BuzzFeed is looking for original crossword puzzles with a modern pop sensibility that will dispel the reputation of crosswords as academic or inaccessible and get a new generation hooked on puzzles that are relevant to their daily experience.
What'll the puzzle be like?
There will be five puzzles a week, typically 15x15 in size, from easy puzzles from with clean fill and simple well-executed themes to puzzles with more complicated themes and difficult entries.
Themelesses should feature as many sparkly/buzzworthy entries as possible without relying on anything obscure or outdated. Since we're only publishing one, maybe two, themelesses a week, I'll be pretty picky about this.
Clues should be extremely informal and personal — instill the puzzle with your voice as much as possible. Contests are welcome, as are puzzles that incorporate other elements of a BuzzFeed post (like GIFs, listicles, quizzes, or memes).
Outdated obscurities that are familiar only through crossword convention ("crosswordese") will be strongly avoided. There will be no restrictions on language, but don't be derogatory.
How do I submit?
To submit a themed puzzle, email your theme entries and clues with the subject "Puzzle Pitch" to firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a themeless puzzle, just email the filled grid with the same subject. You will receive a response within the next couple days.
What are the specs?
Typically 15x15. Word counts are variable but will hover around the standard 78 for a themed, 72 for a themeless. The ideal format is .cfp (used by CrossFire) but .pdf or .puz files are also welcome. The rate for both theme and themeless puzzles is $300.