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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. Accessibility Specialist
  2. Webmaster
  3. First Readers
  4. Art Director

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

We strongly encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply.

 

Accessibility Specialists

Strange Horizons is looking for people with experience in accessibility to keep our site as reader-friendly as possible.

You will be part of the webmaster team, so familiarity with WordPress as a content management system is a must.

Relevant skills

Please let us know how your skills intersect with the following list when you apply.

  • Experience with disability access in website and/or instructional design
  • Perception and understanding in tagging material for content warnings
  • Experience maintaining and operating WordPress
  • Familiarity with HTML

Responsibilities and time commitment

A major responsibility will be making sure that issues are checked for content warnings on a weekly basis. There will be a longer-term goal of going through our archives and tagging stories and essays for content, as well.

As a part of the webmaster team, you would work in tech support as needed, especially in making the site user-friendly.

Time commitment will vary, depending on the number of accessibility specialists we get, but plan on about 2-5 hours per week.

How to apply

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

Art Director

We are looking for a second Art Director!

Responsibilities

  • Working with the art department to contact and commission artists
  • Uploading and doing layouts of artwork in an online format
  • Creating posters, banners, wallpapers, and other digital content for events and fundraising
  • Interviewing artists about their artwork and life experiences, either monthly or bimonthly

The applicant should have familiarity with digital imaging (Photoshop and Illustrator) and awareness of file types and uploading systems.  They should have some familiarity with website structure, particularly with using WordPress. Ideally, they would have good visualization skills and familiarity with formal aspects of good design, such as color theory, visual weight, gestalt, balance, rhythm, and so on.  They should be able to speak to illustrators on their own terms and offer helpful feedback on what does and doesn't work in preliminary sketches, as well as communicating what we need from an illustration.

As well as the above, we would prefer someone who loves narrative (particularly fantastic narrative) and has a lively sense of pursuit when it comes to finding the right illustrator to match a story.  Familiarity with the magazine's style, an understanding of where to find communities of quality illustrators, and an ability to work well with others are a definite plus, as is a familiarity and involvement with the SFF community.

Time requirements

The Art Directorship job generally requires no more than 10 hours a month, though interviews may occasionally add time.

How to apply

If you're interested, send an email to art@strangehorizons.com with the following subject line: ART CANDIDATE, followed by your last name.

In the email, introduce yourself, tell us about your relevant experience, let us know a little about why you'd like to join us, and give examples of six pieces of art by no fewer than four artists that you feel are good illustrations which mesh well with the Strange Horizons art perspective.