How to Pitch En Masse

The letter below is the one I’ve been sending out when pitching recently. The replies from Eds so far have been favourable – gushing, even – and no one’s told me to go fuck myself yet. Hopefully they will at some point. I always like it when someone tells me to go fuck myself. Always. News on commissions etc. to follow. Oh, and please don’t steal this letter and pass it off as your own work. Unless you REALLY want to. Then it’s okay.

Dear Editorial,
I’m a former political speechwriter, former award-winning journalist and current tramp. I say tramp, though use the term loosely and my tramp-like qualities are minimal: I drink too much sometimes and don’t really have anywhere to live (I’m officially homeless – how awesome is that? Not very, it turns out) but I work, and work hard. The week before last I was writing about architecture for £3 a word. One doesn’t get offered £3 a word without working hard. How many tramps get £3 a word? Not many, is my guess.
Okay, the point. The point is that I would like to write for you – on a freelance basis. I have ideas. One idea would be…[and here I go into the pitch specific to the publication – usually it’s only a line or two.] Don’t worry, I have other ideas. Possibly some that are even better than that.
I have clippings. Oh, I have clippings. From the Guardian, Independent and Daily Mail mostly, but also from Square Mile, Front, Maxim, The British Journalism Review and a heap more. In the main they’re not from last year. In the spring and early summer of last year I was the North London Section Editor for Square Meal and had to review 115 bars and restaurants – that took some time. Then I separated from my wife and was the researcher on a documentary about risk taking for a month, before spending six weeks writing chapters of a book on Bosnia and Kosovo for an ex-military General. Then I went to Dubai for a month to start writing a book for a couple of people. After that, I spent a few months writing reports for a company in Mayfair. You’re right: it was a heady time.
Do please let me know if you’d like a non-tramp-like tramp to work for you. I am, somewhat unbelievably, incredibly reliable.
With very best wishes,

Pitching the World
What do you think? About the letter/pitch, that is? This isn’t part of the letter/pitch by the way, it’s me asking you what you think. What do you think?


20 responses to “How to Pitch En Masse

  1. Go fuck yourself.

  2. Ha! I loved that. See? Told you.

  3. Not really. I wouldn’t want to encourage you to fuck yourself in your nan’s house. She might catch you in the act.

  4. Pitchboy, drop the “homeless” and the “separated”.

    Unless you’re pitching to Homeless Made Easy or Separation on a Budget, the use of those two words do not back-up your claim to be reliable.

    Other than that, if I were Ed of Practical Oldbloke I’d get next month’s feature from you . . . . ‘How do old blokes survive in a tech savvy world?’
    .(The answer to next month’s featured question is, of course, “We don’t. We succumb to insanity rolling in on a wave of rage and dream of the days when we made go-carts out of scrap prams from the dump”)

  5. You make me sick. Why haven’t I got clippings from the Guardian? I once appeared in the Daily Mail with a bag on my head but no one wants to see that.

    I like your pitch. Your tone is very Henry Root, without the right wing overtones. Maybe you should add some right wing overtones. They’d love that at the Stapling Gazette. This could be a fine thing when it’s done. A fine thing.

  6. Yes yes, this is good. I like Karl’s Henry Root comparison – my father had a copy of Henry Root lying round when I was a kid, and I used to like reading it. A blast from the past.

    Pitchy: go fuck yourself. And then pat yourself on the back.

  7. So good i felt inspired to watch Pitchy Writes Words again (the almost award winning film, I’m sure it just hasn’t hit it’s stride yet, but will soon….). As with most things in life, it gets better with age! Was good to ‘see you’ again.

    Melting in Mexico


  8. CB – How long are you in Mexico for? I’d like to come. I always think of Mexico being like a scary cartoon. Is it like a scary cartoon? And I also watched Pitching the World Writes Words yesterday. Poignant doesn’t begin to cover it.
    Karl Webster – You make ME sick, as always. You haven’t got clippings from the Guardian because, presumably, you haven’t written for them. Yet. Do you want to? Do you want contacts? I can make things happen you know.
    Bingo – Thank you, I love you. I told you I liked it. Must check out Henry Root.
    OldBloke – I actually like the idea of a magazine called Practical Oldbloke. I’d buy it. Well, steal it. But while I’m here, how does being separated not tally with reliability?
    Besides, isn’t getting divorced the thing to do these days? That’s what someone (Karl Webster) told me anyway.

  9. Pitchboy, you’re right of course, separation has nothing to do with reliability. I should know, I’m an experienced separateted (possibly not a real word there) but wholly reliable

    sorry pitch, as I type I find myself looking at the reliable thing from the perspective of those I’ve subjected to the separation thing and I suspect their attitude would be: “Oldbloke ?Reliable? Pah!!” (They might use my other name – Oldbastard)
    Yep, I think I would leave out the separated . . . . . . if pitching the ladies.
    BTW Divorced IS ok. Divorced is definite, decisive, moving on, dynamic. Separated could mean you’ve been kicked out having been caught.

  10. Dynamic eh? Yeah. Like it. I’m dynamic. Well, I’m going to be. And decisive – I’m going to be that too. Thanks OB.

  11. Pitchy, you as some good questions. First, I’m only here for one more week! Looking forward to seeing you and that brother of yours soon.

    Second, Mexico is not particularly scary although perhaps a bit cartoon like. (come to think of it I’ve never seen a scary cartoon nor can i think of an example of one… i’ve mostly seen happy uplifting ones, like UP. A good cartoon. Mexico is not like UP.) If anyone is ever in need of some self esteem, come to Mexico! Well especially if you are a woman. Unlike in London, where I am seemingly invisible, friendly strangers here like to give lots of commentary on physical attributes. It could easily be seen as objectifying or aggressive in other contexts (perhaps contexts where I actually speak the language and understand more words than ‘beautiful’ ). Oh and the sunshine! Pitchy it would do wonders for you I’m sure. Wonders for everyone really. The haze of chronic vitamin D deficiency has lifted and I’m born again. But the pollution and poverty are kind of downers to put it articulately………

    More real than cartoon-like. Very real… like you know when you’ve been awake for 24+ hours and everything starts to feel ultra-real? It’s like that. And in Spanish!

  12. We really need internet writers badly. After checking out this blog, we decided we want you on our staff. We pay out $35 TO $50 per hour. Our top rated people are pulling in over $91K a YEAR, writing part-time.
    Please stop by and see what we have to offer.

  13. CB “Very real… like you know when you’ve been awake for 24+ hours and everything starts to feel ultra-real?”

    Something tells me Pitchy knows exactly what this is like…

  14. Pitchy!!

    I hope I can call you that, my flatmate and my friends now know of you and how I love your words, your story and just your name, Pitchy! I am very fond of you, I am not going to lie. Please stop drinking so much and being on path of self-destruction, you need to get through your idea and pitch everyone. I know Boscombe, I grew up in Poole, I lived with my Nan too for a while. I know how it feels to not have alot for yourself; and before I got all positive positivism, as I know you like negative visualizations. I have been right fed up at times and your website got me through. So keep going Pitchy! Keep at it! I am now going to read your other posts.

  15. Writers wanted – “We really need internet writers badly.” Yes, you do. That’s not great, is it? But 91K a year – sorry, a YEAR – writing part-time is a bit of me. I’ll get applying, but you better be on the level.
    Yes, I do know what it’s like to be up for 24 hours straight. And even 48 hours straight. What’s it like? Splendid. And occasionally terrifying.
    Lisa Williams – You do know Pitchy isn’t my real name though right? But thanks so much for your comment; it’s done wonders for my head. Keep it up please: my head needs wonders doing for it. I will keep going.
    CB – Yes, vitamin D. Wonderful stuff. I spent all of yesterday afternoon on Boscombe beach drinking (pint) cans of Stella and by the evening felt more relaxed than I’ve done for a year. Still do, in fact. So, yes, vitamin D. And Stella.

  16. Was it the Egyptian version of Stella beer? (I’d love it if it was) A flavoursome tipple, apparently. It is even mentioned in the Egyptian book of the dead (which is probably what people thought you were yesterday on the beach). Is there a magazine that specializes in beer-name comparisons? Stella – The wife beater’s choice v Stella – The protester’s choice. You’d have such fun.

  17. ‘Beer Name Comparison Weekly’, you mean? I hope to God it exists. I’ll have a look. I’ll also keep my eyes open for Egyptian Stella. Sounds ace.

  18. I grew up in Poole too, and I could swear that I went to school with a girl named Lisa Williams, from Canford Heath school – I think.

    Could this be the same Lisa, by any curious and uncanny chance?

    • Lee – I went to Corfe Hills , near Canford Heath. I frequented Tower Park alot. What is Lee doing now?

  19. I think I might go to Mexico.

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