As many writers know, submitting a pitch to a magazine or online journal can induce anxiety. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that the form and content of the pitch can determine whether your idea is picked up. For this reason, many writers spend more time worrying about the pitch than actually creating it. Yet this worry is unnecessary. Writers need only recognize what key components make a pitch marketable and subsequently implement them. Here are two tips that will likely result in the production of a more marketable pitch.
1. Use simple language.
This is good advice even if you are submitting a pitch for an academic article. The reason is because the reader of the pitch is probably attempting to quickly determine if your piece is right for their publication. Academic language complicates this process because the reader will probably be unfamiliar with at least some of the words you use. Therefore, use simple and easily understood term so the reader can easily determine whether your article idea is a good fit. As eHow notes when discussing how to create a good pitch, your wording should be clear and concise.
2. Hit the high notes.
As made plain by the concept of a pitch itself, it is designed to provide a brief overview of an article you plan to write. Thus although the reader does need to understand the general concept you will explore, she or he does not need an exhaustive analysis. The reader can determine whether or not your idea will be right for her or his publication based on you offering a quick summary that references the primary points of the article.
At this moment, I am submitting a pitch to The Magazine for an article I want to write regarding whether or not the evolving lexicon of the text messaging world should be considered a new language. In discussing the pitch with my mentor, she revealed that my use of academic words like engender was unnecessary. She then went on to point out that it is wise to pick the shorter of two terms when you are trying to determine which one would be more effective in communicating your idea. Upon considering her critique, I realized that my academic word choice would likely make the reader’s process of getting a quick overview of my idea unnecessarily difficult. This realization emphasizes the validity of both points I made above. First, using simple language is better than employing complex terms when submitting your pitch. Second, the goal of a pitch is to allow your reader to get a quick and uncomplicated understanding of the idea you would like to convey in article format.
As mentioned earlier, creating a pitch for an article is often an anxiety-inducing task for writers. Indeed, uncertainty regarding whether or not submitting the pitch will translate into the acceptance of one’s idea can be nerve-wracking. Yet recognizing and implementing a few key tips can be integral to the acceptance of your pitch. I hope the advice outlined above helps facilitate this process for you.
Jocelyn Crawley holds B.A. degrees in English and Religious Studies. Her work has appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician, Nailpolish Stories, Visceral Uterus, Four and Twenty, and Haggard and Halloo. Other stories are forthcoming in Faces of Feminism and Calliope.
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