Three Tips on How to Pitch Features as an Unpublished Writer
Written by Carmen Bellot
Whether you’ve recently graduated or left a permanent position at a magazine, delving into the world of freelance journalism can be a daunting task at any stage of your career – but the benefits make the jump well worth it. Going freelance can allow you to contribute to multiple publications and write about a variety of topics without having to compromise on your beliefs. And for those starting out, it can be a great way of building your portfolio alongside your studies or job. But where do you start? Editors are often bombarded with emails, so how do you make your idea stand out amongst a sea of pitches? Hypebae’s UK Editor, Navi Ahluwalia shares her advice.
A seasoned journalist who has contributed to galdem, Yahoo and many other titles, Navi went from freelancing for the streetwear publication to becoming one of its editors just a few years later. In between, she was the Assistant Editor of PopSugar where she was awarded Engine MHP’s #30ToWatch Young Journalist Award for Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle in 2021 for her range of features that often centred on the South Asian experience. Having worked both internally and as a freelancer, she can quickly decipher what’s a good story and how to get it noticed. Find her tips below.
Make sure your idea is in line with the content direction of that specific publication.
It sounds simple, but there’s a difference between noticing a gap in a publication’s content and pitching it vs pitching something that just isn’t relevant to their audience. i.e. You may be pitching an interview with a music artist that a site hasn’t covered before. If that site already does interviews but hasn’t spoken to this particular artist, go for it. But if the site doesn’t typically publish interview content with music artists, there’s likely a reason for that.
Spend time really considering your own point of view when crafting a pitch angle.
Ask yourself, how do I really feel about this topic and where has that opinion come from?
Be sure to share examples of your writing.
Whether it’s a poem you posted on social media, a blog post you wrote before you had any work commissioned, or an impassioned thread you wrote on Twitter outlining your opinions on something. It doesn’t always have to be a published post online, there are plenty of ways to showcase your abilities with the tools you already have in front of you!
If you have a topic that’s perfect for the Hypebae audience, contact Navi at email@example.com.