Entries by David McGaughey

A Year in Quiz

We’re approaching the end of the busiest quiz season – our quiz masters have been flat out for the last few months running charity quizzes, school quizzes, brand launch quizzes, company quizzes, quiz competitions, university quizzes and Christmas quizzes up and down the country. And then, when it gets to the few days before Christmas, […]

The Perfect Pub Quiz?

Have you ever read this, George Orwell’s famous little essay on his perfect London pub, with its open fire, stout on tap, bar snacks, lack of music, glasses with handles, where everybody knows your name (hang on, doesn’t he mean Boston bar …)? One suspects that Orwell might not have approved wholeheartedly of that more […]

What are people trying to achieve at a quiz?

I’ve been thinking about the fact that different people at different places want different things from quizzes. That’s obvious, really, but it’s definitely worth every quiz master remembering that fact. What I want from a quiz that I am hosting (from a personal perspective) can coincide loosely with what the event organiser wants. Event organisers, […]

Weird Places to Run Quizzes

I ran a quiz recently in a London night club, which isn’t a particularly weird place to run a corporate quiz. Quite often clients arrange for their quizzes to be in rooms in clubs – sometimes this is ideal, as we can just plug into a perfectly set up DJing booth. On this occasion, there […]

Quiz Night Ideas

A quiz night can just be (and often is) 10/20/30/40/50 fairly random general questions asked in succession. That can make for a great quiz. There doesn’t have to be some overarching concept, there don’t have to be different rounds. Very often, if a quiz is split into rounds, it’ll be, say, 6 rounds of 10 […]

What’s your job?

People love my job. For the eight years I’ve been a professional quiz question writer and quiz master, when I tell people what I do for a living, I can only think of one occasion when it was meant by mild disinterest … “Oh, right … and moving on …” and on all the other […]

Writing for ‘Only Connect’

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how, as a professional quiz question writer, I have to adapt to writing for vastly different levels. I gave examples of setting I did for everything from buzzer quiz questions for school children right up to writing for that most thinky-puzzly-quizzy of TV quizzes, ‘Only Connect’. […]

Levels of Questions

This week, as most weeks, I was doing some question writing. I tend to have a few concurrent projects to work on, whether writing general stock for our hosted corporate quizzes or specifically for one special event, writing for a game we’ve been hired to provide questions for, or for a TV show. Down the […]

Common Quiz Night Complications: Part 4

Another entry in this ongoing series, where I highlight recurrent, apparently reasonable enough,  requests from clients which we prefer not to include in our corporate quizzes and charity quizzes. So far, I’ve mentioned Exaggerated Theming Penalty or Bonus Points Buying Clues Now, it’s time to discuss (and eventually dismiss)… Running Scores Firstly, we’ll admit there […]