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How do I pitch an art article to an editor? I have begun a writing practice that is not reviewing art as much as just reflecting on art/science/visual culture in essay-length posts. I would love to share them but don’t even know where to start. More info on pitching would be great!
Pitching is a great way to establish new relationships with editors and publications, but it requires a significant amount of time. Don’t be hasty in clicking the “compose new email” button before you’ve done some thorough research. It’s important to understand a publication’s style and content, the length of the articles, and (sometimes) the relative experience of the authors to see if your work is a good match.
I contacted four experienced writer–editors, and all mentioned suitability in their replies. Jillian Steinhauer, a senior editor at Hyperallergic, said, “There are a few things I look for in a pitch: I want to see that you’ve read the publication and thought about whether your story would fit here. Don’t pitch something that has no relation—in either content or form—to what we publish.” Orit Gat, a London-based freelance writer and editor, also had some good advice: “Pitch to the magazines you read. If you are very familiar with the publication and its editorial line, you’ll know what pitches will fit.”
As for what to include in a pitch, there are a few journals (such as Cabinet and Art Papers) that have comprehensive submission policies; but often these pages are not conspicuous, so check the site’s “about,” “editorial,” and “contact” pages to see if you can ferret out the details. Read submission information carefully and follow the instructions faithfully. This is important because editors juggle scheduling, editing, and other management duties, and a new writer who can’t comply with simple directives is not a good bet—she might be demonstrating that she also won’t return drafts on time or accept edits, and is thus to be avoided.