How to be less terrible at pitching big-deal editors

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Anxious? Must be writing pitch letters.

In case you missed it, NY Times Magazine culture editor Adam Sternbergh recently gave out some free advice on Twitter on how to do something all you ink-stained wretches have dreamed of doing at some point: writing for him. Whether Sternbergh would actually accept your pitch based on his suggestions or just laugh you into the digital purgatory that all my pitches for all time live in quiet misery, we can’t say (though word is the magazine is way more internet-youngun’-friendly these days).

MediaBistro rounds up the highlights from his under 140 character suggestions, which include: “Too-long pitches. One graf max. Short pitch does not = reductive. Remember: I eventually have to sum up story in a dek;” and “Pitch a story, not an idea. Story has characters, timeline, conflict. Like a movie!” and “If you haven’t got a reply, there’s 98% chance I haven’t read it and 2% I hate it and am spiritually paralyzed. Good odds!” Most of us are still just happy enough to get the courtesy of a rejection letter every now and then.

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