As promised, here is the hand out for a workshop about pitching article ideas to magazine editors that I did recently. I hope you find it helpful.
Pitch Perfect Tips
· Identify what it is you want to write about: write a list of subjects you know about and/or things that interest you.
· Try and hone it down to specific ideas that might make good material for an article
· Do your homework: go to a variety of newsagents and other outlets that sell magazines and look at those magazines that carry the kind of articles your material might cover.
· Read the magazines from cover to cover: letters page, editor’s comment, adverts, articles, news – everything.Look at:
· the tone of the articles in the magazines, the language used, the sentence structure, the paragraphs, the structure of the article.
· Take note of the magazine’s introduction to the articles at the start of the article – what is the premise?
· What is the ratio between the writer’s words and dialogue from experts?
· When you have settled on an idea lay it out in rough with:
A working title – this can be changed later.
The key words and phrases you think should feature in your article.
The ethos of your article in one paragraph – try and capture what it is your article is about.
· The pitch itself should be around two to three short paragraphs long – this should hook the editor’s attention, so make it snappy and specific. Be clear about your intentions. Do say whether you can supply images or not and do put a mini biography at the end that should include what you’ve had published before, any relevant qualifications, etc.
· SELL YOURSELF! The pitch is your chance to get the foot in the editor’s door and get your name known so make sure your pitch is as spectacular as you can make it. Don’t waffle and don’t be vague – clarity, professionalism and brevity are key.
· Don’t forget to pay attention to grammar and spelling. If the editor see’s mistakes they may be less inclined to accept it even if it is a brilliant idea.
· Don’t be afraid to be different: find a different angle but keep within the magazine’s frame.
· Know who to send the pitch too – the editor’s name should be in the magazine – if unsure, ring the magazine up!