The 3 Best Pitches I’ve Ever Received
Want to write for Narratively? Or just curious about how our storytelling comes to life? We’re pulling back the curtain to show you exactly how a story pitch gets our attention.
At Narratively we believe everyone has a story to tell. But we also know that pitching your story can be a bit of a daunting and mysterious process. Trust me, I know from experience! In addition to being Narratively’s co-founder and editorial director, I’m a longtime freelancer myself, and I’ve nervously sent more than my fair share of pitches. Well, our new StoryCraft section is all about lifting the curtain behind the mystery that is publishing, and today we’re looking at pitching.
Since we launched Narratively in 2012, we’ve received more than 50,000 story pitches! For this post, I’m sharing three of them that immediately made me say: Yes, please. Give me that story!
Below, I’ve included Narratively’s standard questions from our story-pitch form, along with each writer’s response to those questions — from their proposed headline to their story overview to their reporting plan and more. I’ve also added a few comments from me in italics about what made particular parts of each pitch strong. Each of these pitches ultimately became a great story that we published on Narratively, so if you’re interested in writing for us but aren’t sure how to craft a pitch to get our attention, keep reading! If you still have questions after reading this or want to dive deeper, just head over to our brand new How to Pitch Narratively thread, where I’ll be answering any and all questions you have about the pitching process.
OK, let’s go!
Pitch #1: “Secret Lives” Reported Story from Abigail Edge
Proposed Headline: Daredevil Stunts and Rhinestone Bikinis: The Smith Family Cannonball Legacy
Why I Love This: The headline you draft in your pitch is your first chance to grab our attention and tell us what your story will be about. It should make us say, “Ooh, tell me more.” This one is great because it does exactly that. It doesn’t tell us everything. I don’t yet know what a “family cannonball legacy” is or what role rhinestone bikinis will play in this story, but I’m intrigued. I definitely didn’t save this pitch for later — I read it right away.