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What is a Pitch?

August 11, 2011

Photo by celyn_cruz. Click to go.

Yes, that’s right. Pitch with a P. P as in piss. P as in pastry.

Apparently, there are people out there who aspire to be writers that really have no fucking clue about this.

According to About.com, a pitch is describing the story and then telling the editor why you’re the best person to write the story. It also mentions that this should be done succinctly.

The key here is knowing what the word succinctly means. If you don’t know, look it up right now. Suss-inked. That’s how you say it.

I love working as a Matador Nights editor. I get a lot of freedom in my work. Last week, I posted that I was looking for writers with some general guidelines. I’m excited to say that there have been plenty of inquiries, some fine pitches, and already 2 approved pieces, fully formed, ready to go.

Then there are the wankers out there who want to interface extensively and never get around to producing anything. I am now convinced that these people aren’t writers. If they were, they would just fucking write something. I don’t know what they’re on about, but it’s not producing work.

Here’s a hint. If I have to write you more than twice, and if my suggestions for what you do (as the editor) go ignored more than once without some compelling idea as to why what I’ve proposed is somehow not even worth addressing, I will have to put the hurt on you. And to illustrate what I mean by “put the hurt on,” I will reproduce here, with some redactions, an email I felt compelled to send to a “writer” today.

The email is a response to a back and forth in which I had probably written more than 800 words, provided the writer with a golden tagline for a strong piece, and asked for a POV.

Instead, the guy flings back the same soup of vague ideas he gave me in the first email. If anything, it was even more vague and wet-noodley than the original one and informed me that his POV was as a 25 year old guy.

Here is the answer to who is a writer and who is not a writer.

A writer will rise to the occasion. If an editor asks a writer for something, barring some total meltdown or in situations where the writer has a strong vision and is asking direction for something well underway (if only mentally), or if the editor is a total lame-o with uninteresting ideas — barring possibilities along these lines — if the writer wants to work and is asked for something by an editor, that writer will generally simply produce the required work.

A writer will not parry and mince words and spread them on top of a slice of dry toast and then eat them. A writer will not pretend that the editor is somehow obtuse and can’t figure out what the writer is really talking about because the writer will fucking write it down and write it in a way that can be understood. A writer will not look at their potential piece as a fully formed gestating being on its way, DNA coded up and down, something existent and simply unborn at the moment. The writer unravels that shit and lays it down. It’s like braiding or weaving, or cleaning; work. The writer will generally work and not beg for answers when a close enough read of the first email would already have answered all the questions. A writer would know that was insulting to the editor’s intelligence.

Perhaps you think I’m on some kind of high horse. Maybe you think I should replace the P in the name of this piece with a B. Maybe you’re with me or maybe I lost you in the first paragraph. I know not all writers are the same, but one way to identify us is that we generally write things other than emails.

Yours,

Kate

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2011 9:17 pm

    You know I really worried that it was going to my last email to you that appeared in this post.

    Yours would have seemed like the perfect email to end with “Auf Wiedersehen, you pigfuckers”.

  2. August 11, 2011 11:51 pm

    And our professional relationship is off to a great start! I’m pretty sure one of the golden rules of writing is not to mention bestiality in connection with your editor, at least not before your first piece goes up, but whatever, this is the internet.

    Gute nacht, pigfucker.

  3. August 12, 2011 1:21 am

    Insulted the editor, made her laugh and silenced her. My work here is done.

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