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Event review: Pitch Perfect
Thursday, June 4, 2015 (All day)

For a freelancer, the ability to create a solid pitch is a critical skill. If you want to proactively secure opportunities, pitching is your ticket to achieving a good flow of work. That being said, spending time perfecting the art of pitching is a valuable investment that is sure to pay dividends.

On May 28, freelancers gathered for PWAC Toronto's last seminar of the season to hear editors dish out their tips. Here are some highlights from the experts on how to improve your pitching game.

Maureen Halushak, Flare Magazine

  • Before pitching, ask yourself: Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said by me? Does this need to be said by me now? Does this need to be said by me now in the pages of your target magazine?
  • She doesn't like being pitched via social media but she said it's a great low stakes way to get to know an editor and a publication.
  • When a writer pitches her the same idea they're already working on in-house, she asks them to pitch again as it means they're thinking along the same lines as the magazine.

Peter Carter, Today's Trucking

  • If an editor doesn't like your pitch, don't take it personally.
  • Editors easily receive 100 emails every day so be sure to make your subject line attention-grabbing -- like the art of writing a good headline.
  • Understand the purpose and mission of the publication. If you don't, you are wasting both your time and the editor's. Interesting is not enough.

Lauren McKeon, This Magazine

  • Be sure to have a character in your pitch if you'd like to write a feature. Show that you can write well.
  • Connecting with editors on social media will help your chances of being recognized by name when you pitch.
  • If you're meeting with an editor for coffee, be sure to have solid ideas ready to pitch.

Vanessa Santilli is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and communications professional.

- Vanessa Santilli

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