Quiz Bowl Jobs
During most summers, NAQT seeks question writers in all subject areas and all difficulty levels, though we are particularly in need of additional writers of middle school and high school questions. Previous experience writing questions in our style is helpful, but not necessary for acceptance.
In 2023–2024 we are paying up to $8.77 per tossup question and up to $6.78 per bonus question accepted by our editors for use in tournaments. The rate depends on the target difficulty of the question and the writer’s experience. Writers can also earn a bonus for writing consistently from week to week, leading to a maximum payment of $13.16 per tossup and $10.17 per bonus.
Writing for NAQT is the way many people enter the organization. Most of our current editors—and a number of our members—started out as writers for NAQT.
Applications from current college players are welcome; NAQT tracks the author of each submission to make sure writers do not hear their own questions at tournaments. College players may write for high school and middle school packet sets, and they may also write college-level questions that will be stockpiled for later use. Applicants from people who are not current college players are also welcome, as long as they meet the following criteria.
- Applications must be sent between June 1 and July 31, inclusive, of each year.
- Prospective writers must be at least 18 years old when they apply. Applicants who will turn 18 between August 1 and October 31 (inclusive) of the year they apply may submit an application in June or July, specifying their birthdate; if they are hired, they will be able to start after turning 18.
- Prospective writers must have, or be expected to have, a high school diploma (or equivalent) by August 1 of the year in which they apply.
- Prospective writers must submit ten sample questions (tossups or three-part bonuses, at least three of each kind).
- Prospective writers must not live in, regularly stay in, or be legal residents of California.
- Application questions must never have been shown to any other person besides the applicant and NAQT.
- Application questions must be the applicant’s original work, written without help from other people, AI tools, or similar resources. The use of standard reference material is acceptable (and encouraged).
It is expected that applicants will have experience playing or coaching quiz bowl. In general, successful applicants have had at least two years of experience as a player or coach.
- Write your sample questions on the material you know best. As an NAQT writer you would never have to write questions in categories you don’t know well, though you can choose to do so.
- Proofread your questions for accuracy, easily understandable structure, and grammar.
- Write questions that are approximately the same length as NAQT’s questions. Tossups should be up to 300 characters for middle school and introductory high school, up to 425 characters for high school and Division II college play, and up to 500 characters for Division I college play. There are no formal length limits for bonuses, but keep them brief, as NAQT’s questions are meant to be played in timed matches.
- Look at NAQT’s sample questions to get a feel for our style.
Submitting Your Application
To apply, send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org between June 1 and July 31 (inclusive):
- Three tossups, three three-part bonuses, and four more questions that can be any combination of tossups and three-part bonuses. (That is, you can submit five of each, six tossups and four three-part bonuses, seven tossups and three three-part bonuses, four tossups and six three-part bonuses, or three tossups and seven three-part bonuses.) Questions should be sent as an unformatted text file or Word document.
- Your background in quiz bowl, unless you’re sure we already know it. This should be a sentence or two along the lines of “I played for Ames High School in Iowa from 2008 to 2012 and am now attending Harvard University, but I don’t play quiz bowl there.”
- Whether you are at least 18 years old, and if not, your birthdate. You must be at least 18 years old or be turning 18 no later than October 31 of the year in which you apply, but regardless, we need this information explicitly.
- Whether you have graduated from high school. The answer needs to be yes, but we want to hear it explicitly.
- The state(s) in which you live, regularly stay, and/or are a legal resident.
- Whether anyone has seen the sample questions other than you and NAQT, and whether any other resources have been used in writing the sample questions. The answer needs to be no, but we want to hear it explicitly.
It is not necessary (or helpful) to provide a full résumé or formal cover letter. We review applications on an essentially blind basis, looking only at the sample questions and an even vaguer description of the applicant’s background in quiz bowl than the one we mentioned above (with an intermediary removing identifying information and details of the background).
If you have any questions about this process, write to email@example.com.