Friday, 27 November 2009

Writers' Forum magazine comes to the rescue!


After my post yesterday, about me being paranoid about the pitches I send out to magazines and asking for help, I was surprised to have an email this morning from Carl Styants editor of Writers' Forum magazine. He had read my blog posting via a google mail alert that tells him when Writers' Forum appears on-line. He has not only accepted my proposed article on NaNo but he also very kindly gave me some pointers on how to improve my pitches. Actually, he rewrote my pitch as to how he likes them done which is fantastic.

Here is what he advised:

My pitches are too long and it took him a while to find exactly what the article was about. So he suggested I shortened them and get right to the bones of it - make it more "snappy."

I talk too much about myself and what I do and should not open with this but shorten it and add it to the end. He advised me to also mention any previous articles he has accepted from me to jog his memory.

Talk about the magazine you are pitching the idea to more in the proposal - lets editor know that you have actually read the magazine and know how and where your article could fit.

I always say that I am writing an article on blah blah blah but he's advised not to do this as it infers to him that I will write the article whether he likes it or not! He said it's not very professional as a professional will be too busy to write every article they pitch.Professionals only write the articles they have pitched and have had accepted. I really hadn't realised this, that by me saying I have written or am writing an article, that it might put potential editors off. But I do now and so do you!


In your pitch, always stick to what the readers will get out of the aticle. It's not about the writer!

So thanks, Carl. He's a busy man but he took time out to help me. I have learned so much from his email and I will endeavour to take his advice on board and change the way I pitch ideas. I have to remember that shorter is sweeter. He's absolutely right - I do try and cram too much into my pitches!

So if you do too - stop it! If we take Carl's advice, hopefully we'll get more of our article proposals accepted.

Carl also sent me an image of the front cover of the next issue of Writers' Forum out on DEC 3RD. I know a lot of bloggers/writers already read it, but if you don't, get it and read it cover to cover - it will help you improve your writing. I've subscribed to it for a couple of years now and it's so informative.

Happy writing

Julie xx

20 comments:

  1. Carl is indeed a very nice man and a good editor to work with. And I'm now very excited because that's my interview article with Cally Taylor on the front cover!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did wonder if that was your article, Helen! Well done. I can't wait to read it.

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I might link to here from my blog later if you don't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, that's fine, Helen - I think Carl gave some excellent advice and it will be good publicity for Writers' Forum!
    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Julie,
    Cathy from OU A215/A363 here, found you via Helen!

    You might like to join the Journobiz forum, it has lots of invaluable info, including a huge thread on successful pitches.
    http://journobiz.com/forums/index.php

    I'm only starting to think about pitching articles but am finding there is far more to it than I thought...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, Cathy! How's it going> Thanks for the Journobiz link I'll have a look at that.

    Yes there is a lot more to pitching ideas than people think. But at least if we know how to do it properly, we have the advantage!

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fantastic post Julie, I found this so useful as I always feel my pitches are not up to scratch. Will take on board all this next time so thanks for sharing it.
    Di

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Julie

    Thank you for passing this on - it's very helpful. I had a non-fiction book published way back - but have never pitched anything non-fiction to magazines - I may just give it a go!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a kind man to be so helpful, and thank you for posting about it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi, Debs

    Yes he's very good and I hope his comments will help other writers as much as they've helped me.

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, Amanda

    How exciting to have a non-fiction book published - what was it about?
    Yes, GO FOT IT! Pitch some ideas to the mags and you neer know wjat might happen!

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks, Di!

    I found Carl's comments very helpful and I'm hoping that now I know where I was going wrong, I'll have more writing proposals accepted. We've got to keep going, Di - if not for ourselves then to at least uphold the good name of Wrekin Writers!

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. What an interesting post that has taught me new things. It's great to see Helen's interview with Cally is in the December issue of WF.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, KatW and many thanks for your comment. I like to pass any good advice I come across on. And I can't wait to read Helen's interview with Cally either!

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Julie
    It was about my old junior school - it was great fun reasearching it, took me back a few years!
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I bet it did take you back, Amanda! I bet it was interesting to research it. Did you get to speak to any of your old teachers? I'd love that! Mind you I doubt many of my primary school teachers would still be with us now, sadly.

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Julie - great tips! Well done on getting the article proposal accepted. What a fab cover -can't wait to get the next issue of WF!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks, Womag

    I got Writing magazine/ writers' news through my letter box today so I guess it won't be long before Writers' Forum pops through too!

    I'm still excited from having the proposal accepted - particularly as it was my previous post moaning about a lack of replies from my proposals that Carl read and gave me such great advice!

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congrats on the sale. Some good advice there. Editors have so many query letters to troll their way through that they are best kept short.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks, Jon.

    I always like good advice! Anything that helps me to improve my writing is welcome, and if I receive any useful tips I like to pass them on.

    Short is sweet!

    Julie xx

    ReplyDelete