Recent Activity

From: Pitching the World

To: Karen Barnes, Editor Delicious magazine

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2011 15:29

Subject: Disappearing Food Allergy?

Dear Karen,

Apologies for crashing into your life like this, but I’d like to write a feature for Delicious. About four years ago I nearly died from anaphylactic shock. From what I can gather it was a combination of penicillin and cockles that led to it and since that incident I have been sworn off all shellfish. I wrote a couple of thousand words about the whole hoo-hah for The Independent, and ended my piece with:

I am still waiting for the results of a blood test for a shellfish or penicillin allergy. In the meantime, it is a case of being more aware of what I am putting into my body, keeping vigorous exercise to a minimum and having character-building cold baths. Minor changes aside, I am determined not to let it impinge on my quality of life, because although my dinner may not be, I like to think the world is still my oyster.

I still can’t work out whether that last sentence is corny-as-hell or inspired. For now, perhaps we can agree that it’s inspired. Anyway, my point. My point is that four years on I feel ready to chance my arm and see if I’m still allergic to shellfish. It’s strange, over the last couple of years almost every slight allergy I’ve had – to some pets, hayfever, dust mites and so on – has pretty much evaporated and I even accidentally had some of a friend’s Jungle Curry the other night that contained prawns and suffered no ill effects. So, I’m wondering if it’s possible for a food allergy or intolerance to just disappear and if so, why does this happen.

Is this the sort of thing you’d be interested in? I’d be willing to write it from my own perspective but will of course include case studies and expert opinion. I’ll also pop a link down below from The Independent piece. Try and ignore the stuff at the beginning about fighting in pubs and my wife putting shards of glass in my food; I believe that’s what they call poetic licence.

Thanks for reading.

All the best,

Pitching the World

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From: Pitching the World

To: Mike Rampton, Editor (I think) FRONT magazine

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2011 15:48

Subject: Me Probably Not Writing Features For You

Hello Mike R,

It’s been a while. Remember when when I used to write good features for FRONT? You know, the stuff about faking my own death or trying to change my life through replying to spam emails or that thing about the ten gayest films of all time? There were other good ones too. I did some bad shit. Oh, I did some bad shit – the Lionel Messi feature that I completely misjudged being one such piece of bad shit, but generally I did okay. I think.

Anyway, I’m in a hole and I thought you might like to help me get out of that hole. I thought you could help me get out of that hole by farming out a feature to me. Or letting me write “FRONT’S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS” – the thing I pitched about a month ago and can only assume you didn’t get back to me about because it blew your lovely socks off. I’ll make it really good, promise. And once I’ve done it, I won’t ever ask for another favour or feature – I’ll just disappear like Keyser Soze. I’ll even do his funny walk.

Can you help a man get out of a hole?

Pitching the World

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From: Pitching the World

To: Zachary Petit, Editor Writer’s Digest

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2011 16:02

Subject: (none)

Dear Zac,

“You can’t wait for inspiration,” or so said Jack London, “you have to go after it with a club.” I’m thinking about going after inspiration with a club, Zac. Specifically, I’m thinking of finding a suitable writing retreat and nailing myself to a desk for a month to work on my book. And in my research about what may or may not make a decent writing retreat for me I’ve come across a lot of ideas and material – certainly enough for a feature. Is something on this the sort of thing Writer’s Digest might be interested in running? Looking at, say, ten of the best, most unusual retreats dotted around the US (predominantly) and Europe? Might also be an idea to weigh up the pros and cons of writing retreats with first person accounts.

Legs?

All the best,

Pitching the World

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

From: Pitching the World

To: Redacted

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2011 16:17

Subject: Peach of a Speech

Dear B,

I miss writing speeches and I miss working with you. Anything on the horizon, in the pipeline or just hanging around the bins at the back of your office?

Cheerio,

Pitching the World

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From: Pitching the World

To: New Internationalist

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2011 16:50

Subject: Guidelines etc.

Dear Editorial,

I’m a former political speechwriter and current journalist and would like to write for you. Rather bold, aren’t I? Well it’s true I would like to write for you and I think I could do a good job. According to my Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook the New Internationalist “examines one subject each month.” With that in mind, are you able to give me an idea of the subjects you’ll be covering over the coming months please and I’ll pitch ideas accordingly?

I promise you won’t regret it. Actually I can’t promise such a thing: you might regret it, but hopefully won’t.

Oh, and I particularly liked this from your site: “We focus attention on the unjust relationship between the powerful and the powerless worldwide in the fight for global justice.” I’d like to be part of that fight.

With very best wishes,

Pitching the World

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

From: Pitching the World

To: Lewis Eckett,  Editor Greetings Today

Date: Thursday 19 May 2011 15:38

Subject: Column

Dear Lewis,

I’d like to write a column for Greetings Today magazine. How bold and ridiculous and to the point is that? Pretty bold and ridiculous and to the point in my book, but please hear me out. Around six weeks ago a friend and I came up with the idea of reproducing the ‘two dogs’ painting in Goodfellas (you know the one: “One’s going east the other’s going west”) and selling it as a greeting card. I say a friend and I came up with the idea but it was really just me – the friend was going to paint the thing. Anyway, after a cursory search on the internet I found out the some other outfit had beaten us to it and was already producing the Goodfella’s painting as a card. Well, this got me thinking. It got me thinking that it must be incredibly hard to come up with an idea for a greeting card these days that will actually make any money. Everyone, it seems, is at it.

My point. My point is that I would like to conceive of, produce and sell a successful greeting card and write a regular column about the whole process for your publication. What are my chances? Slim, I reckon. But what if I told you I was 35, getting divorced and living in my Nan’s dining room – would that swing the odds in my favour?

Plenty of clippings available from the Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail and a whole heap of magazines if you’d like to see some examples of my work. Oh, and I also had a column for two years in a magazine that catered for estate agents. My column involved me visiting estate agencies and writing about it and I somehow managed to make it gripping, informative and funny. I could make my column for Greetings Today even more gripping, informative and funny. Probably.

It’s not going to happen is it? Never mind, thanks for reading.

All the best Lewis,

Pitching the World

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14 responses to “Recent Activity

  1. Jesus, why haven’t I been doing this shit before? I’ve already had three replies: one definite offer of work, one more or less offering work if I smartened up my pitch, and one slightly perfunctory. Think I’ll carry on with my new found enthusiasm tomorrow. May even post up some replies, too.

  2. Kittie Walker

    Great pitches, you really deserve to catch a fresh break. I hope you do post some of the replies as I am looking forward to reading them.

    Riveting blog! Should have said thanks and shown my appreciation well before today. I did not; lurking seems to be my middle name.

  3. Wow, what kind words Kittie – thank you. Will indeed post up some replies. Stick around, lurk, comment – there are no hard and fast rules around here. What the fuck am I going on about? Good bye.

  4. fuckin’ hell Pitchfork – go on my son!!

    This is more like it kid x

    You’ve just blown my cocks off, and I was laughing my head off. I’ll do it ‘n all.

    “I’ll even do his funny walk.” Absolutely cracked me up. I’m writing this from my Gran’s front room (a step up from a dining room), and she’s laughing at me laughing, and she doesn’t even know what I’m laughing at. Daft old bat. I love her really x

  5. Enthuse away Pitchboy! Sounding super enthusiastic must be worth it. Surely it’s a 50/50 thing:

    Reaction a. “For fuck’s sake”

    Reaction b. “For fuck’s sake, that’s a hoot, pass me the phone”

  6. Absolutely fascinating stuff, really inspirational. I would love to see the replies, keep up the good work!

  7. Hilarious – if you don’t get work on the back of these there’s no hope for any of us. Let us know what happened!

  8. Lisa Williams

    On fire!

  9. “I’m thinking about going after inspiration with a club, Zac. ”

    hahahaha could that sentence be any more priceless? Good stuff Pitchy. But also the name Zac conjures up memories of Saturday mornings watching Saved By the Bell, circa 1991. Did y’all have that in the UK? I hope you get to be the AC Slater to his Zac.

  10. I could kiss all of you – thanks for the love.

  11. There is much to love in these pitches but my absolute favourite bit is the one word question, ‘Legs?’. Wonderful.

  12. So which pitch said what?

    Great pitches Mr Pitchenson.

  13. Chloe: Thank you. ‘Legs?’ is okay, but I’ve used it maybe two or three times now in pitches and I’m getting a little bored of it. ‘Tits?’, might be my next move.
    sixhands: Which pitch said what will be coming soon. And thanks very much Mr Sixhands.

  14. Okay, some selected highlights from the replies:

    Mike Rampton said: “Front’s Guide To Happiness intrigues me. I think it could be amazing, and I think you’d be the man to do it.”

    Zac Petit said: “Good to hear from you. I’ve become addicted to your blog since you last wrote for us. If we were to go for the 10 unusual writing retreats, what would you include? Can you toss a few examples my way?”

    Greeting Today said: “Ultimately what I am saying is that you need to put some more thought into your proposal and acquire some more knowledge of the industry l before I can accept. I appreciate the enthusiasm and your approach though. It definately caught my attention.”

    B said: “Yes there is a lot on the horizon, i.e. in sight but not quite here yet. We have 2 elections starting in the next few weeks and will definitely require some help with speeches, especially as things pick up.”

    The New Internationalist said: “Thanks for your message. Our general submission guidelines follow. Don’t worry about the monthly themes – these are not sections of the magazine that are given to freelancers until we have built up a relationship with them.

    Kind regards
    Jo

    GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR NEW INTERNATIONALIST
    We do accept submissions from freelancers, although we end up having to
    reject 95% of them due to lack of suitability or lack of space in the
    magazine.

    Submissions should be sent to me – I will always acknowledge receipt so
    that you know when the pitch will be discussed. The editorial team meets
    once a month to go through on spec submissions. Only those whose pitches
    have been successful will then be contacted – so if you haven’t heard
    from us within two weeks of the editorial meeting, you should assume
    that your story has not been successful.

    A submission is more likely to be successful if:

    1) The writer has a clear understanding of our audience and written
    accordingly (see our website for samples of articles printed in the
    past. In a nutshell, we need popular, clear, non-academic writing on
    issues of interest to our international readership. Hence focusing on
    domestic politics/issues is unlikely to work unless there is a global
    perspective/resonance)

    2) The article clearly adds something to our mission, which is ‘to bring
    to life the people, the ideas and the action in the fight for global
    justice’

    3) The writer has considered which section of the magazine (Analysis,
    Argument, Alternatives, Arts… etc) their article might best fit, and
    written or pitched it accordingly (i.e. taken note of the word length
    for such articles, the area of interest, the tone/angle etc)

    4) The piece is not too time-sensitive. We have long lead times. At our
    next meeting in mid-June, for example, we will be looking at content for
    the September 2011 issue and beyond. Submissions for the mid-May meeting
    must be received by 31 May.

    Delicious Magazine said: Nothing. And I thought that was the best one.

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