Pitching Workshop with Amanda Fortini
Pitching Workshop: Learn to pitch stories to magazines and newspapers with Amanda Fortini.
A well-written pitch can mean the difference between capturing an editor’s attention or being ignored, between having your story idea passed over or seeing it accepted for publication. Although students are often told to submit three paragraphs—no more, no less—a well-executed, successful pitch is often more involved than that. It is an essential skill that every nonfiction writer needs to know how to execute.
In this workshop, you will learn how to write a pitch. We will discuss the elements of a pitch, as well as how to articulate an idea in the language of magazine editors. You will learn to narrow down your idea/angle so that it’s precise and concrete. We will study actual pitches that have been successful at magazines like the New Yorker, Harper’s, Elle, California Sunday, and the Atlantic, with an eye toward learning how to research, develop, and articulate ideas in pitch form. Finally, we’ll discuss following up on your proposal (How long to wait? Can you pitch multiple magazines at once? What happens if they all say yes?) and email etiquette for the subsequent back and forth with an editor.
Amanda Fortini has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, California Sunday, Elle, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. She has also worked as an editor at Mirabella, The New York Review of Books, and Slate, and as a Contributing Editor at Elle.
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Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies