Getting Published: How to Write a Pitch to a Vogue, VICE or Magazine Editor | Amirah Mercer | Skillshare

Getting Published: How to Write a Pitch to a Vogue, VICE or Magazine Editor

Amirah Mercer, Story Editor

Getting Published: How to Write a Pitch to a Vogue, VICE or Magazine Editor

Amirah Mercer, Story Editor

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5 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Choose Your Story

    • 3. Pitch Research

    • 4. Write Your Pitch

    • 5. Follow Up

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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn the first step to getting an article published in a major news, lifestyle, or fashion publication: THE ART OF THE PITCH.

My name is Amirah Mercer, and I'm a freelance writer and editor who has written for Vogue, Vanity Fair, VICE, and more. I'll teach you how to write a pitch that will grab the attention of the right editor at the right online or print publication for your story. 

You will walk away with an understanding of what types of stories today's editors — especially digital editors — are interested in assigning, how to come up with unique news angles, how to find editors' contact information, and the best way to get their attention via their email inbox.

I will work with you to develop a structured pitch that is ready to send to an editor and will kickstart your career as a published writer. Let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Amirah Mercer

Story Editor


Hi, I'm Amirah Mercer, a writer and editor who has written for Vogue, Eater, Vanity Fair, Vice, and more. I am the founder and editor of Other Suns, a wellness platform for Black women, and a freelance copy and research editor.

I've experienced the highs and lows of being a freelance journalist, from having multiple pitches rejected to finally breaking through and being published in the publication of my dreams. And I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you all.

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1. Introduction: welcome and thank you for coming toe with me. Harlem on the riverside. My name is a mirror freelance journalist published so many fair more publications in this class. I'm gonna teach you how to do exactly that while she everything. Some lessons that I've learned along the way, including how to structure your pitch, how to get your ideas down on paper, how we're approaching editor, how to choose the right and we'll work on some story ideas Bythe class, you have a fully formed pitch that you can send out to the other choice to start manifesting right. 2. Choose Your Story: very she needs to figure out what's the story. Maybe it's based on your personal experience wearing a certain T shirt like this piece and boat, or it's related to a larger theme within fashion, like this piece in The New York Times. Whether you're pitching a personal I say or a new story, you should make your story as time. This is your angle is what makes your story news worthy. That's the reason why your editor will care. Here's the difference between your topic and your angle. You may want to write about the fashion culture in Los Angeles. That's your topic, but your angle is the hinge point that turns your topic into a story. It is much more detail than specific. It's what gives you a focus within the broader narrative of fashion or pop culture or politics or whatever. For example, after doing some research, you find an emerging Dunham label that lay that using innovative, sustainable practices to manufacturing jeans. That's your angle to talk about LOS Angeles fashion Here are three stories that editors love a fresh angle on a new story. When it was announced that Rihanna would leave the fashion brand that LVMH whilst people reported strictly on the news itself. But I wrote a piece for garage about what? Her point it means for hip hop culture in a luxury fashion industry, an observation of a local trend in the specific city or town. Maybe everyone in your neighborhood is wearing vintage tees that you can trace back to a specific store. Interviewing the store owner would make a great story, a personal connection to a larger current event. If criticism of female politicians looks triggers a similar experience for you at work, then right about that experience if you're struggling to come up with the topic on social media, is one of the best places to find inspiration. For example, on Instagram and Tumbler, I know it's a growing trend, a woman of color posting pictures and bages and browns that better match your skin tone. That was the beginning point for my vote story about young designers creating a new new for people of color. I got to talkto upcoming designers like Tell far Clemens, who recently won see FDA Vote Fashion Fund Award while coming up with your story. I start to think about which publication this is very important because publications different voice and tone. They might cover the same subject areas, but they do so completely unique. Different weights. For example, If you're gonna pitch both versus they both cover fashion. They both cover woman, interesting politics and arts. But they do so very different ways, a little bit more establishment funky. So this will help you structure your tone and structure your pitch in a way that resonates with the editor that you're reaching out more on that. 3. Pitch Research: you know your topic, you know your angle and you know the publication you want a pitch to next do a little bit where digging on the publications so before reaching out with your pitch is very important to see if this publication has published similar stories in the past for several reasons. The first reason is that if they published a very similar story than you might need to rethink your pitch a little bit, we get finding different angles. I might need to abandon the idea altogether. Use your judgment if they cover stories within the same ground. And that's a good thing, because that means that they will be more receptive to accept your pitch. And you could look at those stories that kind of give you an idea of how they typically structure stories like that. So it's interviews with artists you can see, like the type of questions that they ask those parties so you could make sure that type of tone on concepts in your pitch first search the Web site to see if anyone has written about the person, place or thing that you plan to write about. You can go directly to the publication's website type keywords related to your story into the search girls or my favorite hack is a type keyword plus site, colon vogue dot com or whatever site your browsing into your Google search. Rather, this usually brings up a thorough search list of any related topic on that website. You should also research if your publication that you're pitching prefers format like Interview Q and A's personal essays reported pieces. Things will give you an idea how to structure your pitch, and it will be designed us for men that you want, right? If not, you might wanna look at a different publication that covers the same beans. But it's always good to challenge yourself and try new and different times writing. So don't be afraid. Lastly, if you don't already have a contact, we search the site to determine which editor to be child to. Your best bet is to go for a senior editor. You can usually find this information on the website or lengthen. Then check that editors Twitter or Instagram Page to see what stories they share, which are most likely the one save assigned are written themselves. Most editors keep their email in their social media bias. So let's say you've done all the research. You find out that the publication has literally posted the exact same story, that this is a good and a bad thing, that because your idea in a way has already been out there, but no one could write anything. Well, it's a good thing because there's nothing worse than pitching and editor, a story that's already up on their website because then you look like an idiot. You don't want to get a response in my editor. That's like Way already covered this last month, and then you're just like, Okay, you know, like I see my correspondence with editors. It's very important, and I try and keep it like certain editors are trying to make sure that I'm always hitting them. Jan's knowledge you don't want to be. That person has pitching stuff that they've already done. Let me for like, your time times it might not want to hear what you have to sign, so just do your research 4. Write Your Pitch: Now I'm gonna walk you through What information to include in your page how to structure it . I like to start with the five W's who, what, when, Where, Why we're going to go a little bit out of order. But let's go first. Answer the question. What is your story about? This is your angle. It's a meat of your pitch, and you should be able to fit this into 123 sentences. This let your editor know why your story is timely if this person place or thing has already been covered. Utley, you need to answer the question. Why now in your pitch? What makes this new story different from the others? Why would anyone care to read it now? This new news should be implied in your angle. If you're pitching an interview or profile of a person or a personal essay, you've already answered the who question. But if you plan to write a story that includes several voices, be clear about who the key actors in your piece would be. Fashion designers Music artists are influencers. This conf it until 1 to 2 sentences. If you're writing a personal essay, answer the question where, by thinking about which personal experiences you'll draw from to color your story, what's the context that only you can provide? Features and interviews will require scenes. Are you interviewing this person in their design studio as they get ready for the red carpet? You can fit this into one sentence, given estimate of how long it would take for you to turn in a draft of the story, Make sure to consider how long it will take to interview, transcribed and research the story. This should be one sentence. Your pain should be between one and two paragraphs. Honestly, one power about is the best. You want to say what you say in as little words as possible to catch the attention of your editor. So, for like 500 where Peace a short one power 34 sentences is best if you're pitching a longer feature reported PPIs than you might need more pat crashes to get all that information. So remember less is more, but one thing I think that's a worrying. This is show voice and home of your writing, your personal voice and of what the story will be in the pitch. So don't make a sound like a cover letter. Don't make it sound like a letter of recommendation. Not make a sound like a book report. You know, in some cases, it can be informal just way that you lay out the story. You want to relax, You want to sound like a pro. You don't sound like something. Doesn't have bylines in there about his nervous to reach out. Since you want this like you have a story under control and like, they're not with it, that you're gonna jump to another another. Another complication. You gotta, you know, make sure you're selling yourself the opportunity because it's a lot of people that are reaching out to these editors. And you need to stand out saying, Why would they came to write something? You're your language is not clear or your story ideas not clear, are you show no personality in the email in your pitch, you know? So remember, use that personality. Another important thing to consider is your headline. So today's all about flick First re later. Digital clicks. All these websites on that care about you be ends, page views and all the stuff. All these editors all they care about home care about. So you want to show the ability to take some of the work off their plate. First of all, come up with engaging headlines. But your headline also functions as a email subject line that will grab their attention. So this is you working on making headline that is applicable. You're basically testing that you're pitching you want to make. I want to know about this story, and then they could open it right and engaging head. So agent shows the editor that you're thinking that you're not relying on them to do all the work. If they had any doubt about how story package creating the headline helps see kind of a function the digital world and on their website. Lastly, right, your pitch and then take a break, step back, marinate a little bit and then come back to it. Maybe an hour later. Pitching is a whole art. So you want to make sure that you're not sending edit our home probably function. You got to take a seriously as if you were writing the article itself. Honestly, a lot of hard work research goes into the pitch you want to make sure that you're being clear, so it's treated like a piece of writing way. Need Teoh probably write a second draft. Eventually you'll get so we're able toe crystallize your ideas so thoroughly that you could just the mountain one shot. But I highly recommend taking a break coming back to make sure that you're saying before you send it, Don't just make sure there's no type that's not cute. 5. Follow Up: Congratulations. You did it. You written a page. You come up with a story idea for that bitch scented, often appropriate editor. Now what you do. Yeah, that's right. Just wait. But if your story's very time since then, you should follow up with your editor, Basically, let them know that there your first choice. But considering the time sensitive sensitivity of the story that you may pitch somewhere else and only say that if you really mean it, if this is the only publication that don't go ahead and trying whatever it's just like but if you like, you know, if this complications not answering 24 hours in this really quick, you should let you know when you get that story. But it was not a times story. I give your, like, a week before. Some people might say that's too long, But others get a lot of emails in your inbox that under a lot of pressure, I remember writing themselves. So you know you want to be sensitive. You want to establish the relationships with these people respectful relationships with these people. Your story is not time sensitive. Fall back a little bit. You hear back from. And if you don't, that means they don't like your story. It doesn't fit with their website on. They might have wanted to respond, but they forgot to. They're just rude, and they don't respond. But that's OK. It doesn't mean your story is a bad idea. Doesn't mean you shouldn't pitch it somewhere. But if you're like, you know, it really wasn't that abandon. That is fine. And move on to the next. This isn't the only story that you're gonna come up with is not the only idea that's gonna come out. Just remember that lay the last door you wrote was not the last story, right? Just keep pushing. I hope that you take these lessons that I've learned really apply. You start getting some by lines up there. I'm really excited to see what you guys way down to me. I'm gonna put my email down seven years later, Someone what you guys do, let me know. Feedback that could help me because I'm still learning. All right. Thank you for learning with Got hit me up If you have any questions. Peace. I don't think my