How To Pitch Opinion Stories To Us
We welcome your pitches to Delaware Newsline Opinion – it’s best to send them via email, to email@example.com. We receive tons of pitches a day, so we can’t get back to every email unfortunately, but there are some simple things you can do to maximize your chances of being published.
1) Don’t send fully written pieces:
It can be tempting, when you have an idea, to write the whole piece, and send it over, but it’s very rare for us to publish a piece in these circumstances. This is because editors like to work closely and carefully with a writer to determine the best length and focus for a piece. In some cases, we will already have published other pieces on the subject you’d like to write about, so we will only commission you if your piece can explore a specific element of the story that has yet to be considered. When an article has been written on spec, this early stage conversation between an editor and writer isn’t possible.
2) Send over one idea at a time, two at the most:
When there are more ideas than that in an email – we’ve been known to receive emails with 20 ideas – it can feel as if we’re being sent a round robin, as if the ideas haven’t been developed with our section specifically in mind. If you send over a single idea, it makes it much easier for us to consider it properly and get back to you.
3) Keep it fairly short, and simple:
Pitches for a 700-800 word column (the average length of our pieces) don’t need to be more than a few paragraphs long. We’re just looking for an outline of what you’d like to write about, including a description of the argument you would be making, plus any details that help bring the subject to life and explain why it’s important for us to cover it.
4) Explain why this piece needs to be written right now:
Most of the pieces that we run on Delaware Newsline are news reactive, so they respond to a specific news story that has recently broken. The news story is the “peg” for the column – the reason why this is a pressing issue that readers need to hear more about. Occasionally, an opinion will be so interesting that we’ll run it without a specific news peg. But those occasions are pretty rare.
5) Explain why you’re the right person to write this piece:
Perhaps you’re an expert in the particular subject you’d like to write about, or you have a personal story that will bring readers new insight into an aspect of the day’s news. You might work in an industry that has just been the subject of a breaking story, and want to opine on it. Make sure to tell us, in your email, why you’re the right person to write this particular story. It’s also worth mentioning, briefly, any writing experience you’ve had in the past, but don’t be put off pitching us a piece simply because you haven’t been published before. We take many pieces from first-time writers, because they’ve been exactly the right person to write the column in question. In fact, those have often proved some of our liveliest pieces.
6) Give a clear description of the piece you’re pitching in the subject line:
It is not helpful to simply write “column pitch”, because your email will arrive in our inbox alongside hundreds of other emails with exactly the same subject line. A few precise words on exactly what you’re interested in writing about make it much more likely that an interested editor will be able to find your pitch, later in the day, when they have a chance to get back to you.