We will give you money for your good ideas. Click here to collect. That's the short version. Whether you need cigarette money for the summer or you're aspiring to get a real writing career, it's a great deal either way.
Now for the long version:
In the not-too-distant future, I will be fired for being an incompetent doof, and one of you reading this will be hired to replace me. Interested? Here's how you get your foot in the door: Click this link and start pitching us articles, and if down the line Cracked hires you as a full-time comedy writer, I'll buy you an entire pizza to celebrate. With anything you want on it.
Weird choice, but hey, it's your party.
If you don't aspire to be a full-time comedy person, you can just settle for the money. Either way.
The situation is that Cracked has bet its entire existence that the random schlubs who read its articles are the people who should be in charge. Most of the people who work here (including him, her, him, and this doof) got their start by clicking on the very same link I just gave you, so statistically speaking, I'm recruiting a future Cracked editor right now. Enjoy my desk. Sorry about all the weird stains.
When I say "schlub," I'm not exaggerating. We don't care anything about you other than "Can you write interesting things that maybe make us laugh?" We won't ask to see your resume or a college degree -- hell, we won't even ask for pants. I'm going to personally insist that you forgo pants. Stop trying to come up with reasons not to do this, because I have arguments against all of them: If you don't know how to "pitch" an article, we will teach you. If your pitch doesn't work out, we'll tell you how to fix it. If your article ends up a huge success and you become super rich and famous and surpass us, then we will brag about having known you to all our friends.
One of our writers, forging a golden future.
This is how it works: You go here and click the blue "Go to Writer's Workshop" button at the bottom:
The "Writer's Workshop" is just a private message board where people like you pitch your ideas. It should look like this:
You read the instructions and pitch your idea, and an editor for the site like David Wong, Soren Bowie, Robert "Jeremiah Johnson" Brockway, Dan O'Brien, or this idiot will give you specific feedback about your idea: what works, what doesn't work, and how to fix it. If your pitch is accepted, we'll pay you $100 to start. We want every pitched article to succeed, and we will help you through every step of the way.
"But what's the catch?" you say, your eyes narrowing and your fingers brushing against the handle of the katana you keep on your belt. I see you're a cynical and suspicious Internet-goer. Good! We like that in our writers! And you're right: There is a catch, because there's always a catch. Are you ready for the catch?
You have to try.
Yup, that's the harshest truth you'll be able to find in the workshop: that you need to put in some effort before we give you $100 for writing silly jokes. Then when you put in a little more effort, you get a raise: Starting with your fifth article, we pay you $200. And right from the beginning, if your article is one of the top 10 most popular for the month, you get another $100. That's a guaranteed $200 when you turn in your draft, and another $100 if its traffic explodes, for a total of $300 for an article just like this. We pay through PayPal, which is free to set up.
Look, it's simple: We want your good content because we want to be the best. We let anyone join because good ideas can come from anywhere. The whole point of the workshop is to make pitching us articles as easy as possible. We don't want any barrier between your crazy ideas and our money.
This is our hand. Where's yours?
Let me tell you an inspiring story about me: Four years ago, I had completely given up on my lifelong dream of being a professional writer. I worked at a job I hated, lived in a city I hated, and collected food stamps because that job I hated didn't even pay a living wage. Then I clicked that link and joined the workshop, and over the next few years, the editors taught me everything I needed to know to build an entire career doing this stuff. And look at me now: I test drove a BMW last week! I mean, I didn't buy it, but I looked presentable enough for the guy to let me get behind a 3.8-liter V8 engine and do anything I wanted.
Getty Images/Photodisc/Getty Images
This could be you. For 20 minutes. Then you have to sell your kidney to make a down payment or go home.
The point is, I'm not a writing prodigy. When I joined, I had a lot to learn, but I kept putting in effort, and eventually Cracked hired me based on my obsession with movies, video games, and my cat -- stuff that my dad always told me would prevent me from getting a job. Hey, another bonus: Writing for Cracked will help you get back at your dad!
And I'm not some weird anomaly: This is how we pick our staff. David Christopher Bell runs our Quick Fix department, and when he signed up for the workshop, he was living with a punk band and working the night shift washing dishes at a truck stop diner. He was hired solely for his ability to write pitches. Kristi Harrison was splitting her time between being a full-time mom and teaching a combat-dance night class, and she was hired solely for her ability to write articles. Robert Brockway was living in a tree, surviving on a diet of squirrels and lichen (he still does that, but the point is he has options now).
Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
All his articles are written in wolf's blood and arrive clutched in the talons of a golden eagle.
Want to write about current events? Good! We're always looking for more Quick Fixes -- short, timely articles like this, this, and this. Pitch in that section of the Writer's Workshop and David Christopher Bell will look at your pitch and get back to you the next day, or sooner. Unless he gets distracted playing with his Aliens toys.
The man is a fucking child.
"But I just want to write about my own life, because I am glorious and terrible, a gift unto humanity before whom all must worship or peri-"
Awesome! Contact Robert Evans and tell us why your job/life/etc. makes you interesting enough to have an article about you on the site. You won't even have to write it if you don't want -- you can get published on this website just by bashing out an email or talking to us on the phone. And your article will be awesome.
"I dunno, I'm not really sure if my idea is any good ..."
Doesn't matter -- we want to see it. That's actually my favorite part of the workshop: If your article pitch doesn't work, we'll tell you exactly why, and you can use that information to make your next pitch better, or even use it to go write for another website, or a TV show, or make your own movie. That's the absolute worst thing that can happen if you pitch to Cracked: You will get better at writing comedy.
Seriously, click this link. Reading the pitching guidelines takes less time than browsing reddit, putting together your pitch takes less effort than beating Dark Souls, and getting one accepted pays $100 more than either. I can't wait to enjoy that disgusting pizza with you.
Here's the signup link one last time. If it doesn't seem to work, or the blue button isn't there at the bottom, try it in a different browser. If it still doesn't work, send tech support an email and we'll get you in.
So what are you waiting for?
Most actors have rough gigs early in their careers.
What does the person who has everything buy for themselves?
Sometimes the follow-up is worse than original headline-grabbing story.
Some people in entertainment don't even bother trying to come up with fresh ideas.