Cracked is looking for experienced freelance writers to be paid columnists! If you are a talented writer with some experience, or are a fan of such a writer and would like to recommend them, this is the email where you can make your case:
Before you ask, here are answers to the most common questions:
1. "What do you mean by 'experienced'?"
Just that you have some stuff online we can look at that is vaguely in the same format as what Cracked publishes. That is, nonfiction essays with a humorous tone. Please include links to your work when emailing.
2. "Does Cracked no longer accept submissions from inexperienced writers?"
We totally do, but that's a different thing. If you don't have a lot of writing under your belt, you can still submit through the Workshop by clicking here.
Our columns, on the other hand, are done by writers with a little more experience, and who need a little less editorial oversight. If you are one of those, email email@example.com.
3. "What does it pay?"
$250 for a full-length column (1,500-2,500 words, typically), often in the "list" format you see a lot on Cracked.
$100 for a shortform column (1,000 words or less).
We pay upon acceptance of the draft (you don't have to wait for publication), usually the week after you turn it in. You can also promote whatever you want at the end (your social media accounts, books, whatever).
4. "Is this a regular columnist spot (weekly, etc.)?"
No. We don't have a regular schedule for columnists; we just have a pool of writers who submit pitches for columns as they occur to them. If you're part of that team, you can submit as often as you want. If you have one great idea a week, then congratulations, you're weekly!
5. "What kind of columns do you publish?"
Commentary on pop culture, other fairly lighthearted nonfiction subjects, personal stories/anecdotes, and the like. But we'll listen to any suggestions, as long as they're based on real information, observations, or opinions. Here are some recent successful columns:
Note that we do not do satire, parody, or fiction. So no Onion- or Reductress-style satire. That means a Cracked columnist needs to have some research skills in addition to being able to make people laugh.
If that sounds good to you, or you know someone who'd be perfect for it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. "Is this a real thing, or some kind of Russian troll operation intended to destroy Western culture from within?"
It's a real site that has been on the scene for the last 13 years or so, and is owned by the 150-year-old E.W. Scripps Company. We pay and we pay on time, which sounds like a lame boast to anyone who hasn't spent years trying to survive as a freelancer. Cracked writers have gone on to write for Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight, and lots of other shows, and many have gotten book deals. The editor in charge of the columns is Jason "David Wong" Pargin. He's been here since 2007, is a bestselling author, and generally doesn't ruin everything he touches. Send this link to anyone you think might be interested.
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