out in Renton.

Why else should you try your hand at the Talent Search? For starters, it gets you involved beyond your local community. Getting your thoughts and ideas out into the wider world is fun. You might get a healthy amount of criticism in the process, but that often makes you a better Magic player, and hey, some of those people might turn into your best friends. There’s also a brilliant feeling that washes over you when someone you respect says, “I really liked this.” In my experience, this happens more than you might expect.

Additionally, there’s a certain amount of fame involved. I came back to the game in March of this year (I didn’t quit — I just didn’t have any access or time for three years). I’d been drafting on MODO a couple times a week, but I really wanted to crack some packs and draft, so I found the Bath WNM page on Facebook and headed down to ye olde pub on draft night.

At this point, I probably hadn’t played a sanctioned match of Magic in four years, making me even more terrible than I normally am. I was desperately hoping to stay completely anonymous, thus avoiding the awkward potential “nice deck… didn’t you used to hang out at all the Pro Tours?” conversation. That’s not quite how it went, since someone recognized me and then started talking about, well, all the stuff I used to do back in the day. They were actually a fan. It was kind of heartening that someone still knew my work even after I’d turned into a forgotten whisper of Magic’s past. It’s also really enjoyable to have people bring you cards to autograph at a PTQ or to meet someone totally new at Nationals who says, “Hey man, I qualified playing your deck!”

If you start producing good articles, this type of thing can and will happen to you.

Perhaps most importantly, there’s the friend aspect. This works a couple of ways. First of all, whatever local friends you have now can be immortalized through your work. You can get together and do podcasts or have them write guest spots in your articles. Or you can recount tales of the adventures you had together. Or you can make fun of them relentlessly, like the old-timers still manage to do with Jon Becker. All of these turn out to be surprisingly good fun.

Second, you might just be lucky enough to make some of the greatest new friends you’ll ever have. The friends I’ve made since I started writing about Magic have been an unbelievable blessing to my life, and I never would’ve met any of them if I hadn’t started writing about this silly game. People like Brian David-Marshall, Jon Becker, Zvi, Millionaire Playboy Pete Hoefling, The Bleiweiss, Jim Ferraiolo, Greg Collins, Cheon, Eugene Harvey, StarWarsKid, Dirk, Anton, Kenji… dear lord, there are

many awesome, super smart, hilarious people I got to hang out with because of it.

TL;DR? Here’s a quick recap:

  • I met most of my best friends through Magic, and I never would’ve met them any other way.

  • I became a coverage reporter for MTG.com as a result of writing about Magic.

  • I went to Japan ten times, Australia twice, mainland China, a bunch of Europe, Mexico, and all across the U.S. because of Magic.

  • I became editor and a columnist at MTG.com as a result of writing about Magic.

  • I moved into sports betting because I was friends with Zvi, and as a result have one of the coolest jobs in the world. Because I chose to start writing and talking to people about Magic.

I am the poster child for the whole “Play the game, see the world” slogan. In fact, I get a little choked up when I think of everything the game has given me, and it all happened because I took a chance and entered an article into one of the submission contests back in 2002.

Now it’s your turn. Enter the 2010 Talent Search.

If you’re even a fraction as lucky as I have been, it will turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

What Is Fun?

I’ve received this question a couple of times, so figured I should answer it more directly. In a sense, the answer is entirely subjective — what is fun to you might not be fun to Bob down the street, who really enjoys kicking puppies, hunting, and skinning small animals. However, there are a number of excellent articles that I think can serve as better and more universal examples than me trying to explain it to you in print.

This article from just a couple of weeks ago

was delightful. It didn’t involve winning or road trips or anything really — it was simply fun to read.


wasn’t really relevant to anything but having fun.

Dr. Mox

was almost always fun. So was
(even when he was creating Yawgashops of me wearing Teddy Bear costumes…).

Chris Millar managed to write one of the most entertaining columns on MTG.com.
Here’s one of his earlier works

from our own archives.

Mark Gottlieb might be Rosewater’s greatest nemesis. In addition to being a diabolical overlord, he was also a fantastic writer
who wove fun through everything

he did.

Most of these articles had nothing to do with competitive Magic, but they were wonderful to read. Just to prove that you can be competitive and still
be awesome, however, I feel like I should give
an example


there as well. (Or


I could do this
all day.


Boring Old Details

You can find last week’s article with more rules

Remember, there are four categories in play — Casual, Mixed Media, Limited, and Constructed. They’re all equally important, and we’ll be pulling new talent from each area. If you know someone who might be remotely good at Casual, Limited, or Mixed Media, encourage them to enter. The community could really use new talent in those areas, and judging by the submissions so far, it’ll be much easier to make it through to the knockout rounds in those categories than via Constructed.

Here is how the Talent Search will play out:

After the deadline, we’ll cut down to five contenders in each category and publish their submissions on the site. The week after that will start the knockout rounds. A panel of judges will give their feedback on each article, and then readers will vote for their favorites. The lowest two vote-getters in each category will go before the judges, who will choose a contestant to eliminate. We’ll run two of the categories each week and will eventually lump all the contestants together to work toward an eventual winner.

Additionally, each category will have mentors to help choose theme weeks and give feedback on what contestants are doing well and what needs work. In fact, they’ll be there to try to help you win. The mentors in each category are as follows:

Mixed Media = Evan Erwin
Casual = The Ferrett
Limited = Ted Knutson
Constructed = Patrick “The Innovator” Chapin

There will definitely be celebrity guest judges. There might even be bonus prizes…

Remember, we only want new writers and new material. Please don’t publish your material anywhere else before finding out whether you’ve made it into the knockout stages.

For those who missed the assignment info last time around, here you go.

Assignment 1:

Write/record anything you want about Magic: the Gathering 

 a tournament report, and make it fun.

You can start sending in your work now. All submissions should be sent to 

 no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, October 17, 2010.

Until next time, thanks for listening and best of luck!

–Teddy CardGame



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