Dead Pitchers Society

Three hastily cobbled together reasons for quitting, which should serve as an explanation. Of sorts.


See this? This is me, shortly before starting Pitching the World.

Me, earlier. 

Wow, what’s going on there, I wonder? Gazing out into the distance, a mysterious half smile playing on my lips. You’re probably thinking I’m an actor or something. I’m not though. I’m a writer. Perhaps up there I’m thinking about deadlines I’m going to conquer and features I’m going to write. Look at me: look at how happy I am. And mysterious. I’m certainly mysterious.

This was taken a little under two weeks ago, at some threadbare house party.

Me, less earlier. 

There’s no mystery here. See the pain? There’s a lot of pain there. See the wine rack there? There’s not a lot of wine there. My eyes look like they’re about to fall out of my head. I wouldn’t blame them. This was during a time when all I wanted to do was get fucked. Certainly I had predilections towards alcohol and abusing myself prior to starting this recently abandoned project, but Pitching the World definitely led to them blossoming.


I can take a ‘No’. I can take silence, too. Over the last couple of years I’ve had to deal with hundreds of ‘No’s and silences after sending pitches. What I found most frustrating, however, were the times when I would deal with an editor and he or she would say ‘I think we might have something for you’ and I’d say, ‘That’s great, I’d love you to have something for me’ and then they would appear to not have something for me after all, so I’d have to chase them up and ask, ‘Do you have something for me? If not, I may have something for you’ and then give them a list of ideas. Again, this was greeted with silence. This happened dozens of times and became very frustrating.

Or they would say, ‘We like you and your work, please send us some clippings.’ So I’d send them some clippings. They wouldn’t let me know they had received my clippings. ‘Did you get my clippings?’ I’d whisper to them a week or so later. ‘Yes,’ they would say, ‘we got your clippings. We liked them very much.’ ‘Splendid, I would say. I’m glad you liked the clippings. What am I writing for you? Here are some ideas.’ ‘We got your clippings’ they would reply. ‘We loved your clippings.’ ‘Oh well that’s just great, I’m glad you liked them…’ This little dance would continue for a million or so years until the whole exchange became too surreal and boring and Beckett-like for all those concerned and eventually would just kind of peter out.


It became all consuming. I realise it might sound paradoxical to say I quit Pitching the World because of Pitching the World, but I think it’s an accurate summation. In March 2010 I was lying in bed next to my wife, Dr Celia [redacted], and I thought: Wouldn’t it be good for Pitching the World if we split up? I could be homeless and mad and boozy and entertain my readers with stories of trying to fuck bits of pavements. Four months later, we split up.

Okay, another one. Last year, I tried to pitch Commando magazine with a story of a grizzled marine being stuck out on some islands in the Pacific Ocean. I say ‘tried to pitch’, but I did no such thing. I drew some funny pictures and wrote some funny comments about said pictures and posted the whole experience up here. I never seriously thought I could successfully write for Commando. I just wanted to be entertaining on here.

A floating carrot and some palm trees, earlier. 

The whole process took a day. See? Do you see? Although I did enjoy doing that drawing (and it is very special) and although I’ve kind of enjoyed doing a lot of these things over the years, I’ve not done them really for the end result, more so that I can write about them on here. And that never figured among my reasons for pitching all of these 642 magazines.

What a deeply flawed explanation for things.

And now? And now it’s all over. I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.



12 responses to “Dead Pitchers Society

  1. There’s always the French Foreign Legion…

  2. At the beginning of the project you could sort of tell you were becoming a conehead. It’s just a hint. Your hair is just a bit higher than your average man. But now years later the transformation is complete. Not even your hat can hide it. That would take it out of anyone.

  3. Why have I gone so coney? That’s what I want to know. I might have to ask your brother, Dr Anthony [redacted].

  4. Are you playing [redacted] tonight?

    Bet you’re not. You’re a constant dissapointment to me.

    Love you


  5. Steve, I’m starting to worry about you. I know I should try to be cool by calling you a fuckhead or something but I can’t. My inner Clare Rayner is taking over (which will account for my vast arse).

  6. It was only a slob of a joke about Surrey/sorry. Unless you mean other stuff. Don’t worry, I’m probably more enthusiastic and sane than I have been in years. Try calling me a fuckhead, it may be good for us both. X

  7. Did the chap next to you swipe your woolly hat shortly after that photo was taken? – look at that sly sideways glance…reckon he had major hat envy. You’ll be alright x

  8. You’re much better looking than I expected – even in the after picture. Just thought you’d like to know that.

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