There are lots of freelance experts out there with great tips on pitching national magazine stories, but the most important part of the pitch is the structure that respects an editor. How do you express respect with structure? Keep it simple, keep it short, make it easy.

Pitch to Win in Five Steps:

  1. Structure a one-page pitch with purpose. Highlight your writing style with a story summary in the first paragraph. Then, address why editors should care about the subject. The third paragraph should explain appeal to the magazine’s readers. Graf four outlines your plan for researching the story: who you’ll interview, where you’ll go, and if you’ve already made any travel plans.
  2. Call to action. Without being obvious that this is a CTA, the final paragraph should remind the editor why your story is appealing to readers and what questions it will answer that are important to the magazine and everyone involved.
  3. Slip in a short bio. Include publications in which you’ve been published and your most pertinent experience in a couple of boilerplate lines at the end of the pitch. Keep it brief.
  4. Remember this is a job application, too. If an editor wants references and clips of your work, she will ask for them. The old, “references available upon request,” line is overused and redundant, since an editor knows that is implied with your submission. If she wants clips and references, she’ll ask.
  5. No attachments. Paste your pitch into the body of the e-mail. Subject lines don’t make much difference unless you’ve got a referral name to drop (which can be helpful).

Follow the right process for submitting your pitch, keep it to one page and with as little scrolling as necessary, and you’ll greatly improve your chances of getting assigned to an editor. Once your story is in print, remember it always with custom article framing, and start your collection of wall art that doubles as a clip file and resume, but with style. See how great it can look with a FREE, online preview today.

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