Become a Question Writer
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 2020–2021 we are paying up to $7.50 per tossup question and up to $5.81 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 $10.50 per tossup and $8.13 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 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).
- Application questions must never have been shown to any other person besides the applicant and NAQT.
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 291 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.
Send your questions as an unformatted text file or Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org. NAQT’s editors aim to review all submissions and respond with comments within 30 days.
If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.