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Write Summaries and Guides to Non-Fiction Books at ShortForm

Do you enjoy reading non-fiction books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Thinking, Fast and Slow? Do you consider yourself an effective educator, able to distill complex information into its core essentials? Do you want to help thousands of readers improve their lives and apply what they learn?

We want to hear from you. Shortform (https://www.shortform.com) is a product featuring high-quality guides that help readers understand non-fiction books better. Shortform improves on existing products by focusing on actionables, creating more in-depth summaries, adding smart analysis and commentary to understand the book better, and building a community helping each other learn.

We’re looking for writers who will create extremely high-quality book guides, topic guides, and educational materials.

As part of Shortform, you’ll use your passion for reading and teaching to educate learners on a national scale. You’ll join an exciting startup with a mission to make sense of the world’s information.


What Our Customers Say:

+ “Shortform’s most valuable benefits are understanding a book’s key ideas better, the satisfaction of grasping difficult books with speed and ease, and understanding subjects that really interest me.”

+ “You guys really hit it out of the park again with The 48 Laws of Power! I’ve never seen such a great analysis of this book. The exercises are perfect – not overwhelming or meager, but just right. Thanks for making me smarter every day.”

+ “I LOVE Shortform as these are the BEST book companions I’ve ever seen…and I’ve looked at lots of similar sites. The 1-pager and then the longer review is so useful. I read Shortform nearly every day.”

What Our Writers Say:

+ “It’s really gratifying to produce a piece and have it published in the same week, and know that we’re helping our customers learn. I’ve had writing roles in the past that take forever to publish and you never know if anyone reads it.”

+ “Writing summaries for Shortform has made me a clearer and more organized thinker, which has spilled over into the rest of my writing and really my personal life.”

+ “Shortform is a joy to work for. I like having consistent, interesting Shortform work to do daily, instead of constantly hunting for new freelance projects and having unpredictable contracts. I’ve never had an issue with getting paid with Shortform; unfortunately, payment issues are common in the freelance writing world.”


Your Responsibilities:

+ Write high-quality guides to non-fiction books. Distill a complex work into its core essentials, at different levels of detail (5 pages, and full chapter-by-chapter summary). Extract the key arguments and supporting evidence, while discarding fluff.

+ Add insightful commentary and analysis to your guides. Discuss the book’s historical and intellectual context; relate the key ideas in the book to ideas in other books; compare the books to others within its genre; add updates since the book was published.

+ Create interactive exercises to help readers apply lessons from books, including quizzes to test comprehension and open-ended questions to help the reader reflect.

+ Write high-quality summaries of important topics, synthesizing from sources like the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal. Recent topics include an analysis of Biden’s stimulus bill covering every major political viewpoint, as well as an analysis of whether today’s housing market is overheated.

+ Contribute ideas for product features that Shortform users would love.

+ (Optional) Participate in projects to help the company grow, such as marketing and community outreach.

Qualifications:

+ Ability to distill information into its core concepts, then synthesize a new understanding that’s even more effective than the original source.

+ Ability to research books to find related ideas and make insightful connections.

+ Ability to read and write efficiently. We don’t apply onerous time pressure, but we do want you to understand the tradeoff between speed and quality, and avoid costly perfectionism.

+ Clear, engaging writing style with a natural voice. You can tell the difference between good, tight writing and sloppy/rigid writing.

+ Serious commitment and work drive. You always pull through and deliver and take pride in your own work. Previous experience working as a remote contractor preferred.

+ Work experience preferred: 1+ years of experience writing for an online publication and working with an editor to hone ideas. Demonstrated interest in education and track record of effectively sharing knowledge with others.

+ Full-time availability (35-40 hours/week) is preferred, but part-time work is available for strong applicants (at least 25 hours per week on average).

Salary: Paid hourly, from $15-25 per hour depending on skills and experience

About Us:
+ We’re passionate about helping people get the best ideas and use them to improve their lives. We cover the best books and content in personal growth, business, psychology, relationships, and more.

+ We care about impact at scale – we want to grow to support millions of daily readers.

+ Our founding team has previously built profitable and enduring companies in education and technology.

Check us out here and read about our principles here: https://www.shortform.com/about/

About the Position:

+ The position is full-time or part-time, depending on your availability and the quality of your work.

+ The position is remote and flexible. You’re free to work whereever and whenever you want.

+ Compensation is paid hourly, with expected rates from $18 to $25, depending on prior experience and quality of work. Bonuses are awarded for time efficiency and longevity on the team. This is a starting point – we adjust compensation actively based on productivity.

+ There are many opportunities for advancement, including taking on editing and management roles.

How to Apply:
Please apply through Mediabistro with your resume, cover letter, and link to 2-3 published clips (if available).

In your cover letter, please describe your prior professional writing experience (if any), your favorite non-fiction book, and your reading habits (books or otherwise).

The next stage in the interview process will include a miniproject writing a sample guide for an essay, followed by a short final-round call.

Application is on a rolling basis for limited positions, so please apply as soon as you can.

About Shortform

 

The mission of Shortform is to make sense of the world’s information.

In the past 20 years there’s been an exponential 100x rise in high-quality content – articles, podcasts, videos, analysis. But your free time has stayed completely the same. It can feel overwhelming to navigate the hundreds of books, articles, podcasts, and newsletters piling up.

The ultimate vision of Shortform is to summarize and contextualize every meaningful idea published every day. We want to show people what’s critical to learn about the world, then help them understand it better than any other source out there. We accomplish this with clear thinking and logic, concise writing, smart analysis, and novel connections between ideas.

As a writer, you will directly contribute to this mission. You’ll digest high-quality content to extract the key points, synthesize a better understanding of the work, and focus on making the content actionable. Your work will empower thousands of customers to improve their lives.

 

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