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Author seeks muse for mysterious and sketchy-sounding book project

"This is for a serious person who wants to make art through my eyes and then to the pen."


Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 24, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 12:52 pm CDT

An anonymous Craiglist author is searching for his creative muse—and he’s willing to pay, though we’re not sure what for.

New York’s “Best Of” forum on CL today has an offer that you might not be able to refuse, although the terms are kind of vague:

While similar to the erotic novelist who wanted a “sex intern” on the free classifieds site a while back, the lack of detail in this ad is the real source of intrigue. Naturally, questions abound: How exactly do muses charge? Is it by the hour? Or per word inspired?

How does one muse effectively for a novel? If it was an erotic novel, sure, you might be able to squeeze out a 30,000-word novella’s worth of inspiration, but 60,000? 90,000? And if it’s a fantasy or historical novel, that 120,000 words surely requires an overtime fee or double charging.

Perhaps the author is looking for someone to fill a trope. You might have better luck getting the gig if your photo makes you look like a manic pixie dream girl or, perhaps, the fabled hooker with a heart of gold.

Er. Then again, maybe not.

This ad is actually really similar to a growing fan practice, spotted often in the One Direction and Belieber fandoms, called “auditioning” for a fanfic. When you audition, you essentially tell the author a little about yourself, your personality, and why you deserve to be cast as the gorgeous Mary Sue—or perhaps one of her fun sidekicks—in his or her latest story. Auditioning is popular among the tween and young teen set, and undoubtedly has a much less erotic component than what we’re projecting onto this Craigslist ad.

After all, “making art through my eyes and then to the pen” seems like a job description for an adult.  

Just don’t count us in for pre-ordering this novel, whatever it is. After all, if you’ve got that much time and money to spend staring at a beautiful woman…

The whole writing gig? Probably just a ruse.

Photo via manic-pixie/deviantART

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*First Published: Jun 24, 2013, 7:30 am CDT