It has been 9 years since the UXN was begun – and during that time Contributors have come and go. As of right now, we have about a dozen people regularly adding to the site, with a few others providing the odd submission.
As has been noted on the Forum and in this survey, the frequency of postings has not been as regular as in the past. Most of this has to do with real-world obligations of our staff, which our internal motto has always stressed as coming first. Still, despite this, we mainly post more than a dozen summaries a week, with articles following once in awhile.
Still, we’ve discussed over the last year about trying to lure others into helping, hence the question in the survey:
Two thirds is indeed a healthy number, so in anticipation of this we asked why not. The vast majority replied “time,” which is completely understandable. Work, family and just personal life sucks all disposable minutes away. A few others just questioned their writing ability, perhaps flashing back to high school and the English teacher’s feared red marker – and some admitted that their collection wasn’t that large, or that they did not buy enough regular titles.
Still, others cited some answers that we’d like to address:
- An offer was sent in to UXN staff, but no reply returned. We try to reply to everyone rather quickly. However, it might be that you sent your offer to the wrong address. Please direct any offer to both Douglas Mangum (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ruth Knoll (email@example.com).
- Proficiency with English Just to be clear about this to non-native speakers, we have two native German speakers, a Greek and whatever Daytripper speaks in New Zealand. So, English being your primary language is not a prerequisite. However, should you feel the quality of your English skills not to be enough, we understand.
- Already summarized. In the past, this would be very understandable. Many titles were claimed by existing Contributors and whole runs had already been done. However, since we have begun to reach the finish line in closing up whole series, we have begun to work on that which we had resisted before: re-writes.
Many of the early summaries of the site were really just slightly longer Brief Descriptions, but soon turned into full prose adaptations of the comic. Now, those older summaries are a bit of an eye-sore in comparison. A full list does not exist per se at the moment, but we are compiling one and when done we could provide to those who are interested in seeing what older issues of Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants or X-Factor are available for claiming.
- Time commitment Just to be clear, if you are summarizing an ongoing series, there is indeed some type of understanding of trying to keep up. However, over the last year, we have relaxed that a little among existing Contributors, as some have preferred to work on older runs, completing “holes” in a title. While this does leave a newer title behind, we find this not as important as we once did.
However, if you are working on older series, especially re-writes, there is a relaxation of this policy – and a contribution of summaries over a long period of time is acceptable. This is especially so if you are working on a mini-series (old or new).
- Don’t know where to begin It can seem daunting but rest assured it is not. Think about what you are interested in – and take a look to see if it is not yet summarized, or if the summary looks like it is too brief and might need to be replaced. A quick e-mail to Ruth or I (Douglas) and we can tell you.
For your actual first submission, we can walk you through it. Most summarizers are asked to turn in about 2 pages or so (Word doc pages) which should cover 4 pages or so of a comic. That way we can see if you are on the right track, voice & tense-wise. You can even try this before contacting us. Just try to write up a summary of 3 or 4 pages of a comic and see if you enjoy it.
Our purpose in bringing this up is because it had occurred to us recently that perhaps some people were considering contributing too difficult, or it had not occurred to them at all. We will always welcome people who want to assist, whether it is for a handful of summaries over a few months – or dozens over a period of years. For those who are bitten by the “bug” of writing, articles and more await you – and there is indeed a special thrill at seeing positive feedback from those who have read what you have written!