Freelance writers make their living on a bit of a gamble, but perhaps the riskiest one is the national magazine pitch. Pitching a story takes precious time and effort. There are no guarantees the story will be accepted, but here are 5 steps a freelance writer can take to improve the odds of pitching a winning story.

  1. Research the target magazine. Know what they want and how they want it (tone, length, format and photos).
  2. Develop a story. Establish your main character and the story’s structure. Know your focus, regardless of outcome if unknown.
  3. Know your audience. Strictly for the pitch, you need to know who you will be addressing and e-mailing. Those e-mails or formats can sometimes be found through a submissions web page, but MediaBistro.com has “How to Pitch” articles that address specific magazines and their contact information.
  4. Test the waters. Send an introductory e-mail to your contact person with an introduction and two-sentence summary, and then ask if the editor would like the full pitch.
  5. Follow up. Every 1-2 weeks, send a brief e-mail reminder with a one-line story summary and ask if the editor has had a chance to look at it yet.

Finally, never give up. If your pitch hits a wall, send it somewhere else. When your story does find a home, consider custom article mounting in a frame built to stand the test of time. It can be a testament to your tenacity, as well as your writing talent. See how great it will look with a FREE online preview.

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