How to Write The Perfect Pitch

Looking for an editorial pitch framework to help you showcase your article idea to an editor or journalist? Here’s a free one from the Society of Writers!

Our editorial pitch framework is updated for 2023 and covers: 

  • How to format your subject line to get a busy editor’s attention
  • What to say about yourself (and how much) 
  • How to pitch your idea effectively

Apply this framework to your next article idea and you’ll be well on your way to earning a shiny new byline in your favorite publication! Plus, we curate paid pitching opportunities every week over in the community, so don’t hesitate to check ’em out. 

Get The Framework →

You can download it for free.

Psst… If you don’t have any published writing samples, use our free portfolio template to showcase your writing style and niche expertise. 

Common Questions 

How do I know which editor to pitch to?

Unless you’re pitching a very small publication, don’t pitch to the editor-in-chief. Instead, look for the editor in charge of your “beat” or section. For instance, if you have an idea about clothing, you’d want to find an editor in the publication’s style or fashion section. LinkedIn and Twitter profiles can help you find that editor, but also check the publication’s website. 

Where can I find editors who are requesting pitches? 

Oftentimes, editors put out a “call for pitches” when they need a writer to cover a specific topic or story. Responding to these requests leads to a much higher success rate than cold pitching. Editors still post these calls on Twitter and we also curate a list of requests every week over in the Society of Writers. 

What does a “rolling call” mean? 

When an editor puts out a “rolling call,” it means they are continuously looking for writers to cover a specific topic or area of interest. For instance, Wired magazine always has a rolling call for writers with interesting angles on tech and gadgets. 

What does it mean when a journalist asks for “clips” from me? 

If an editor or journalist tells you to “send clips,” it means they want to see writing samples. The best way to share them (unless the editor specifically says otherwise) is to include 2-3 links directly in your email to them. Don’t expect them to download a file and scroll through it. If you don’t have any published works, you can always create writing samples and put them on your own website. 

How long should my pitch be? 

Editors are busy, so one thing you should never do is send a long pitch. At most, you should have 2-3 paragraphs and you should always use lists when you can. Get straight to the point and don’t ramble on about your experience or love for the publication. Our framework has guidelines on how long each section should be. 

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Are you looking for more handy resources, templates, and guides? How about weekly coffee talks and workshops guided by industry professionals? You can find it all in the Society of Writers! Come join.

Sydney Chamberlain
Sydney Chamberlain
As Founder of the Society of Writers, Sydney Chamberlain is devoted to helping women navigate the complexities of freelancing and hone the skills they need to build a thriving business. Her expertise is rooted in nine years as a content writer where she earned first-hand experience with the personal branding, finance, and negotiation tactics that she now teaches the Society.