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.