Pitching is not a difficult thing to do, but it’s tricky to master the balance of giving just the right amount of information to get someone interested in what you’re pitching. Recently, we let you all know on Twitter that we’re open to pitches for PosAbility Magazine, and asked if you’d maybe like us to show you what we think makes up a good pitch, so here we are, doing our best!
There’s no real “trade secret: journalists and freelancers hate them” kind of secret to a good pitch. If you’ve got a story you want to tell the PosAbility readers, but you’re not quite sure how to tell us what you’d like to say, here’s the best way to get our attention.
The process of pitching an article is where you explain to a publication what your idea for a feature is and how you’re going to write it.
When you pitch that, you want to explain to whoever is reading your email why your feature is appropriate for their magazine, so it helps to have read previous issues. This gives you a good idea of the tone of the magazine. From the perspective of someone reading a pitch, it’s usually very obvious when someone has read the title they’re pitching to, because they come across as much more knowledgable and confident, so it’s good to do a little preparation. If you don’t have a copy of the magazine, just drop us an email and we will send you a link to a digital copy or post you a hard copy out.
Once you’ve got the tone right, you need to refine your idea. It’s not enough to email and say: “I’d like to write about video games.” An email that says you’d like to write about how being able to make a character in a video game you’re playing a wheelchair user made you feel represented in the medium will always pique interest better than the above example, because it’s far more specific and easier to imagine as a completed piece.
Sending Your Email
You’ve read the magazine and got your idea. Good stuff! Now to write up your email. At this point, all you need to do is take the information above and get it down in an email. Here’s the layout that we usually see in successful pitches:
- Say hello (it’s nice to be nice),
- Tell us that you’d like to pitch an article,
- Tell us if you’ve ever written for other publications or if you’re a blogger so we can see examples of your tone and writing style – don’t worry if you don’t have these things, though,
- Give us the pitch,
- Explain if you expect a payment,
- Sign off.
You may notice the second-last bullet point there and break into a cold sweat. We do have opportunities to pay freelancers! Some people don’t expect payment for their contribution, which is also completely fine, and your choice.
Give your email a little look over, fling it through a spell checker or Grammarly, and send it cruising off into our inbox. You can send pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Happens Now?
We get a lot of emails, and we’re pretty busy here at PosAbility Magazine. We try to reply to every pitch we get, but sometimes, emails fall through the cracks. Give us a week, and if there’s been nothing, send a polite little reminder.
If we do pick up your pitch, we’ll give you a deadline to write it to. It might be a month, but it might be a few days, depending on when you send us your pitch. If that’s the case, write it up, spell check it, then send it over. As well as being dedicated writers, we’re also eagle-eyed sub-editors, so we’ll sort out the grammar and spelling, as well as fact check your article. Then it gets sent to our lovely graphic design wizard, and gets set in the magazine.
We may send you an email rejecting your pitch. We don’t do that because your pitch is bad, but usually, because it doesn’t fit the tone of the magazine. If that’s the case, send it somewhere else! You never know, you could get it printed in another magazine.
If there’s anything we haven’t covered here, you can tweet us and ask. Don’t be scared, we love a good query!
Good luck with your pitches!