by Nicole Dieker on The Write Live site:
As an editor, I read a lot of pitches.
Some of them are really easy to say yes to — they’re the pitches that outline a strong, clear narrative with a takeaway for the reader. Other pitches are easy to say no to — they’re either poorly written, irrelevant to the publication or (as is often the case), both.
It’s the ones in between that are hard.
Every day I see writers pitch ideas or topics that could be great stories if they’d done a little more work or written a slightly better pitch. Sometimes I ask them to rework their pitch.
Sometimes I take a chance and hope there’s a good story in there. But often, I say no. After all, I have plenty of better pitches in my inbox.
If you’re a writer who’s sending out pitches but not getting a lot of assignments, maybe you’re writing those in-between types of pitches — the kind that could be really good with a little improvement.
Here are three of the most common pitch mistakes I see every day, along with how to fix them.