Next week I will be doing a workshop for my local writing group Wrekin Writers called Pitch Perfect. What I will be doing is giving advice on how to identify possible markets and how to structure an idea into a pitch. I've been pitching a lot recently, both for my own writing and as part of the Writers' Bureau course I'm (still) doing. I love coming up with new ideas but I have had to learn to contain my excitement from the spark of that idea and work it into a well structured pitch where my enthusiasm for the subject still shines through but where I also show prospective editors that I have thought the idea through properly and come across as the professional writer that I am. Editors should see from the pitch that you mean business and are not an amateur.
So what I wanted to say about pitching is that I'd advise you to take a good look at the magazines out there and pick two or three titles. One should be a magazine you would absolutely love to write for, one should be one you think you can't write for, and one should be one that you've never seen before. Then spend time reading them, cover to cover, adverts and all. Reading the editor's page/comment is very telling, often, of what that editor likes to see in their magazine.
Having a variety of magazines like this should give you plenty of inspiration to come up with lots of new ideas to pitch. Look at the articles that have been published and write a pitch you would have sent if you had written that article - this can really help you to hone in on the important aspects of the article and help you to structure your pitch for your own article ideas. What are you trying to say with your article? What are the key points? How will you back up facts? Who are your 'experts?' Why should you be the one to write it? Do you have qualifications and/or experience in the field of what your article's subject? Have you been published before?
Your pitch is your opportunity to sell your writing - if you don't show the editor that you are professional and well capable to write this article no-one else will and the editor may favour another writer's pitch over yours. Be brave, be bold and be brilliant!
Happy idea searching