The Washington Monthly is hiring two new editors. This position features a rare level of responsibility, mentorship, and throw-you-into-the-fire experience—including writing your own major stories while editing all parts of the publication. It’s a job that has launched the careers of such journalistic luminaries as James Fallows (The Atlantic), Nicholas Confessore (New York Times), Joshua Green (Bloomberg/Businessweek) and Haley Sweetland Edwards (Time).

We’re looking for the next crop of rising stars. And we’re doing so in an uncharacteristically generous manner: we are paying folks to apply!

Well, sort of. What we’re really doing is offering to pay editor applicants to write a story for us as the main requirement to being hired. We’re doing this for three reasons. First, because young up-and-coming journalists looking for jobs today face ever-more-onerous demands by publications for edit tests and we don’t want to contribute to that trend. Second, because 17 years of experience at this job has taught me never to hire an editor who hasn’t written for the Washington Monthly—it’s really the only way to know if the fit is right. Third, because we are genuinely interested in connecting with talented writers who are looking for outlets for their work above and beyond whether they get hired for one of these two slots.

We’re calling this experiment a “paid editorial audition.” Here’s how it’s described in the job listing on our careers page:

We’ll choose a small number of applicants to go through the process of reporting and writing a web feature for the Monthly. (More on that below.) You’ll be paid for your work upon completing the assignment, whether or not a published piece results. On the strength of your assignment, we’ll consider you for one of the editor positions, which we hope to fill by fall of this year. Applicants who we consider not quite ready or suited for the editor job may still be invited to become regular contributors to the magazine.

How to apply:

Send a resume, cover letter, and links to two to four published clips to

  • Include two to four of your best article pitches. These should be for stories in the 1,200-to-2,400 word range. (The pitches themselves should be in the 200-to-400 word range.) They could be reported features, policy analysis, political commentary, book reviews, or some combination of the above. For a sense of the topics and approaches that are a fit for the Monthly, go through some of our recent issues and check out a few of our best web-only pieces.

So that’s the idea. If you’re interested and think you’d be right for the job, apply. If you know somebody who might be, send them this post. Or pass it on to anyone in your networks who might know of such folks.