Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Don't Be Shy!

Is anyone squeamish? Do you balk at making first contact with an editor? It has to be said that it can be daunting when you send your first pitch off to a new editor. You have no track record with them. They don't know you from Adam and have no idea how good (or bad) your work might be. You don't really know how they prefer to be approached, what their likes and dislikes are, or whether you're the fiftieth freelance writer they have to deal with today, it's the end of the day and they're frazzled and aren't in the mood for another newbie.

So what do you do? Do you leave it and leave it until you either gather up momentum and courage to actually send that pitch? Do you forget it completely as they won't want to read the drivel you've written anyway? Or do you take the bull by the horns, take time to create a professional pitch, find out the name of the appropriate editor and how they like to be pitched to and just do it? I'd go for the last option as it's the one mostly likely to make the editor sit up and notice. Think polite, professional and purposeful and you won't go far wrong.

I've been struggling with my own demons on this one. It's not easy to approach a new editor, one that has the power to commission you or reject your work, and first impressions do count. Get that first pitch wrong and you're facing an uphill struggle - the editor may never commission you. But get it right and you could be onto a winner. Your pitch and manner has to sparkle to stand out from the other pitches hundreds of writers like you are sending in. Give them something irresistible and don't give them any excuse to say no.

Try it and see. You won't know until you try and I'm sure you don't want to one day be reading a magazine you wanted to pitch an idea to but didn't and see a similar article to your own idea written by someone else! I don't want to hear that, 'I could have written that. It could have been!'

Happy writing

Julie xx


  1. Julie - I agree it's so easy to have an idea & then let it slip through your fingers because of fear of the editor.
    It's not always easy but you have to grab the bull by the horns and go for it - after all the worse that can happen is a rejection or no reply at all - neither of which is the end of the world.

  2. That's right, Sally. If you don't take the plunge you'll never know what might have been! I've been busy today pitching left right and centre in the hope something will come my way!

    Julie xx

  3. That was from me, Julie by the way, Sally. Blogger is up to its usual tricks of not letting me comment on my own ruddy blog!