I went to a Her Girl Friday event about learning How To Pitch, and these are my notes, for posterity (unedited):
Her girl Friday how to pitchWhat you have to say is more important than how you feel about itI care about all of the wrong things.Cold calls work!Do stories not topicsNo is abump on the way to yesDon’t internalize rejectionDo read the pub you pitchFlare with languageShow authorityFind an angle that YOU have special access to.Write the pitch in the voice you’re going to write the piece in. Write the nut graphFind the narrativeThink small? Think big in terms of trends.“yes” is not the hurdle - there’s going to be a lot of workSo what? Why me? Why now?“tell me more”Best length of a pitch- couple paragraphsGive brief context to yourselfDon’t attach!Editors are looking for an excuse to say noYou want to read about humanity“pitch regret”What makes a good story?Surprise.Conflict. Resolution. Telling detail. Characters.Correspondent from the land of the young - joke!Find the room in the less popular topics. You are the solution to their problem.Don’t pitch something that’s already an ongoing reportAnything is a “woman’s issue”Everyone gets told no.Keep at it.You should feel entitled to write.Go ahead and write— if it’s an essay you *need* to write it anyway so.“Journalism is a bad boyfriend”Always ask for more money the next time.
Always pitch regret