How to impress an editor

How to impress an editor

Editors can seem unapproachable, so how can you ever get them to commission you? Here’s how to get your foot in the door and your name on the page…

Our What Editors Want event saw an expert panel answer the questions on every young journalist’s lips: What makes a good pitch? How can I make my CV stand out? How important is my blog? The panellists included Web Editor of The Times Mal Siret, Aigua Media Editor-in-Chief Gemma Cartwright, Digital Editor-in-Chief of Heat and Closer Samuel Pinney, Deputy Editor of The Stage Alistair Smith and More! Acting Features Writer Lucy-Ann Hancock and the event was chaired by Domestic Sluttery editor Sian Meades, from IdeasTap’s Creative Space [pictured below].

When pitching…

First up, there are no excuses for addressing a pitch “Dear Sir or Madam…” It’s easy to look up online the name of the person you should be contacting; if you can’t find an email address online, ring the company switchboard. All panellists agreed that impersonal or incorrectly addressed pitches end up in the bin.

Next, make sure your pitch ideas are relevant. Samuel says Heat once received a pitch about gang culture in Ireland – not relevant at all! Alistair says to make sure your idea hasn’t been recently covered by the magazine; if it has, you’re not paying attention. Lucy adds: “Think about which regular sections might be hard for a magazine to fill, and pitch a killer idea for that.” And if you can’t fit your pitch into a single, snappy paragraph, don’t bother. You can include a brief biography but don’t worry about this too much: if the editor likes your idea and wants to know more about you, they’ll ask.

During work experience…

via How to impress an editor.

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