Pitches That Worked

The inside story on getting an assignment

Latest Pitches That Worked

Pitches That Worked: <i>AARP The Magazine</i> Pitches That Worked: AARP The Magazine
See how one writer's compelling pitch led to an FOB piece in AARP The Magazine, a pub that accepts just 1 percent of new-writer submissions.
By Valerie Berrios, October 14, 2013


Pitches That Worked: Texas Highways
See how one writer turned her natural curiosity about truck farms into a winning piece for Texas Highways.
By Donya Blaze, August 23, 2012
Pitches That Worked: AFAR
Using her knowledge and passion for Greek food and culture, this freelancer crafted a well-researched query that was perfectly pegged to AFAR.
By Donya Blaze, June 4, 2012
Pitches That Worked: Ambassador
This writer turned a Nobel Prize winner's triumphant rags-to-riches tale into a 1,500-word piece.
By Donya Blaze, March 6, 2012
Pitches That Worked: Continental
With a strong story proposal and smart pitching etiquette, this freelancer scored a 2,000 word travel assignment.
By Blake Gernstetter, October 11, 2010
Pitches That Worked: American Way
Confident he had a strong story to sell, this freelancer targeted his idea wisely and won over his editor with a 'spot-on,' well-crafted email pitch.
By Blake Gernstetter, August 31, 2010
Pitches That Worked: Pregnancy
This writer's humorous, on-target and on-spec pitch was perfect for Pregnancy, but another pub bought it first. We chronicle the initial pitch and the graceful rebound.
By Blake Gernstetter, August 2, 2010
Pitches That Worked: Men's Journal
Convinced a local news story was worth a full-length feature treatment, this writer scored an ambitious 6,000-word story from one captivating pitch letter.
By Blake Gernstetter, July 12, 2010
Pitches That Worked: Draft
After two pitches and two drafts, this food and travel writer broke into Draft with a focused, well-researched travel story on an Argentinian microbrewery.
By Blake Gernstetter, May 18, 2010
Pitches That Worked: Heart & Soul
Fed up with generalizations about AIDS in Africa, this writer composed an in-depth story proposal with an appealing, unusual angle that helped her score an assignment.
By Donya Blaze, February 2, 2010
Pitches That Worked: Spa
We dissect the elements of a detailed beauty pitch that won a freelance writer repeat gigs at Spa, with input from the assigning editor.
By Donya Blaze, November 3, 2009
Pitches That Worked: Pregnancy
One pitch scored a new writer a byline and led to four more assignments. We break down her query and highlight what worked.
By Noah Davis, February 27, 2008
Pitches That Worked: Salon
Arguing against the majority opinion yielded this writer an assignment-nabbing Salon query.
By Rebecca L. Fox, September 28, 2007
Pitches That Worked: The Believer
A devoted reader of his intended outlet, this writer waited to submit until the right idea struck. We walk you through the query that sold his story.
By Rebecca L. Fox, September 4, 2007
Pitches That Worked: The Economist
We show how freelancers can crack this premier pub, getting an editor to weigh in on his writer's persistent approach.
By Rebecca L. Fox, May 16, 2007
Pitches That Worked: BeE
A vividly-written query and its writer's knowledge of her target outlet entice an assigning editor: We break it down so you don't miss a beat.
By Rebecca L. Fox, April 18, 2007
Pitches That Worked: San Francisco
"I really wanted to break in, so I decided to go for it," says this writer whose offer of multiple ways to cover one idea helped her join the writing ranks of this top regional glossy.
By Rebecca L. Fox, March 14, 2007
Pitches That Didn't/ Did Work: Essence/ Cleveland Plain Dealer
From a nonstarter to a story that sold: We analyze the original pitch and its successful rewrite, and get the editors who passed and assigned it to weigh in.
By Rebecca L. Fox, February 14, 2007
Pitches That Worked: Penthouse
We analyze a series of queries from a writer whose first idea for Penthouse was rejected but kept pitching until he got his assignment.
By Rebecca L. Fox, November 6, 2006
Pitches That Worked: Time Out New York
'Perfectly pegged' and written in TONY's own style, this writer's first pitch ever earned him a place in the widely-read New York nightlife guide.
By Rebecca L. Fox, October 16, 2006
Pitches That Worked: Newsday
This query led Newsday to assign its author 70 pieces -- and counting! We point out how his first pitch made it all possible.
By Rebecca L. Fox, September 25, 2006
Pitches That Worked: Parents
What makes a query lead to a story? We break down a successful pitch to Parents.
By Rebecca L. Fox, September 11, 2006