Aegis recently wrapped up its second season in existence, and I thought I would put some information about it up here for anyone who’s interested.

We sent out 14 invoices this season, writing the Masonic State Series, IHSSBCA Kickoffs, and New Trier Varsity, in addition to numerous conferences. We used a total of 1,797 questions, written by 23 writers, including 17 contracted writers, the three directors, and three benevolent affiliates.

As usual, and to our great frustration, there was tremendous variation in the number of questions each writer submitted. The three directors wrote 912 questions, while the 17 other writers together wrote only 753. The ten least productive writers contributed only 144 questions, writing on average only 6.5 questions the whole season after their applications. Here’s the complete breakdown of our questions by writer:

Pie chart of writers\' contribution over 2007-2008 season.

(You can click on it for a bigger version.)

As the big blue slice, I was happy that so many people were interested in writing for us, and I understand that most people won’t have the ability to contribute as much as the top few writers did. But I was still dismayed by how few questions many of our writers did contribute–I don’t expect 100 from everybody, but still, almost half our writers wrote less than 20 questions the whole season, including the eight they wrote for their applications.

We’re looking to change several things for next season. First of all, we understand that it’s difficult for writers to maintain a level of interest in Aegis if they aren’t involved in the actual packets we’re putting together. It’s hard to get others directly involved, but if we avoid last-minute crunches, we can still keep them updated by email on the progress of our tournaments, and maybe divide categories between writers so they have a specific goal to meet.

We’re also thinking of changing our pay scale to add incentive to write more than a certain number of questions, to add further goals for our writers. After all, for us it’s really not about the money (how could it be? there are much better ways to make money…). We’re trying to turn money into great questions, and if we can use more money to make more questions, we’re all for it.

If anyone has more ideas for how to keep our writers more productive, just let us know. Also, if you’re interested in writing for us next season, we’ll let you know once we’ve finalized our new contract and application.