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Strange Horizons is entirely run by unpaid volunteers, and we're often looking for additional pairs of hands. At the moment we are looking for

  1. Webmasters
  2. Proofreaders
  3. First Readers

If you think you can help out, get in touch! Contact details are included at the end of each description.

We highly encourage black first readers to apply. We welcome applications from queer, minority, and non-US/UK readers.

Webmasters

Strange Horizons is looking for additional webmasters to join our staff, to work on specific ongoing projects, to improve the magazine, and share responsibility for day-to-day site maintenance.

Applicants should be comfortable and experienced with WordPress as a content management system, including experience troubleshooting theme and plugin compatibility and code problems.

Relevant skills

We are aiming to cover the following skills within the webmaster team—please let us know which you can offer when you apply.

  • Experience maintaining and operating WordPress as a content management system
  • Proficiency with HTML, CSS, and PHP
  • Proficiency with UNIX-like command lines
  • Experience in a help-desk-like environment

Responsibilities and time commitment

Responsibilities will fall into two areas—day-to-day site management and larger non-urgent projects—and will be coordinated via a rota. Timelines for any projects a webmaster may take on will be agreed on a case-by-case basis. Note that during our annual fund drive month (usually August or September) time commitments may be higher than average.

Day-to-day management may include tasks such as:

  • Helping to post a new issue's content (formatting material, uploading images)
  • Updating other magazine pages (e.g. corrections or changes to guidelines or staff pages)
  • Managing comment spam
  • Maintaining staff mailing lists
  • Fixing urgent bugs

Individual projects will be non-urgent tasks that will improve the website, with timelines dependent on your availability. Examples of potential projects could include:

  • Identifying and implementing an improved mailing list solution for internal and external magazine traffic
  • Developing WordPress plugins to add new functionality to the site
  • Improving the archives system and site search
  • Updating and improving internal databases
  • Updating and improving WordPress theme and plugin code

How to apply

If you are interested in applying, please email webmaster@strangehorizons.com with the subject line, "WEBMASTER APPLICANT: [YOUR NAME]", and a brief overview of your experience (plus any questions) in the body of the email.

Proofreaders

Strange Horizons is looking for additional proofreaders. In this role you will work across all departments of the magazine to ensure that material is clear, consistent, and grammatically correct.

Applicants should have a strong grasp of the rules of written English, and the ability to familiarize yourself with and follow our in-house style guide.

Previous experience with proofreading is an advantage, but not essential. Similarly, basic knowledge of HTML is useful, but not required.

This position typically requires 1-3 hours of work per week. If you are interested in applying, please email proof@strangehorizons.com with the subject line "PROOFREADER CANDIDATE: your name here" and a brief overview of your experience.

First Readers

Strange Horizons's first readers read some of the incoming fiction submissions and decide whether to pass them along to the fiction editors. We are therefore looking for people who like what Strange Horizons publishes.

We highly encourage black first readers to apply. We welcome applications from queer, minority, and non-US/UK readers.

Responsibilities

  • Read a portion of the submitted stories each week and write a brief summary and comment for each, including characteristics we may be looking for.
  • Pass good and interesting stories along to editors.
  • Send rejection notes for stories you decide not to take.

Editorial requirements

  • Ability to work well with others in an online setting.
  • Discretion; for example, we'll ask that you not blog about the details of your job, though it's fine for you to publicly say that you have the job.
  • Reliability: the fiction department depends on first readers. We prefer a reader who reads a small number of stories week after week to a reader who reads a large number randomly.

Time requirements

Roughly five hours per week of reading, plus up to three hours per week of writing summaries, comments, and rejections. The actual time you spend reading in a given week may end up being less than this, but expect the job to take at least five hours a week; don't expect to be able to squeeze it in during occasional spare moments.

Commitment to stay on for at least six months after an initial one-month trial period.

How to apply

If you're interested, send email to fiction@strangehorizons.com with the following subject line: FR CANDIDATE: your name here (with "your name here" replaced by your actual name, of course.)

Any of a multitude of salutations within the body of the email are fine, but please don't address your application to just one fiction editor; all of them will be reading your application (generally "Dear Editors," is a good choice).

In the email, introduce yourself, tell us about your relevant experience (if any), let us know a little about why you'd like to join us, and list three to five authors whose short stories (not novels) you particularly like (with emphasis on authors who write speculative fiction). You don’t have to have previous first-reading experience or be a writer—we want to hear from anyone interested in the position.

Then provide a list of three to five of your favorite stories that SH has published. For each story, provide a brief comment, roughly twenty to fifty words, about what you liked about it. Tell us what you really think rather than what you think we want to hear; the main point of this exercise is to help us (and you) decide whether your tastes are likely to match ours, in which case there will be some more screening to make sure we work well together.

We’ve had the good fortune of working with many talented and hard-working first readers over the magazine’s history, and we look forward to adding to their numbers.