The Insider’s Guide to Pitching Top Publications

Cost: $140

Sign Up

Putting our words into the world can be intimidating; adding self-promotion to the mix can be even scarier. But the good news is that editors need good content and the world has always needed storytellers. Whether you have a reported longform article idea burning in you, a personal essay ready-to-go, or want to place impactful op-eds, the key is presenting your work in a way that grabs editors’ attention. Longtime Narratively contributing editor Shawna Kenney has successfully placed hundreds of articles over her decades-long freelance writing career, publishing pieces in The New York Times, Ms. magazine, Vice, The Rumpus and many other outlets. In this intensive three-hour seminar, Shawna will show you how to find and research the right home for your writing; share successful pitch letters that resulted in publication; walk you through writing a winning pitch of your own; help tailor your bio to fit the pitch; and demonstrate rewriting and handling rejection. She’ll share the view from the editorial side of the desk, letting you in on secrets of what editors do (and don’t) look for when evaluating pitches and submissions. This seminar is part lecture, part hands-on workshop. By the end, you will have written and begun refining your own pitch and you’ll have a template for getting it in front of top editors and crafting new winning pitches in the future.

This class is right for you if:

  • You’re ready to kickstart a career in freelance journalism.

  • You’ve written some stories and want to learn how to place them in top outlets.

  • You want to publish your personal essays in outlets like Narratively, The New York Times "Modern Love" column, premier literary magazines and other publications.

Sign Up

All Narratively Academy classes are conducted online and accessible to students anywhere in the world.

Instructor Bio: Shawna Kenney was raised in the Washington, D.C., area where she began her writing career by publishing fanzines. She is the author of the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Punk Hostage Press), co-author of the oral history Live at the Safari Club: A History of HarDCore Punk in the Nation’s Capital 1988-1998 (Rare Bird Books), editor of the anthology Book Lovers (Seal Press), and co-author of Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher). Shawna is a contributing editor at Narratively and her nonfiction work has appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, Ms., Brevity, Vice, The Rumpus and many other outlets. She is a creative writing instructor with the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and leads an international writing retreat in Denmark every August.

“Shawna is the visionary writing fairy godmother every author needs — from helping with story ideas and angles to the kind of encouragement one needs when following a big dream. Shawna has helped me get essays published, stay consistent as a writer and sell my book to a major publisher. I wouldn’t be where I am as a writer without her.” —Marni Battista, author of the forthcoming book “Your Radical Living Challenge”

Sign Up

Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

Questions? Email us at

MORE: Check out all of our upcoming Narratively Academy Classes here.