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No Time To Waste

May 18th, 2015

Pitch-BlogRight, now, I’m not getting fixated or anything, but last week I blogged about magazine articles and, here I am again, blogging about … magazine articles. Y’see, I’ve got these ideas – all good, publishable, and I’ve got my editorial calendar sorted, but the thing I’m not sure about is how to approach an editor. So I’ve been looking back through the E-Zee Writer archive to get some advice and, as usual, it’s come up trumps. Back in June 2009, Simon Whaley wrote a piece called Perfect Pitches, all about making a good impression and striking deals with editors, and it’s proving to be a great help.

I’ve tried getting into magazines before. In the far off days before we had kids I had a stab at writing for the gardening press, but it didn’t work. The problem was that I’d get an idea and hang on to it like a dog with a bone. I’d spend loads of time researching, doing interviews, writing and editing, taking photos, working up full, polished, 1,000 word articles, then trying to flog them, only to find that, for one reason or another, nobody wanted them, which was really demoralising. It all felt like a complete waste of energy. But now, here I am again, and at least I know what not to do. No more weeks grafting away for my own amusement, that’s for sure. I want to know where I’m heading now. And that’s where Simon comes in.

According to his article, pitching is about selling an idea to a targeted publication before investing all that time and effort. And from the looks of it, it’s not that complicated. Use the editor’s name; show that you’ve actually read their magazine; let them know why you’re best qualified to write this particular piece … it’s all common sense stuff. But as Simon repeatedly says – you only get one chance to make a first impression. So I’ll probably read through his article another three or four times before I actually take the plunge. Wish me luck, and …

Keep on writing!phil-blog-sig

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