Write Now: Pitching to IdeasMag
As IdeasTap grows, so does IdeasMag – and our Deputy Editor, Luiza Sauma, is receiving more freelance pitches than ever. Here are a few things to bear in mind when sending a pitch…
IdeasMag’s freelancers are a diverse bunch.
Our writers include professional journalists with years of experience, newer journalists getting their first paid commissions (we pay all contributors, naturally) and often, creatives from other disciplines moonlighting as writers – just look at Actor X.
We’re open to ideas from everyone, whatever your background or level of experience – it’s the quality of your idea and your writing that matters. And if either has room for improvement (let’s face it, we all have room for improvement), I’ll try to steer you in the right direction. To get you started, here are some tips…
What to pitch
- IdeasMag’s mission is to help creative people – news articles aside, every piece of content needs to inspire and educate our members. Bear this in mind when thinking of an idea. We don’t commission “puff pieces” in which artists promote their work – we’re more interested in how they work.
- Before sending ideas, read IdeasMag. This sounds obvious, but you’ll only understand what we do by reading our articles.
- Generally, we commission:
- Interviews with successful creative people - big names in their creative field.
- “How to” pieces.
- Trend pieces about a certain movement/issue in the arts.
- This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pitch outside the box – for example, we’re always interested in unusual, inspiring stories about creative people. However, think carefully about why IdeasMag should publish the piece; if you can’t convince yourself, you’re unlikely to convince an editor.
- We don’t commission columns/opinion pieces, Job of the Week or reviews – the only reviews in IdeasMag are related to briefs or events we’ve organised or funded, Job of the Week is done inhouse and we have regular columnists. Also, we’re not looking for regular features or a “series” of articles – so make sure your piece works as a one-off.
- Like most publications, we’re always looking for interviews with high-profile names – these aren’t the be-all, end-all of IdeasMag, but they always go down well.
How to pitch
- When pitching for the first time, send me a few ideas, tell me about your experience as a writer and send links to/attachments of your previous work. I commission inexperienced writers all the time, but you should have some sort of writing sample to share – whether it’s a personal blog or a published article.
- Always explain the angle of your pitched article, unless it’s an obvious one, such as “an interview with Keira Knightly”. Even then, it’s nice to know what you would talk to Keira about. Pitching is all about selling your ideas – we’re not going to get excited about a list of names we’ve never heard of, with no explanation of who they are, what they do and why we should interview them. Do your ideas justice, and explain why we should commission them. This means an actual explanation – not a link to Wikipedia or IMDb.
- Having said that, be brief – two or three sentences about each idea is ideal.
- Remember, all journalists get rejected all the time – and even good ideas get knocked back. Pick yourself up, scour newspapers/magazines/the internet for ideas, and pitch again.
Got an idea? Send a pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Image: Typewriter Hammers by sgrace, available under a CC BY-NC license.