Pitching as a new writer: sending clips of the article you're pitching?

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

themindstream

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
1,005
Reaction score
173
I found a magazine call for submissions that is driving me to try pitching to a magazine for the first time. The instructions ask for relevant clips, but my prior work is either fiction or IT tech documentation, nothing anywhere near the style they need. However, the article length for this outlet is short; I have multiple pitches in mind and I was able to bang out a draft for one of them yesterday. Can I use this for a clip?

In addition, I'd be interested in any general pitching advice for a newbie looking to break in. (Obviously, I am researching the basics on my own.)
 

mewellsmfu

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
478
Reaction score
175
No. A clip is published work. A pitch is an idea for a story that hasn't yet been accepted by a publication. Two entirely different things.

I'd suggest you start by learning the vocabulary of the industry, sharpening your writing and reporting skills and reading many, many back issues of publications where you think your work might be a good fit. Assigning editors prefer writers who are familiar with their editorial preferences. One way to get off on the wrong foot is to pitch something they've done recently (or even within the past couple of years). And it helps to pitch in the style of the publication. A pub that leans toward short, practical self-help with snappy, trendy writing isn't going to be interested in a long, introspective piece with lush writing.

Pitches should not be one-size-fits-all. Best way to ensure an assignment is to thoroughly know the publication, and that takes time and work.

Good luck.
 

Featured Book