Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

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Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Dominator »

Cheynem, in another thread wrote:This is a honest question.
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Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Cheynem »

I will let various writers (former or otherwise, nobody signs a non-disclosure contract) weigh in, but I'll offer my thoughts.

I would imagine for most people, including me until I became the chief editor this year, HSAPQ is a pretty no-frills company to work for. In 90% of instances, all you're doing is just uploading questions onto QEMS and then (eventually) getting paid for it. We've revised our payment and writer structure to not have weekly or set assignments if you wish, and freelancers can literally write whatever they want, when they want.

It's also a company that has been relatively drama free, aside from the constant bugaboo of making sure the sets get finished. We don't hold "events" other than NASAT, so there's not the added pressure there. We'd obviously like to expand and we've been trying that in past and present, but I don't think we're anywhere near the expansion-oriented model of NHBB or NAQT.

I'd like to see us improve at helping writers develop. We have some new writers this year, and i like their work, and I've tried to answer questions and offer feedback and I can, but I think we could do better. That's one area where it might seem a little disconnected as a new writer--you upload questions and maybe they get edited and maybe not and you don't get a sense of participating in a revision process (mostly because of time, with hundreds of questions, it's hard to go back and forth with a single person).

It's not all a barrel of roses. I quit in 2010 and I've threatened to quit every year since then (in the same way I think you contemplate that you might want to leave your job no matter how great it is). I always come back because I think the work is important and the people working with me are great. This year, since I am moving towards a close-to-full-time level of involvement, I hope I can begin to make the company more efficient and profitable for all involved.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

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Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Victor Prieto »

I applied to HSAPQ as a freelance writer during the summer of 2013, and worked until a month ago. During that time, I wrote a decent number of questions (somewhere in the order of 200 or so questions) and edited chemistry for a couple of NASAT sets. I decided to leave because I needed to cut back on some quizbowl commitments due to grad school, not because of HSAPQ's policies or anything.

I had nothing but a positive experience working at HSAPQ. There were almost always clear goals with set deadlines throughout the year, and it was as simple as just writing questions in your spare time and submitting them to QEMS. After Matt Weiner jumped ship in 2014, there was a blip in the organizational structure causing some disarray, but that has since been righted. I strongly appreciated the time I spent there cultivating my writing skills under other experienced writers, who provided quality feedback. If you've written a packet or two for an ACF tournament, or just want to give back to the community in a way that helps improve your own quizbowl ability too, I encourage you to consider applying to be a writer for HSAPQ.
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Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by AKKOLADE »

HSAPQ is a good company to work for.
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Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by jonpin »

I was an affiliate/associate/whatever-the-term-was member of HSAPQ for a few years, primarily involved in the calculation questions for VHSL, and it's the only organization I've ever written questions for, for money. There were the (what I assume to be universal) occasional "hey, everybody we need to finish this set, so please get your work done!" emails, but there never seemed to be drama or complete abdication of responsibility during my time. When the CFO posted "hey everyone, please confirm your address so you can get paid", payment came very shortly after.
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Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan »

I began working for HSAPQ as a freelance writer about a month and a half ago, and it has been a great experience so far. I had no previous writing experience other than chipping in a few questions to a local housewrite, so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Mike Cheyne "edited" the questions in my application, gave me a few tips for improvement, and made me a freelance writer.

So far, the questions I've submitted have all been met with either positive feedback or constructive criticism. Mike has been very good in helping me to improve as a writer, as have a number of other people such as Ike Jose and Auroni Gupta. If you're a new writer considering working for HSAPQ, you'll be given advice/help by some excellent writers and editors. I'm almost certain I've improved in the short amount of time I've been writing for them.

As Mike mentioned earlier, it's very straightforward and mostly involves writing questions and submitting them through QEMS. The only time people are prompted to write something is the occasional "We're almost done with this set, if you can write in category x, please write some category x" email. Since Mike is the President/Head Editor, all of my questions about writing and such go to him, and he returns emails generally pretty quickly.
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Re: Would You Recommend Working for HSAPQ?

Post by Cody »

I've had my ups and downs in HSAPQ, but I've been involved since 2009-10 which should say something. In my opinion, Mike Cheyne is doing an amazing job running the company and it is a radically different (and better) organization than at any time in the past.
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