As our lovely, patient, committed community is aware, Unusual Efforts has had its ups and downs. There have been times we simply haven’t been able to publish for months. Often we have not been able to respond to emails or messages about pitches. Things have disappeared in the deep dark pit that is our email. When you have a chronic illness, sometimes you simply can’t fight through the pain. When you struggle with mental health issues, often it feels as though your world has flipped upside down. And when your executive team is comprised of people battling — not just some days but every. single. day. — against their bodies and minds, sometimes a passion project falls by the wayside. We know you understand, because many in the #Effortista community, contributors and readers alike, struggle with the same issues.
The Jellyfish commit to a stronger, better Unusual Efforts
That being said, we are committed to 2020 being a year of change for Unusual Efforts. No longer will things fall through the cracks (thanks, Megan, for your organizational skills!), no longer will pieces wait weeks for a second edit (thanks, Jessie, for your editing evaluations!), no longer will the Jellyfish team fall into despair and chat solely about our struggles (thanks, Sonja, for your constant encouragement and photos of Frank!). As for me, I promise to stay involved with every article, helping develop writers’ voices so that their stories shine. And should writers want to pitch other sites, I’ll be there to help them with proper introductions and advice on how to approach editors (and if other sites want to poach our writers and artists, well, we’re all for that—it’s actually part of the reason we exist).
So how will this all go down?
For those of you who have seen our revised Patreon, you know our stated goals this year
- At least two longform stories per week
- As often as possible, original art to accompany those pieces
- At least one Unusual Ef’pod podcast per week (provided it is posted for us on time)
- For Tier Three patrons, an exclusive article from Ritika Bhasker each month
- For Tier Four patrons, an exclusive episode of the Unusual Ef’pod each month
- A stronger community: We will share more on Instagram, be more involved on Twitter, and be more active in the WhatsApp chat. We will do our damnedest to connect #Effortistas with one another, as we have seen how this provides support to those who are struggling, enables contributors to bounce ideas off each other, and allows us to promote each others’ work more consistently, even helping #Effortistas get published on other sites, football-related or not.
What we need from you
- Money: alas, this is our number one need. The more patrons we get, and the higher level you commit to, allows us to pay our writers and artists as well as finally pay for hosting fees and G Suite access. As we reach higher levels, we will produce more stories, and we hope to be able to pay for a part-time social media editor and part-time editor/podcast mistress. Our ultimate goal is to have enough to pay our editrix as she mentors writers and helps develop pieces from start to finish—all without pay.
- Time: as evidenced by the above, we do not yet have a social media manager. We are more than willing to have you lend a hand for any game, at any time. If Barcelona are playing Real Madrid but you want to tweet about a Division Two women’s side, we’d be thrilled. If you’re attending a game live, we’d love it if you take over our Instagram so people can see this sport through the lens of a non-male gaze.
- Creativity: we’re still looking for more pitches and more art. We’d love to see different angles explored, different players analyzed, new teams introduced to our audience, new writing styles getting a place at the table. Nothing is too out there to discuss with our editrix, and she is willing to start a conversation about pitches via DM—even if you’ve just got one line about something you might want to explore.
- Diversity: While money is our number one need, diversity is our number one want. When we first started, we had stories and art from people around the globe. Now that scope is starting to narrow, and we want to widen it again. So if you’re reading this from anywhere other than North America or Europe, and you’ve got a hankering to share your art or a story you’d love to tell, please get in touch through email or DM us on Twitter.