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Episodes: The Christmas Read-a-thon of 2017


Emily VanDerWerff

Dec 22 2017

3 min read



First of all, my apologies to you, my loyal subscribers. My life has taken off in all sorts of exciting new directions in 2017, but they've been directions that have left little time for this poor, ailing newsletter. I'm going to figure out a schedule that works a little better (maybe once or twice per week) in the new year, and I'm going to do my yearly "sad Christmas email" in the next few days. But I do apologize for the way this has fallen off a cliff in the second half of 2017.

Now comes the other part! If you've followed me for a while, you know that I try, at the end of each year, to pay forward some of the good stuff that's been bestowed on me by people who didn't need to help my career at all. I'm always grateful for the ways that Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Phipps saw my very rudimentary writing and decided to invite me to join their teams, and I'd be nowhere without them having done so. I do my best to keep an eye out for exciting new voices on Twitter, especially, but it's impossible to be everywhere all of the time, of course, so I miss lots and lots of great writers.

Thus, every year, I ask folks to send me one (1) blog post or piece, generally under 2,000 words. One year, I critiqued all of them, and it just about broke me, but that was also the year Sonia Saraiya, who is, of course, now a TV critic at Variety, emailed me, so it ended up being worth it to get to know her. Regardless, I don't have time to critique every piece this year, so I'm going to set a limit of 25 pieces, which I'll pick and choose at random, based on how interesting I think they sound. (If you're looking for quick and dirty pitch instructions, hey, I wrote about that in the newsletter!) If I have more time, I'll read more. But 25 is what I can guarantee. I'll give you notes, my thoughts, and some quick advice. And if I like the piece, I'll do what I can to help boost your name to other editors, or even my own editors.

So please send a link to one (1) piece to DO NOT paste the piece into the body of the email, or send it as an attachment. (The only way I can help you get work, after all, is if you have a blog or something I can point to.) Put "Christmas readathon" somewhere in the subject line, so I can filter for them amid all the other crap I get. And include in the body text a short summation of what the piece is all about -- no more than a few sentences. The piece can be about anything. It can be criticism. It can be an essay. It can be fiction. I just ask that it be no longer than 2,000 words and posted on the internet somewhere.

Please submit before 11:59 pm Pacific time on December 25. (Ho ho ho.) I look forward to reading your stuff, and I hope you will submit!


Episodes is published three-ish times per week, and more if I feel like it. (I almost never do.) It is mostly about television, except when it's not. Suggest topics for future installments via email or on Twitter. Read more of my work at Vox

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