How to Write a Pitch

Writing, photo by TempusVolatThanks for your interest in writing for Spiral Nature! Learning how to write a pitch is an essential part of being an professional writer, and even if you’re an experienced writer, you may pick up a few useful tips.

By now you should know that Spiral Nature Magazine is dedicated to exploring occulturealternative spiritualities, and practical magick. We’re interested in pitches about personal experiences, practices, techniques, and the places where pop culture and occulture intersect.

You can click to find more about Spiral Nature‘s article guidelines, our review guidelines, and you can find previous writers wanted calls with more specific story ideas in our newsletter archive.

There’s quite a difference between a story idea and a pitch. “Pilgrimages” is an idea, but “a look at how to plan a pilgrimage with examples pulled from my experience travelling the English countryside” is working towards a pitch.

A pitch should include:

  • an introduction (who you are)
  • your story idea (the topic)
  • your nut graf (why we care, what the story will show)
  • your specific plan for reporting this story (outline how you’ll demonstrate what you’ve proposed in your nut graft)
  • and show why this story is important to our audience

Tips to help ensure your pitches land:

  • Read previous articles. The best way to know the kind of stories Spiral Nature publishes is to read what’s already on the site. Take a look at what’s been written in the past few months, how it’s been covered, and note gaps you might be able to fill.
  • Pitch to a specific section. Spiral Nature has four main categories: OccultureMagick, Spirituality, and Reviews. Pitch to a specific category. It shows you know the publication, and know where your work would fit in.
  • Your pitch should be interesting. If you were to stumble across an article about this elsewhere, would you want to read it?
  • Find a fresh angle. Some topics are covered again and again. Find a new way to talk about an old subject, maybe with a pop culture tie-in, or a new study that flips our previous assumption on its head.
  • Is there a news hook? Got an idea for an article about ancestral altars? No better time to pitch it than for Samhain. Perhaps a you want to write a think piece about The Book of the Law? The beginning of April would be the perfect time to run a piece like this. Pro-tip: Articles are scheduled one to two months in advance, so time your pitches accordingly.
  • Have a voice. Write your pitch in a way that both shows off your talent and matches the subject you’re writing about. Your pitch should read like it’s written by someone able to pass the Turing Test. Know our audience, and keep them interested.
  • Show you’re the best person to write this piece. Is there something you can bring to this idea that other writers won’t? List any credentials or past experience that might be relevant. If you’ve written on this topic before, share the article.
  • Send clips. Clips demonstrate that a writer has been published before, and is capable of writing well. If you don’t have professional clips, send links to your best blog posts, GoodReads or Amazon reviews, or any other relevant samples.

For contributors who regularly write for the magazine, pitching becomes much more relaxed. But for those just starting out, I recommend sticking to the above, and it’s worth noting that these suggestions apply to pitching to any website or magazine. Following these guidelines shows a level of professionalism that will make your pitch stand out.

If you have questions about about pitching or writing for the site, please feel free to contact the editor.

I look forward to reading your pitches!

Image credit: TempusVolat