Pitching Articles – Getting it Wrong!

A couple of days ago I sent the editor of Writers’ Forum Magazine an article I’d written on ‘How To Deliver A Writing Workshop’ (‘Most literary festivals, writers groups and writing holidays include half or full-day workshops in their programmes and writers with good presentation skills are in demand to deliver them’ was my ‘pitch’).

Today he sent me a polite ‘no thanks’, with a little line of explanation (a gem! Lots of editors won’t have the time or energy to tell you why you got it wrong!): “sorry this isn’t right for the market – only a minority of the readers are experienced enough to hold workshops.” Aaagh, how embarrassing!

But it’s a valuable lesson learned and reminded me of something that Simon Whaley said during one of his workshops that I attended last year: the main reason that your article will be turned down is NOT because you haven’t written it very well – but because you haven’t targetted it at the right publication. And there you go, I’ve done just that.

I was also browsing on Freelance Writers blog and discovered that I’d committed another cardinal sin – I sent my article, with the query email, as an attachment. Apparently editors hate attachments: they don’t have time to read them and they worry that they may contain viruses! If you’d like to read more of Deborah Durbin’s excellent advice, see her blog here.

I’m certainly going to be reading her blog carefully from now on! I’ve had a few articles accepted (more, perhaps, by luck than judgement!) but I suddenly feel like I’ve got an awful lot still to learn…

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2 Responses to Pitching Articles – Getting it Wrong!

  1. Susan Jones says:

    Hi Helen,
    It’s oops to me too, I recently sent an article on a wedding in a windmill. I’d already sent it to Woman’s Weekly, and now it’s with Real People. Naughty me, I hadn’t read a Real People, picked one up yesterday, and it’s quite gritty and stuff totally different to Wedding in a Windmill. I’m guessing they won’t use it. We have to try harder don’t we????

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