Twitter events and conferences aren’t the only opportunities for you to pitch your work to an editor. Magazines in the Carus publishing group put out theme lists inviting authors to pitch. You can also pitch to any publication or site that is open to queries. When you do, remember to include the following four things.
Specifics about Your Idea
Don’t just tell the editor that you want to write about horses. Tell them that you want to write about the recently discovered genetic connection between Spanish horses and the ponies of Chincoteague. Explain how long your piece will be and where it will fit into the publication or site. Also reveal something about your research. This is a great place to include the fact that you have already arranged an interview with the lead scientist or another primary source.
Not only do you want to intrigue the editor, you want them to see why they need to publish this now. Is there an anniversary event coming up? Maybe it has a STEM tie in or somehow links to something that is currently trending. This can be especially pertinent when pitching to a web site. When I wrote up activities for an educational web site, I often mined home decorating and wedding sites for trending ideas. Why? These things clearly interested adults and the site was used by adults who worked with children.
Include how the readers will benefit from your piece. An educational activity is fun while also allowing participants to experience imaginative play, develop basic math skills, and small motor skills. It almost sounds like this is overselling it but fun is important. Fun with a purpose is even better. What problem will your piece solve for your reader?
Last but not least, be sure the editor knows why you are the one and only person to write this particular piece. It might be your employment background (teacher, librarian or scientist). It might be that you have access to source material that is in an archive in your city. Perhaps you have experience conducting interviews or you’ve written previous STEAM material. Don’t hold back but be realistic.
My favorite pitches were the ones where I could pitch multiple activities in a single e-mail. That greatly increased my opportunity to make a sale. Can you fit two or three pitches into one e-mail? It will depend how tight you write. Are you up for the challenge?