A Handful of Pitches I Sent Last Night and This Morning to The Guardian, Vice, Fabulous and Grazia.

 

The title says it all, really. Here’s the first, to Rob Fearn.

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To: Rob Fearn @ The Guardian.

From: Pitching the World.

Subject: Ideas for Shortcuts

Hi Rob,

It’s been a couple of years since I sent you a pitch, so I thought ‘Why not?’ In fact, I thought, ‘Why not send you two?’ Here they are:

1. I read recently that according to nutritionists – or, at least, according to some nutritionists – we should be aiming to eat up to 120 different types of food a week. Is that even possible? At the moment I eat about four: chicken, potatoes, beer and oranges. Anyway, perhaps I could try it out for a week and see how I get on. Could seek advice from leading nutritionists. Perhaps it’s not good for us. Prior to the last 50 years or so, how many different types of food would we have been exposed to in a lifetime? Fifteen? Twenty? Thirty? Can’t imagine it would have been much more.

2. Whilst conducting some research recently into sleep deprivation, I came across a NASA report that suggested a 20-minute nap during the day helps increase productivity, mental sharpness and has a beneficial effect on health generally. In the future, will we all be encouraged to sleep at work? Or at least some of us? Do some companies implement such a practice now? Again, I could inject this with comment from experts. I’d also be willing (keen, even) to phone up or write to the top five or so employers in the country and get their thoughts on this.

Cheers,

Pitching the World

(PS I’m the person who wrote about having a football trial for Colchester United a couple of years ago for Shortcuts, assuming you have a long memory)

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Fairly pedestrian stuff, I’m afraid. I’m not sure how sold I am on this breezy, unaffected air that I seem to have affected, full of ‘Cheers’ and ‘Why nots?’ Well, why not? Why not mess up my life by disrespecting my pitches Rob? Why not come round and screw my wife whilst doing so, Rob, whilst I sit in the corner masturbating and crying?

Oops, what happened there? Of course I don’t have a wife anymore. I can’t work out if this makes the idea more heartbreaking or not. Anyway, onward. Come on, let’s not dwell on things. We’re fine. We’re moving on.

The Guardian, earlier

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To: Dominic Utton @ Fabulous Magazine

From: Pitching the World

Subject: Is It Just Me Or…

Hi Dom,

Is It Just Me Or Does Food Packaging Treat Us All Like Children?

There was a time when if you went to the shop to buy bread or meat or soap, the packaging would simply say that: ‘Bread,’ ‘Meat,’ ‘Soap.’ Obviously I can’t remember that time, I’m 36. Then, manufacturers started listing ingredients, a place to write to – that sort of thing. That was fine, it was good to know what was in the chocolate bar you’d just eaten, and good to write to the people who had made that chocolate bar telling them that you’d just eaten one of their chocolate bars. Then something strange happened. Then, they started putting pictures on the front of their products as a way of showing you how to eat them. Beans would be shown on top of a piece of toast and accompanied with the words ‘Serving suggestion’. As if that helps. As if, prior to this, shoppers were coming home with their tins of beans and then just stopping dead in their kitchens, wondering what to do with them. Pour milk on them? Put them in a fruit salad? Fashion them into a chicken-shape and put them in the oven for an hour and a half? The other day I saw a serving suggestion for frozen chips that was just a plate of chips.

But that isn’t it too bad. Recently things have got worse. Much worse. I blame those plums at Innocent and the bullshit whimsy that they spout on their smoothie cartons. ‘If you want me at my best,’ they sing, ‘You’d better put me in the fridge.’ Me? ME? They’re not a me, Dom. You’re a me, Dom. I’m a me, Dom. My mother’s a me. Some crushed up bananas and loganberries in a carton is not a me.

I have plenty more examples of packaging treating us like children and the anthropomorphism of food,  but fear this email could run to four thousand words if I don’t shut up now.

Anything in this?

All the best,

Me

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Well, it’s not terrible at least. And I did sign off hilariously. Didn’t I? Be quiet, just read this next one.

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To: Alex Miller @ Vice

From: Pitching the World

Subject: I’ve got the skills to pay the bills

Hello Alex,

Hope you don’t mind, but [Redacted] gave me your email address.
I’d like to write for you. I don’t imagine you’ve heard that one before. Initially I wanted to email you with a feature idea about the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of soldiers who are currently AWOL from the British armed forces. Where are they? What are they doing? I’ve heard from one or two people that a lot of them hang around south-east Asia but I’ve been unable to verify this. If I managed to track a handful down (both in the UK and elsewhere) is this something you would be interested in?

But that’s not really what I’m writing to you about. I’d like to write a weekly column about my attempts to go around the world living in hotels in developing countries whilst trying to make a living from gambling. This a slightly sore subject because I used to see a psychologist for a gambling addiction, but someone recently offered me a poker column and last year I split up with my wife and have spent my time since then either living in my nan’s dining room or living in houses that people ask me to look after for them and I thought, ‘Why not?’ Why not travel around the world gambling and writing about it? I imagine it would be a mixture of gambling locally and online.

This email may or may not suggest it would be good. It would be good. I’ve written features in the past for all the usual kinds of publications that people like me write features for (Guardian, Independent, Square Meal, Front, British Journalism Review) but perhaps the best indication of how I write is here, on my blog. “On my blog” – pathetic, isn’t it? I’m 36. Still, one magazine editor did call it ‘The best written site on the internet.’ That’s something, right?

Anyway, here’s the link:

Thanks for reading.

All the best,

Pitching the World

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The beadier-eyed among you will have noticed that I’ve used that whole ‘Why not?’ blather again. They will have also noticed that I clearly can’t be bothered with the whole, “I’ve written for The Guardian and etc. etc. etc.” bit. And they will have noticed a crap subject line. Oh well. Shame, really, as I’d love to do this.

This, below, was inspired by and a product of my previous post.

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To: Laura Atkinson @ Grazia Magazine

From: Pitching the World

Subject: I Love Buying Women’s Clothes

Dear Laura,

Apologies for barging into your life like this, but Suzy Cox from Grazia contacted me years ago about something I had written for the Guardian that was later written by my then wife for Grazia so I reckon Grazia owes me one. Actually, that logic is twisted. If anything, I owe you one. Still.

Perhaps I should start again. I’d like to write a feature for you. Specifically, I’d like to write a feature about buying women’s clothes. For women, not for me. I love it. When I was married I loved it. When I had girlfriends I loved it. In fact, even though I’m not really looking for someone new at the moment, part of me wants a new wife or girlfriend just so I can buy her clothes. I’m not talking about saucy lingerie and the like, but nice floral prints and tennis dresses – that sort of thing. I even enjoying buying women shoes. It’s odd, I spent most of my twenties working on building sites and have spent the early part of my thirties writing and smoking and drinking myself to death in pubs, playing football and so on and bar this little peccadillo am not in the least bit effeminate.

What do you think? Could pepper the whole thing with the opinion of other men who hate/like this kind of caper and of women who both enjoy and can’t stand being on the receiving end of clothes that men have bought for them. I’ve already sought the opinion of female writers about this and have some cracking material.

Here’s the piece that attracted the attention of Grazia before, but have tons more clips if you’re interested.

Thanks for taking a look at this.

All the best,

Pitching the World

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Writing the above – although completely true – left me feeling slightly grubby. But then I thought they might pay me lots of filthy money that I could go out and spend on dirty things and – in the same way that a double negative works – I might come out of the whole thing spectacularly clean and brand new.

What do you think? Not about my half-baked theory, but about the pitches. Any of them going to make it? Which ones are the swimmers? I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

A loganberry (actually, three of them – perhaps four. If you look closely – five?), earlier. 

20 responses to “A Handful of Pitches I Sent Last Night and This Morning to The Guardian, Vice, Fabulous and Grazia.

  1. Pitchy. Make my wish come true. Publish the responses on the blog. Good luck and all that – why not eh?

    • Lee. Thanks, will do. In fact, here are the responses so far:

      Good, aren’t they? My grandfather didn’t fight in the war for this. My grandfather didn’t fight in the war because he fucked off to South America.
      (Disclaimer: This is not true)

  2. My favourite post of the week!

  3. Also, L, the second post of the week. But thanks. X

  4. If I had a budget for freelancers I’d commission you in a heartbeat. But I don’t, so I’m no use at all. Soz.

    • If you did have a budget for freelancers, Lucy, and you commissioned me, I’d accept that commission in a heartbeat. Assuming it was above 25p a word and didn’t involve any running. Thanks very much.

  5. Great writing. I love how you wrote, ‘Be quiet, just read this next one,’ just after I’d snorted at your sign-off. You’re getting quite good at this. Reading your readers and all.

    I definitely think the Vice one would be the best. Well the most fun, for you (though maybe short-lived). Your double negative could work there too. Or do a double-double negative, I think. Something to ponder.

  6. (Sorry about the ‘getting’ in that sentence. I was going for a sense of progress. Or is it the ‘quite’ that’s the problem? Either way, it was meant as a compliment.)

  7. Thanks for saying ´Great writing.’ I’ll pretend that I didn’t see that ‘getting.’ Or that ‘quite.’ Bold as it may sound though, Sarah, I’m hoping that ALL the pitches get scooped up. Or at least two of them. At the moment it’s looking bleak. But so what? Things won’t be looking bleak forever. Will they? Please don’t answer negatively. Unless you answer negatively twice. Actually, I think I mean, ‘Please don’t answer positively.’ Who knows – I’m well baked.

  8. I reckon your Grazia pitch has got legs, since you must be the only man in the world that enjoys shopping for women’s clothes… and the napping in the office during the day, well they’ll read that piece in twenty years time and go “that guy had his finger on the pulse” :-)

  9. Pitch,

    http://www.40Kbooks.com

    These guys are looking for Novellas under 40k words. SF, Mystery, thrillers etc. I’m sending mine off. They offer a three year, renewable contract . Interested in Known and unknown authors. Worth a shot?

    http://uk.linkedin.com/in/freelancesanders

  10. They aren’t loganberries. I queried your cherry some weeks ago, and I know I may be coming across as a weirdo soft-fruit pedant, but I just can’t let this go.

  11. “bar this little peccadillo am not in the least bit effeminate” – Pah. You like dressing up in women’s clothes as much as buying them, you big perfumed ponce. The food packaging idea is good. Sainsbury’s Basics fish fingers suggest you serve them on a drawing of a plate with a drawing of a wedge of lemon, check it out:

    http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=sainsbury%27s+basics+fish+fingers&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&biw=1280&bih=641&tbm=isch&tbnid=fPabOpibfTYDYM:&imgrefurl=http://internetsdairy.livejournal.com/508081.html&docid=paVlt9RMtTSgaM&imgurl=http://www.stupidlondon.com/idairy/fzfz1.jpg&w=400&h=267&ei=ImvJTuvwCZCd8gPAk9V-&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=311&vpy=307&dur=969&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=137&ty=124&sig=107853734207642762088&page=1&tbnh=130&tbnw=173&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0

    That’s a fucking beauty of a hyperlink, it’s really going to look like someone’s come and done a massive turd in your comments section. If more of your pitches were like that hyperlink you’d be doing much better. Sainsbury’s double cream also suggests you serve it by getting a slice of chocolate cake to imagine some Sainsbury’s double cream. Saw these on another blog, didn’t I.

    Are you going to come see me before Christmas? If not, can I go to your Nan’s for Christmas? Haven’t had a good roast for a while. Not really, had one today. Just wanted to make a roast joke about your Nan.

    Love you X

  12. Not seen your website before, and I love this. If I was editing Grazia I would definitely commission you. I had a friend whose husband used to buy her clothes for her – without her presence, and they fitted perfectly, even really tailored pieces. Amazing eye. I can’t do it for myself. also, it would be entertaining to see a photo of you accompanying the piece, instead of the really glossy made up women who author most of their pieces (unless you fancied glossy and made up …?).
    The piece about food manufacturers treating us as kids and Innocent being our friend – I’m afraid I’ve read it, quite recently. Probably in the Guardian.
    The extended gambling trip – sounds like a slow suicide note to me. Don’t do it.
    You sound so like Nicholas Lezard in the New Statesman – I would wonder if you were him, but sound too young. V funny in the same dyspeptic way. Hope someone gives you a column soon.

  13. Chloe, you’re right. No legs. That’s the problem. I forgot the legs. Next time I won’t.
    Ruth: Thank you. I hope someone gives me a column soon too. They won’t though. Do you know why they won’t? I have an inkling. I’m going to check out Nicholas Lezard. Wish I was Nicholas Lezard.
    Alan, strangely enough, I was only thinking this morning that there weren’t enough comments on here about making love to my nan. Thanks very much. You do realise that this really compromises that 40 sheets. Also: Pah this.
    Mya – that’s definitely (probably) a loganberry. If not, please point me in the direction of a loganberry. And that cherry was definitely (probably) a cherry. What are you, some sort of soft-fruit pedant?
    Chris, thanks very much. The novella is on hold at the moment, but once I resurrect it, I’ll check those fuckers out. Also, I owe you an email. Thanks for that, too.
    You’re right, Alex, my finger IS on the pulse. Probably. Maybe some day someone will get it.

  14. Pitchy – in case your urge to buy women’s clothing becomes too overwhelming: I wear a size eight, I’m a shoe size four and I can send you my home address…

  15. I already KNOW your home address, Scarlett. I don’t really, I just wanted to be scary for a bit. But I’m afraid my buying days are on hold at the moment, and my stealing days are just coming into being. I’ll see what I can do. Consider yourself an accessory to a crime. All the best.

  16. And definitely loganberries?

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