All applicants to write reviews for Picture This Post—students and otherwise—first complete a TRIAL BALLOON review project. The goal is to orient you to our unique PICTURE THIS writing style, our editing process, and what to expect in more detail when you become a Picture This Post review writer.
Picture This Post uses a very description-rich writing style that aims to give readers a vivid mental picture of the film, play, festival, performance, etc. being reviewed. It is unlike the style you are trained to write in at school and unlike traditional criticism. Rather, this is an opportunity to learn writing skills such as: how to convey Point-of-View without making a story about you; how to be conscious of word choices; how to edit yourself; etc. By mastering the PICTURE THIS style, you will develop a better understanding of WRITERS’ GUIDELINES in general—for any publication.
For starts--- see “About Picture This Post for Writers.”
Your trial balloon story will be a film review –from a trusted source of high quality films.
For example—click a picture in this story to read a review –
This initial review will not have a firm deadline—ample time will be available for the editing process which sometimes involves going back and forth a few times between the writer and editor/s to align an initial draft with the Picture This Post guidelines.
This is how it unfolds—
- You select the film for your trial balloon story. Currently, we ask you to choose a film from OVID.tv (https://www.ovid.tv/ ). Check that it hasn't already been reviewed by searching Picture This Post. Send your request to email@example.com
- You will be cc'd on a letter saying you are assigned to review this film. This is your first "assignment letter". You will get a private screener link for your trial balloon film selection.
- You will receive MANY more specific guidelines and write-ups on rules that need to be followed in every review. You are asked to read ALL of these guidelines upon receipt and that you send any question on terms to the editor in chief, then you read these guidelines again before you watch your film, before you start writing your review, and then again before you send it in/ as you edit yourself.
- At the same time, you are asked to begin reading all the new stories in the magazine every day—a practice you are asked to continue once you are an official writer. You will be asked to "vote" on each story using automation we've created for this purpose--- just for writers and other staff members. Your trainer will ask you to "vote' on one or another aspect of each story-- with an eye towards making the guidelines clearer for you.
- If possible, you will also gather screen captures of the film you are writing about to be used with your review. No worries if you don’t know how to do this—just tell the editor.
Once your story is edited into a “final” version via email exchange with senior editors—and if you feel comfortable with the process and plan to do more reviews—you will also begin to learn how to do layout of your story with our modified WordPress automation, and learn how to do social media in our style and with the automation we use for posting. (As a writer, you will usually do the layouts and social media for each of your stories- -- unless you ask for special assistance given a busy schedule.)
You pass the trial balloon phase when you announce that you feel comfortable with the PICTURE THIS writing style and when your editor determines that your first draft of a review can be edited into final form without any back/forth. Many writers have done multiple trial balloons, with very few writers dropping out as they find these training exercises to be worthwhile.
Note: the completion of the trial balloon qualifies you to write for any/all sections of the magazine: art; dance; music; theater; books; museums; film.
After this initial story, you will have a phone consultation with the Editor In Chief to discuss your preferred review interests and get you oriented to our automated systems to find review opportunities.
You will begin to receive emails about potential review opportunities. If an editor recommends a specific review to you, the automation will allow you to click yes or no. You never are asked to do a review on any topic that you are not interested in. You will always receive an assignment letter confirming that you have the gig; you never submit an unsolicited review.
Once you are an official Picture This Post writer you are not expected to write reviews on any schedule. You only sign on to review events etc. that you are interested in. Some writers pen reviews as often as five times a week; some writers might only do five reviews a year.