Elizabeth Spiers

journalist & digital media expert

Everup Is Live!

So we went live with Everup on Monday, and the first week was pretty smooth as these things go. There are still a lot of kinks to work out, and because we had a launch sponsor and by extension a hard launch deadline, we have a little more minimum a minimum viable product than I would like.

But we ran some good stuff, and are now working on ramp-up and expansion. Things you may have missed:

We sent a writer to camp for grownups. He danced; he cried; he learned about the importance of contracts.

I republished Leslie Jamison’s “The Immortal Horizon,” a brilliant story about the Barkley Marathons, a race that traces the route of James Earl Ray’s prison escape in Tennessee.

Melissa Lafsky Wall wrote a difficult and moving piece about why it’s hard for Western societies to accept that there are no easy ways to heal after traumatic events.

James Altucher (who’s writing a weekly advice column for us) answered the question of whether you should quit your job to pursue your dreams.

We also made an argument for selectively being unproductive in “Upon a Friday, or Thoughts on Freedom’s Sexually Generous Cousin, Caprice” by Dana Vachon.

Design and architecture critic Eva Hagberg Fisher, who’s become an unintentional expert on going to the doctor after eight years of endless tests and misdiagnoses offers hard-won advice on navigating the American healthcare system and your own health issues in the first of her columns, “The Five Types of Friends You Should Bring with You to the Doctor.”

And we aim to be helpful, so we told you how to run a turkey trot if you haven’t trained, how to spend your five minute breaks if you’re using the Pomodoro Method, and how to stop procrastinating.

We also found the best subscription boxes for you, told you what you need to do to be a good first-time manager and gave you a few exercises from artist and author Adam JK to help you figure out your personal brand.

What I’m Doing Now, Etc.


The last time I sent out a newsletter, I think I was working on a new launch unlike any I’ve done before. There were some complications, but I was very happy with the end product:


Our son, Ford Philip Sederstrom, was born on June 9th, and I was on maternity leave until the beginning of September. There have also been other new developments.

I left my job as editor-in-chief of The New York Observer in 2012 because, among other things, I wanted to start a company. I have an entrepreneurial gene that constantly needs itching and I had done a startup before and it felt like it was time to give it a shot again. So I left the NYO and started setting up meetings with potential partners and investors.

And then things happened. Or, as it does, life happened. I got married and we decided we wanted to have a kid–sooner rather than later–and suddenly, it didn’t seem like the right time to start something from scratch. (I know people who’ve done it, and know it’s possible, but it didn’t seem right for us.)

But the idea kept brewing in the back of my head. In the meantime, I consulted on new launches and was a part time editorial director for Flavorpill Media, a company that I love. I’ve been an advisor to them in some capacity for close to eight years and have watched it evolve over time. So I had talked to co-founders Mark Mangan and Sascha Lewis about the startup idea on many occasions, and slowly we all came to the realization that the property could work at Flavorpill.

So we’ve decided to do it together. Everup.com launches on November 16th. (More about the site below.) It’s a new company, majority owned by Flavorpill and I’ll be running it as CEO. I’ll be winding down consulting / advisory work over the next quarter or two and am already working on the site in a full-time capacity. We’ll do a bit of fundraising for it in the Spring, once we’ve had time to build an audience, and I’m excited about what the possibilities are. So what is it?

Everup is a new publication majority owned by Flavorpill Media about lifestyle design and related topics. It’s a digital destination that covers all aspects of personal and professional development, with a focus on creativity, productivity, and wellness. We help you be more creative, do more, and live a healthier and happier life.

Content published by Everup will consist of short-form articles, long-form reported pieces, essays, and video (short documentaries and instructionals). Staples will include service-oriented pieces designed to help the reader with their own personal development—hacks, advice columns, and how to’s. It will also feature narrative storytelling, including first-person essays and reported explorations of topics that broadly fall under the site’s three pillar topics. Sample stories might include a look at the muddy genesis of Tough Mudder, an examination of how Holacracy works in large organizations (or doesn’t), a first person account of a week at a lucid dreaming workshop, an oral history of Esalen, an exploration of how gut bacteria can affect working memory, a story about robotic augmentation and real life cyborgs, or a column on healthy delusions and when you should lie to yourself. We’ll also include actionable prompts that encourage the reader to continue or expand existing personal development projects.

We’re launching with a sponsorship from Microsoft and are holding a series of events around creativity and productivity the week of the 16th. You can register here.

My original plan was to add a commerce layer, and we may do that later down the road. But I think the category opportunity is big. The health and wellness sector is very interesting right now, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Thrillist is launching a health vertical and so is Boston Globe owner John Henry.

And So I’m Hiring…

Job listings are here. I’m also taking freelance pitches for long form stories and essays. My email is elizabeth AT everup.com.

In addition, one of my advisory clients, Casper.com, is looking for social media and partnerships talent for VanWinkles.com. Here are two jobs they’re looking to fill:

Social Media Editor

Van Winkle’s is the first website of its kind dedicated to the science, culture and curiosities of sleep. We’re hiring a social media editor to ensure we reach the best audience across the right social media channels. The winning candidate has hands-on experience with both organic and paid growth, and knows how to maximize both. Van Winkle’s needs a sharp, creative individual who understands how to share editorial in dynamic ways. You must come prepared to dig deep into the Van Winkle’s inventory, come to understand our voice and market position, then aggressively grow the audience. With your help, Van Winkle’s will own the conversation around sleep and wakefulness.

At least four years’ experience in a full-time social media position, preferably for a media organization; Vanguard knowledge of new social media channels and, crucially, the strengths and weaknesses of each vis-a-vis editorial distro; Hands-on experience with paid social campaigns (Facebook, Twitter) and complete confidence with related analytics (GA, SocialFlow); The highest journalistic ethics and grammatical standards, and a fierce dedication to the stylebook;

Desire and ability to work collaboratively on a small team; and
Hands-on skills with Photoshop and whatever other software you need to create social editorial. This is a full-time, NYC-based job with a competitive salary and wonderful benefits in a lively, energetic atmosphere. The Van Winkle’s team is ensconced within the Casper offices, where no one goes hungry for lack of snacks.

How to Apply: Send your resume and cover letter to koyen AT vanwinkles.com; include “Social Media Editor” in the subject line.

Include a few examples of your personal or professional social media victories, as well as examples of one story you’ve told (or helped to tell) across different channels. Tell us how and why you told this same story in different manners. Include salary history and/or salary requirement.

Partnership Manager

Van Winkle’s is the first website of its kind dedicated to the science, culture and curiosities of sleep. We’re hiring a partnership manager to help distribute our original journalism with external partners. The winning candidate has hands-on experience with distributed content models.

Syndication is a key component of our publishing strategy, and Van Winkle’s needs a smart, resourceful individual who can create new and grow existing partnerships. Whether it’s building awareness of an in-depth investigative report or syndicating a fun top-10 list, you must come prepared to identify the right outlet for the right story. You should have existing contacts at other online media properties and also a knack for making new friends. Taking charge of and growing our email list is also a critical part of the job.With your help, Van Winkle’s will own the conversation around sleep and wakefulness.

At least two years’ experience managing and developing partnerships at an online media property or a digital-first brand; Proven track record of proposing and finalizing syndication and partnership proposals; Contacts at other media properties and willingness to “cold call” with ideas for new partnerships; Experience growing a newsletter audience through organic outreach, promotions and partnerships;
Urge and ability to work collaboratively on a small team; and
Complete confidence with related analytics (e.g., GA).

This is a full-time, NYC-based job with a competitive salary and wonderful benefits in a lively, energetic atmosphere.
How to Apply: Send your resume and cover letter to koyen AT vanwinkles.com; include “Partnership Manager” in the subject line.

Include a few examples of your syndication and/or partnership victories, and tell us how you made them happen. Include salary history and/or salary requirement. About Van Winkle’s: Van Winkle’s is a new lifestyle publication dedicated to exploring our relationship with sleep and how our daytime hours can be improved by examining the nights. It is published by Casper (casper.com), and edited by veteran journalist Jeff Koyen.
And that is all for now!

New Moves, Hiring

I’m sending out an edition of Spierslist with some hiring needs and new developments on the professional front. Subscribe here for [very occasional] updates.

It Happened to Me!: Email Scam Number 208

I’ve had people impersonate me online before, but this one of the more bizarre ones: I just got an email from a woman inquiring about whether I had made her a job offer, and she rightly suspected that it wasn’t actually me. Below is the text of the email, and it’s coming from the domain, FossInfotech.net. So just FYI for anyone who gets email from the below and is Googling, I’m not hiring an “administrative representative assistant,” whatever that is.

From: <executive.director@fossinfotech.net>
Date: Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 10:17 PM
Subject: RE: Administrative Representative Assistant

Thank you for your submitted resume in receipt of your application for the advertised Administrative Support Representative position. I just reviewed your resume and believe that you have the relevant prerequisite to perform the duties involved the advertised position. You will be responsible for handling my personal and business errands at your spare time, though Administration experience is not necessary but enthusiasm is essential and you must be ready to learn with a dedicated spirit! You can take the job offer as a full time or part time job depending on your choice and the working hour will be between three to five hours daily which can be increased if you want and this will give you free time to go on with your regular job,
Below are the job descriptions as follows;
* Receive mails and process them
* Documentation of all incoming letters/emails.
* Maintain a high level of confidentiality.
* Run official errands
* Receive calls on my behalf
* Shopping on my behalf
* Book appointments on my behalf
* Flight bookings, E.t.c or any other reasonable duties that will be allocated to you.
* Respond to inquiries, concerns, issues, and comments regarding my services generated from incoming queue emails.
I am a Media Consultant & Journalist with variety of work and responsibilities as I have to research, write stories for national, regional and local press as well as news and political broadcast through associated media. My main duty is to cover effective news with proper evidences and send it to the news room where the news is being processed and broadcasted through news paper and electronic media.
My function, schedule is always extremely busy investigating stories before present it for publication which is the main reason I travel very often going to one location or the other. Consequently, I need an energetic, dedicated Administrative Support assistant to handle part of my schedule when I’m not in town due to the nature of my frequent traveling, Every instruction will be given to you via email and phone, thereafter meetapproximately every two week interval starting from the day you start the job.
Please kindly note that this position for highly motivated individual ready to join my team, the working hours are flexible scheduling at your discretion with remuneration salary of $27 per hour, benefits include are bonuses, health, dental insurance and Vacation. However, you are expected to answer the following questions below before we move further as your response would be used to evaluate your knowledge and readiness for this job offer.

*Give reasons on why I should hire you?
*How do you maintain/initiate a good relationship with clients?
*Have you been trusted with fund or information in the past?
* Have you ever worked as a personal assistant before?
* Are you taking this as a primary Job?
* Do you have professional reference(s)?
* What do you Understand by Privacy & Code of Conduct?
* Explain petty cash transactions?
*Your full names again?
*Your current place of work and Position?
* Are you willing to give your best shot while working with me?

You are expected to answer the eleven questions above and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question.
I will appreciate your prompt response to confirm your interest in the position.
Yours Sincerely,Elizabeth Spiers

Hiring and New Launch

I’m back at work and gearing up to launch a new site for Flavorpill. Everup.com will be focused on personal development and cover a range of topics: productivity, creativity, wellness, skill acquisition and pop psychology. It will offer the usual array of tips and how to’s along with commentary, first person essays and longer form narratives about people and things that are happening in the space. Here are the initial positions I’m looking to fill:

Editor in Chief

Productivity and Leadership Development Editor/Writer

Wellness Editor/Writer

Social Media Editor

Interested candidates can apply via the links above.

Hello, World.



Update: Our son, Ford Philip Sederstrom, was born Tuesday, June 9th, clocking in at just an ounce under 8 lbs. He’s healthy and wonderful and we’re thoroughly enjoying our time off with him.

Out Of Office Until September

Admin note: I am scheduled to have a baby at 1:30pm on June 10th 12:30pm on June 9th. Our son, Ford Philip Sederstrom, will be arriving via c-section–unless he shrinks by a couple of pounds and simultaneously decides to move out of breech before then, in which case he will be arriving whenever he feels like it, or when the medical establishment tells me that his procrastination will no longer be tolerated. As the physical incubation of our lovely little urchin could not be easily outsourced or delegated to another [more competent] party, I will not be available for consulting work, brain-picking coffees, conference calls, etc., for several weeks after. Which doesn’t mean I won’t respond if you email me, but I can’t commit to working on anything that needs to get done before September. That said, I’m not fully committed for Fall at the moment (though I do have one new site launch scheduled already) so happy to talk about projects that start in Q4 or later–I just can’t start them until Q4 or later.

In the meantime, I will be taking involuntary lessons in sleep hacking, learning a new language (formal and colloquial Infant) and doing an independent study in the short term effects of various agricultural products and environmental variables on the consistency and composition of baby poop. I hope to learn much and am looking forward to it.

What Passes for Excellence

If you’re looking for housing in Silicon Valley, you may have come across the following listing for spots in a startup house/community of excellence outside of Stanford. Others have expressed thoughts about it, but what I think it’s really missing is a between-the lines interpretation of the requirements, which, according to at least one member of the house, are simply an amalgamation of the qualities “good” people in pursuit of “excellence” happen to have.

So to clear up any confusion about what infuriatingly vague words like “good” and “excellent” mean in this context, I have helpfully annotated the listing. Good luck, potential renter! Let me know if you get in!

[The original text of the listing is in bold type. My annotations are below.]

Welcome friends!

We’re building a community of excellence in one of the most impressive estates in Silicon Valley (125 Northgate Drive in Woodside). We believe that the right people in a place like this can make for a great environment, and geometric scaling of success for everybody.

You must:
– Have a top-class degree or job with a strong math/science requirementIf you couldn’t afford to go to a top-tier school because you didn’t have a full scholarship, your skills are irrelevant because we only care about credentialing. (Also, we’re all still in our 20s, so we naively think credentialing matters in the wider world because it’s the only grown up accomplishment we have under out belts at this point.)
– Exercise at least 15 hours in a normal week
We’re looking for people who are not “high maintenance”, by which we mean they only spend 2 to 3 hours a day exercising, as opposed to say, the full 40 or so professional bodybuilders spend.
– Commute by car less than 20% of the time (Bicycle commuter!)
If you have knee problems/disabilities/KIDS/asthma/a need to transport anything but yourself and a portable bag of goods anywhere for any reason most of the time, you cannot live here.
– Prefer organized systems and common rules We want people who value innovation… and conformity, as it applies to our house and what we want. But mostly conformity.
– Like petting dogs
Sure, you claim to be “allergic” but we know you’re just masking your obvious hatred of adorable puppies, you scumbag puppy-hater.

Why? Because we’ve been trying different things for a while, and these seem to be the common threads among ourselves, and the most successful and trustworthy people we’ve lived with before. We’re shooting for motivated and conscientious people. On the other hand, we also looked at traits exclusive to disappointing housemates.

This may not be the right place if you:
– Watch more than 4 hours of TV/movie/game entertainment per week

Even if you work for a gaming company, digital entertainment company, or, godforbid, would like to see two or more decent movies a week because you value being a cultured, interesting person whose media consumption extends beyond whatever’s on Hacker News at the moment.
– Have more than 1 tattoo
Some forms of self-expression are simply not allowed here. Especially harmless cosmetic ones that in no way affect your ability to think, do your job, interact with other human beings, etc. Oh, you have your late mother’s birthdate tattooed on your ankle? Well, she should have thought about the potential housing repercussions for you before she up and died!
– Have ever attended more than 1 protest
Goodness and excellence have nothing to do with being socially conscientious about anything. If you feel strongly enough about a social issue to protest, your sense of civic engagement will obviously interfere with your ability to make gobs of money via our world-changing, life-altering consumer-facing quantified poop app. And sorry, grandpa, you’re not going to elicit any empathy from us for going to the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation that one time. That was 1993 and you could have been learning C++ instead. And you’re too old for this house anyway.
– Make more than three posts a week to social media
This may be difficult if your app/project/job requires that you interact in any way with social media, which 99.999999% of your users do on a regular basis or if Facebook is your primary method of communicating with your relatives in Small Town, Iowa. But we like to impose arbitrary meaningless rules because controlling every aspect of your social and professional existence is important to us.
– Listen to a songs with explicit lyrics more than an once a day
We’re not sure you can handle “adult” language, and the artistic value of it is irrelevant for us. Disney soundtracks are fine, though. If anyone has any particularly good covers of “Let It Go,” please share. But not via social media. We already talked about that.
– Wear make-up more than twice a week
We don’t want women in the house, and we have so little exposure to them generally that we think women wear make up because they’re self-absorbed and high maintenance and not because men like us routinely judge them as “not being put together enough” in professional situations if they roll out of bed and don’t bother to fix their hair and face, or simply because they prefer to look a certain way for their own reasons the same way we prefer a certain haircut, a particular frame of glasses or the hideous novelty t-shirt we’re wearing right now. We love the “natural look” — on Karlie Kloss. But not you, normal looking female who we’d never by the way date, because, well, that acne is kind of a turnoff, and if you exercised more and hydrated regularly you probably wouldn’t have it anyway. Our 15-hour-a-week minimum gym routine, strong feelings about tattoos, etc. have nothing at all to do with our feelings about our own appearance, by the way. Nothing at all.
– Own any clothing, shoes, watches, or handbags costing over $500
But we reserve our right to buy gadgets, bikes, miscellaneous wearables, fees for physical training regimens well over that price point because valuing material things is only bad if we’re talking about apparel and accessories. You know, things women like. (No fashion startups, please.)
– Have bills that get paid by somebody else
No matter what your personal circumstances are, or whether you have a partner who’s willing to subsidize your dream of building something great and making cool things while you pay yourself a salary of zero dollars and work for sweat equity. If you can’t do it all by yourself financially, and/or are not independently wealthy enough to support yourself during this period of entrepreneurial salary famine, you’re an asshole.
– Drive a vehicle that was given to you by your parents
Even if the Blue Book value of said vehicle is $0 and you’ve had that piece of shit Chevy Nova since you were 17. It’s fine if your parents paid for your college education, as ours likely did, but if they managed to help you commute and move from place to place during that time at no great cost, well, that’s just crossing a line. But we’re fine if they gave you a bike. BIKE COMMUTERS 4EVA.
– Get regular spending money or gifts from your parents
No birthday, holiday, etc. presents or thoughtful gestures that involve the transfer of objects, however sentimental and significant from your parental units. Independence is not about self-reliance, it’s about how much you can reject affectionate and well-meaning gestures from people who love you.
– Have more than one internet app date per week
Your personal life is completely unimportant in this context, unless we’re talking about social outings with your newfound roommates, which you will be expected to attend. If you consider having a human romantic partner a reasonable or desirable life goal when we’re only a few years away from sex bots with advanced AI, you have failed to fully envision the ideal future that technological advancement will bring us.
– Have a complex diet that requires lots of refrigerator space
Allergies? Keeping kosher? Have celiac disease? Diabetic? So, so sorry. But Paleo is fine. We’re all doing Paleo. And Costco-sized tubs of protein powder are fine space-wise because you don’t have to keep them in the fridge.
– Drink alcohol more than 3 drinks per week
We realize this may be difficult, Gary Vee, but this wine business is really just a distraction, right? Rules are rules. And everyone knows that 3+ drinks a week = severe alcoholic.
– Use marijuana more than twice a year
GATEWAY DRUG. Nancy Reagan said so when I was three.
– Have been prescribed anything by a psychiatrist more than once
Some of us are secretly Scientologists and view needing psychiatric help as a sign of moral weakness, or a general propensity for bad luck resulting in traumatic experiences that might warrant that sort of help. We’re worried that it might be contagious. Sexual assault victim? Veteran with some not-so-pleasant combat experience? Your dad beat the crap out of you as a kid? If you were smarter and stronger, let’s face it, you’d find a way to power through it without professional help. May we suggest some nice, therapeutic cycling? In fact, we read this a few years ago and wondered why everyone mentioned therein was not immediately banned from the industry. (And go fuck yourself, Brad Feld, you loser-y non-excellent bad person.)
– Use any other drug more than twice in your entire life
Curiosity about life experiences should not extend to pharmaceuticals under any circumstances because again, we traffic in arbitrary boundaries of control that are reflections of our personal prejudices and not indicative of wider realms of logic and rational thinking. If Steve Jobs were still alive, he’d be banned from this house. Just imagine how much more he could have accomplished if he’d never taken acid during those trips to India. The iWatch might have shipped earlier!

But really, folks, what we’re talking about here is character. We may be judgmental people with superficial standards that are ludicrously arbitrary and come from a place of extreme privilege (though we’d like to point out that our parents don’t write us any checks now — Stanford tuition doesn’t count in our book) and it may seem on first glance that we have no empathy for normal human beings who are not physically perfect and have onerous lifestyle requirements like weird diets, not being able to commute by bike, vaginas, etc., but excellence is really not about things like being a decent human being or producing high quality work or doing healthy rational things to address flaws and problems you do have.

We’d also like to point out that this is no way indicative of what some have characterized as a “toxic” culture in Silicon Valley that values superficial lifestyle choices and aesthetics, or “culture fit”, over baseline talent and worth ethic, and is so oblivious to the myriad of ways in which it is exclusionary and mindlessly conformist that it makes the stodgiest elements of the financial and legal professions look like egalitarian wonderlands of diversity, creativity and innovation.

We believe this because we are children who do not yet understand that the most impressive and innovative human beings are often precisely the ones who fail to conform and in many cases draw their strength from having struggled with and overcome personal flaws and challenges, some of them not even of their own making, because we view ourselves as having none of the former, and having so far avoided the latter. We’re also happy to be complete hypocrites about materialism in any form, touting the virtues of living in a place that we’re literally terming a “castle” while condemning expensive handbags in which we have no interest because we have penises, (and our Freitag messenger bag was only $300 at most and we’ve installed solar panels in it to charge our devices, so really, there’s utility there.)

We do want to buy a Tesla at some point, though. For the eco-friendly-ness.

Hiring: Casper

I’m working on a new site owned by Casper, the red-hot new mattress startup that’s based here in NYC. The site will cover all aspects of sleep and various nocturnal adventures and is helmed by editor in chief Jeff Koyen, most recently of Digiday, and formerly the editor of The New York Press during its heyday.

We’re looking to hire an editor with managerial chops, a couple of staff writers and a social media guru for the founding team, and job descriptions are below. Interested parties can send resumes and cover letters* to me at espiersATgmail.com. All positions are full-time, in New York, and come with a generous benefits package.

(*Do not skip the cover letter, or we’ll assume you loathe writing and are therefore not a good candidate for a job that involves quite a bit of it.)


UNTITLED NEW WEB PROJECT (UNWP) is an upcoming publication dedicated to the subject of sleep and wakefulness. As one-third of our lives, sleep informs more than just our time in the bedroom — it critically impacts our daytime, too. We’re hiring a social media editor to ensure UNWP’s editorial reaches the best audience across the right social media channels.

Sharing is central to our publishing strategy, but it’s more than just A/B-testing headlines. UNWP needs a sharp, creative individual who understands how to rework editorial in dynamic ways. An investigative feature, for example: How to rework it for Tumblr vs. Facebook vs. Twitter? You must know when to react to relevant news in the UNWP voice, when to surface our own editorial to add to the conversation and, perhaps most importantly, when to keep quiet.

With your help, UNWP will own the conversation around sleep and wakefulness.

The social media editor will also write. You are expected to contribute ideas, both for yourself and to be assigned out. You will work with other staffers to shepherd their own stories from the pitch through publication, with an eye toward packaging from the assignment’s inception.

• At least four years’ experience as a social media editor, preferably for a news organization;
• Vanguard knowledge of new social media channels and, crucially, the strengths and weaknesses of each vis-a-vis editorial distro;
• The highest journalistic ethics and grammatical standards, and a fierce dedication to the stylebook;
• Ability and urge to work collaboratively on a small team;
• Hands-on skills with Photoshop and whatever other software you need to create social editorial (you are your own creative department);
• Complete confidence with analytics and the know-how to amplify on-the-fly; and
• Clean track record of not publishing a stupid personal tweet to the company account because you lost track of your Tweetdeck windows.

This is a full-time, NYC-based job with a competitive salary and wonderful benefits in a lively, energetic atmosphere. The UNWP team is ensconced within the Casper offices, where no one goes hungry for lack of snacks.
About Our Company UNTITLED NEW WEB PROJECT is a new lifestyle publication dedicated to exploring our relationship with sleep and how our daytime hours can be improved by examining the nights. It is published by Casper (casper.com), and edited by veteran journalist Jeff Koyen.


We’re hiring a senior editor to help manage the departmental workflow, and also contribute original reporting on a daily basis. This is a founding position on the team that acts as the editor-in-chief’s right hand.

First and foremost, you must be an experienced workflow master. You must have command over all moving parts, from outstanding copy to overdue invoices. Paperwork and analytics are to be tackled with good cheer and efficiency.

You will also write. Our work ranges from daily posts to longer features, and you must be comfortable publishing your own clean first drafts. You will generate ideas on a daily basis, and you know when to personally take on assignments and when to delegate. You edit others’ work confidently, and you live for the style guide, but you also protect the writer’s voice.

• At least four years’ experience as senior or managing editor with hands-on workflow/admin experience;
• Impeccable organizational skills, with zero resentment for the paperwork that comes with running an editorial department;
• Ability and urge to work collaboratively on a small team;
• The highest journalistic ethics and grammatical standards, and a fierce dedication to the stylebook;
• Confidence and skill to file clean first drafts quickly and on deadline;
• Wide-ranging media consumption with a knack for uncovering stories before they’ve broken too widely, and the instincts to add fresh spins;
• Love for analytics and good cheer when preparing weekly performance reports; and
• Grace under pressure.


We’re hiring a staff writer to take on “sleep” as his/her beat. This is actually the first of two or more staff writers at UNWP, and a founding position on the team. As such, you will have a great role in shaping our voice and determining how we’ll introduce UNWP to a wide audience.

You will be expected to post a minimum of four posts a day including one short reported/original content piece. Your typical workload might be: a short Q&A or reported news item (300-400 words, daily), two to three short aggregation/commentary posts (150-300 words, daily) and four additional posts over the course of the week, including one opinion column (800 words) and three short slideshows or lists. You will also produce one reported long-form feature each month (2000+ words).

Because we’re a small editorial team, you must be an idea machine with good news judgment and clean first drafts. You should understand when a subject warrants in-depth investigation and when it’s just a blog post. You have a clear voice, a sharp tongue and a good sense of humor.

Sleep is a wide-ranging, all-encompassing topic that can be approached from many angles. Accordingly, we’re looking for writers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We need reporters to comb through scientific journals for fascinating insights, and also news fiends who can spot editorial diamonds in the rough. Don’t be afraid to say where you fit on this spectrum.

• At least two years’ experience as a staff or freelance writer;
• Ability to file clean first drafts quickly and on deadline;
• Ability and urge to work collaboratively on a small team;
• Nose for uncovering curious, odd and otherwise compelling stories from unexpected sources;
• The highest journalistic ethics and grammatical standards, and a fierce dedication to the stylebook;
• An understanding of the most commonly used analytics (or at least an eagerness to learn them); and
• Did we mention a good sense of humor?

Still Here

So I didn’t give up on blogging, nor have I fallen off the face of the earth. But I’ve been hibernating for a bit.

First of all, the last two months have been been tough. In mid-February, my younger brother Philip died unexpectedly at the age of 36 of a heart attack. I process grief slowly and largely by distracting myself with other things so I don’t confront it all at once. In my case, that generally means burying myself in work or outside projects and dealing with it piecemeal.

And I already had a pretty big distraction: as I’ve mentioned here before, pregnancy has been a bit of an ordeal for me, and I’ve felt physically terrible for most of it. There have been new (pain in the ass) symptoms nearly every month, most recently a gestational diabetes diagnosis that’s largely unexpected because I have absolutely no risk factors for it. (The last thing that sent my glucose levels soaring? A quinoa salad. QUINOA.) Fatigue and nausea have been constants, and I’ve had to learn how to manage my own energy levels and not be in denial about what constitutes overextending myself when my body is incapable of doing what it could 8 months ago. Last week it landed me in labor & delivery with early contractions likely caused by overexertion and dehydration–and by overexertion, I mean I had my usual 4 or 5 meetings a day in three different locations and the subway travel that entails–which to non-pregnant me would be a piece of cake.

So I’ve had to backburner some stuff I want to be working on, which is hard for me to do temperamentally, and as someone who values autonomy and independence more than almost anything, grudgingly admit that I need help with some things. And blogging is one of the things that got backburnered, as I narrowed focus by necessity.

That said, I’m working on a new site about sleep with Casper, and have some hiring needs there, so will post about that in a bit. And I’m also changing up my consulting mix in the fall and creating a practice that focuses on training and developing young managers (which is a large part of what I do already). I’m excited about that, and will talk about it here when the plan is a little more baked.

And I’ll probably give blogging a try again when some of this blows over.