TTAC Future Writers Week: And The Winners Are (For Starters) ...

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The winners are Michael Trainor, George William Herbert, and Grant Tillery. TTAC congratulates thee. You shall drop the masks of your screen names, and step out into the harsh lights of the public, and the etching-strength vitriol of TTAC’s feared commentariat.

Previously known as Contestants 4, 7, and 1, the three garnered the lion’s share of the votes in the Monday round of TTAC’s Future Writers Week, where, in true interactive fashion, you decide who will write for you in the future, and whom you will criticize for the biased and one-sided reporting, especially on a slow news-day. It is in your hands, and it will be so for the rest of the week. Remember: Today is another day of the battle of the writers, and another day where you decide the outcome.

Contestants 5, 6, 2, and 3 – do not abandon all hope: The is always a chance to get called upon via the “Editor’s Choice” award, where we apply our usually highly subjective, traditionally biased, and deeply unprofessional criteria. And to those who still are battling writers’ block: The contest is still open, applications are still pouring in. The way it looks, this contest can reach well into next week, even at seven contestants a day. Submission rules are here. Please try to stick to the rules, especially to the part where it says to simply send a note to editors, with “Becoming a TTAC Writer” as the topic. This helps sorting the applications into my proper mailbox. Creative topic writers are subjected to the hazards of spam filters and inattentive Editors. They also may receive a mark on my list, labeling them a potential pain in the neck that doesn’t listen to directions.

Like everything at TTAC, this contest is not without its critics. Of course, “1 or 2 full length pieces to run per day”, or “one article on TTAC over a period of, let’s say, one year”, or heck, a totally different test that attracts “more women” would be much, much better. I definitely don’t mind more women. The idea of two new writers per day over the next years is as interesting as it is hair-raising. However, this contest is what it is, and we will go with this format until it is over. It will be seven short snippets a day, protestations are futile, run your own contest if you don’t agree, and good luck..

With that said, let’s move on to (drum-roll, please) …

… thank you, maestro.

The TTAC Future Writers – Tuesday Contestants

The rules of engagement remain the same as yesterday, attempts by certain commenters to confuse notwithstanding. The rules are listed again at the bottom of today’s entries. Short form: Read first, vote second.

Contestant 8 writes:

“Consider a new concept to drive traffic… Look at the website ”Bring a Trailer” and imagine taking that to a higher level. I would name the series: BID-SELL-WIN. (BSW) Here is the concept: 1. Post details and pictures about an interesting vehicle that has just been listed on eBay. Have at least 4~6 days of auction duration remaining. 2. Ask two simple questions and talk about it: a) What is the amount that the vehicle will BID to? b) Will it SELL? c) talk about it!BID-SELL-WIN. (BSW)

Contestant 9 writes:

“Yes, I went to a MINI event where MINI was trying to show off MINIs against other cars to demonstrate how the MINI is better and also in order for there to be five “MINI”s in this sentence. No matter, the Countryman outperformed the other two, and that’s that. I can’t pick favourites and I certainly never will, but it was just better. MINI launched the Countryman last year in an efforts to essentially follow Porsche’s shadow with the Cayenne: build something lifted and slap more doors to make it practical.“

Contestant 10 writes:

“Respected technical magazine Popular Mechanics has recognized General Motors and Ford in their annual “Top 10 Tech Breakthroughs” article. The presence of two American automakers on the publication’s list, which reviews innovations in all industries, is impressive and speaks to the continuing turnaround of the American auto industry. GM’s recognition is due to the strides the company has made in the development of affordable crash avoidance technology for passenger vehicles. Using a single camera mounted behind a car’s rearview mirror, the company’s system scans real estate in front of the car resting within a 37 degree field of vision. — I also have my junior and senior year works from my time at Princeton. Marketing the Mustang: A Cultural Perspective (~100 pages) The Import Scene and its Role in the Formation and Expression of Asian-American Masculinity (~200 pages).”

Contestant 11 writes:

“The truth is, no one really cares about SUVs. No one cares about what the appliance can do for you. It’s about what the appliance says about you. To be honest though, I’m really not all to worried about what the woman in the Equinox scarfing down the Micky D’s breakfast burrito thinks about my old Land Cruiser. I finally take a long look at the middle lane. The sea of Nissan crossovers, the Ford crossovers, Highlanders, and Q5s, they all resemble SUVs. Yeah OK, maybe they can get you through the storm with their AWD systems.”

Contestant 12 writes:

“Anyway, after I had one or two articles posted on that site, Jxx Dxxxxx of xxxxx asked if I wanted to write for their site, without pay of course. Once there I created a weekly series called the ”xxxxxxxxxxParking Lot” in which I highlight a car that is not necessarily thought of as a Muscle Car (The Mercury Marauder X-100 for example) and persuade the readership that the car (or Truck for that matter) is a true Muscle Car. By this time, Rxxxxxxx asked if I would write for xxxxxxxxx, as well as do a monthly column for xxxxxxxx Magazine. Many of the articles I produced when I was writing for xxxxxxxxx was some of my best work. I actually was paid for my columns by xxxxxxxx, until they decided to close almost all of their titles.”

Contestant 13 writes:

“Everyone’s automotive transportation needs are a Rubik’s Cube puzzle of sorts. It’s easy to solve one side, whether it be the best mileage, best hauling capacity or best to take to the track for the day. But getting two sides solved gets more difficult, with three, four, five, and finally, the whole Cube of automotive desires exponentially harder. The whole cube for many of course, being a RWD, diesel, sport wagon with manual transmission.”

Contestant 14 writes:

“A fast car doesn’t make you a good driver: I don’t think anyone would disagree that a BMW 335i is a fast car. It has a (limited) top speed of 155 and will easily crack off 0-60 in the low 5-second range. Despite those numbers, I still had difficulty passing the 50-passenger tour bus near the Pflanzgarten.”


Above are today’s contestants. Pick them carefully. The top ones will be around for a long time. Here are the Rules of Engagement:

  • You are presented with a set of seven writing examples. Their authors haven been carefully anonymized. They have a number instead.
  • The top three out of each set of seven receive an entry permit into the rarefied world of TTAC writers. Those who don’t make the grade and who fail in front of our jury will be sold into white slavery, or worse, recommended for the morning shift at Jalopnik. (Inciting voter apathy could mean that all contestants are sold off, we want and keep the winners.)
  • The snippets come in the exact order they landed in my mailbox.
  • The snippets have been chosen by me, in a very subjective way: By looking quickly at the story, and by picking what stands out.
  • You have two votes for each day. Both votes have equal weight. You may not vote more than once per day and set of contestants. Don’t throw away your votes! On Monday,453 voted, but did cast only 770 votes. OK if some thought no one worthy of a second vote. Not OK of they forgot that they have TWO votes.
  • The vote for each set runs until the second set appears. That’s typically for around 24 hours. Vote now, do not procrastinate. Voting for the last set stops when I say so, also typically 24 hours after the last set goes up.

And now, let’s go to the polls!

(No hanging chads. Don’t mail or phone it in. Read snippets before voting. Vote now.)

You have TWO votes. Place your bets.

This poll has been removed.

Join the conversation
2 of 48 comments
  • Seth1065 Seth1065 on Jan 22, 2013

    I must have missed the cat porn article, I would have voted for that and the Notre Dame dead /fake girlfriend story if I knew what car she drove, ( more than likely a brown diesel wagon with a stick and RWD of course)

  • Oldowl Oldowl on Jan 23, 2013

    You should go find your own writers outside the limited choices readership presents. And you should look seriously for women writers. At the least, they heavily sway automobile purchasing decisions.

  • El scotto Having really bad SATO flashbacks. Someone from Alamo would stop by the SATO office and stuff some display rack with 10$ off at Alamo! coupons. Off on another mission for Truth, Justice, and the American Way of Life! Well OK, I was off to talk to some tech reps. Riding the shuttle bus to Alamo I inwardly prayed please, oh please may there be a Neon and not a damn Sebring! Neons were by and far one of the best cheap rental cars.
  • Inside Looking Out Another reason to switch to Tesla. And do not forget that there are two Fords. Ford Blue will die with UAW and ecoboost and Ford E will live on.
  • The Oracle Here in the mountains of WNC these willbe all over the place.
  • The Oracle A proper clunker from a bygone era.
  • Zerofoo I'm pretty sure driving this thing in any respectable town is considered probable cause.