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Are Female Freelancers Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

The Awl has posted a sampling of online submissions they’ve received from freelancers – and it illustrates a strong contrast between how men and women often pitch their work:

The emails from men are pretty direct. The emails from women are often kind of… apologetic!

Inquiry letter from a man:

“Do you take pitches? Should I just write something and send it? Do I have to tickle the balls? I want to write for the awl, dammit.”

Inquiry letter from a woman:

“As an long-time admirer of your site (and non-too-frequent registered commenter), I’ve been too shy to pitch as I’ve never felt like my work measured up to your fine standards.”

Inquiry letter from a man:

“Can you offer a word of advice regarding how submissions work, desired timetables, what you like the pitches to look like, and so forth?”

Inquiry letter from a woman:

“I’m sure I’m going about this all wrong, but I couldn’t find any sort of submission area on the site. What I’m wondering is, how does one go about becoming a contributor to The Awl?”

Offers of sexual favors excluded, we’re pretty sure being direct and confident sells a story better than being apologetic and self-deprecating. Journalism is very much a male-dominated field. Are we ladies helping to keep it that way by selling ourselves short?

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