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Industry Insider – How not to Pitch your Article

18 October @ 14:00 - 15:00 BST

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You have an idea for an article. You know who needs to read it. You know exactly where it should be published. And you have the email address of the editor with the power to say yes or no.

But can you pitch it?

Our panel of authors and editors (James McConnachie – editor of The Author, Sameer Rahim – managing editor of Prospect Magazine, and journalist Sirin Kale) will talk to Carlotta Eden about the challenges in making your pitch stand out in the slush pile. They will talk through the best ways to make the wrong impression with your approach (and offer practical tips on how to make the right impression).

And we’ll turn the tables and look at ways that editors can improve the commissioning experience for contributors.


Who is this session for?

This session is for any author who writes for publication in magazines – whether they’re a seasoned professional or just starting out.


What will this session cover?

  • Pitching approaches that are guaranteed to turn an editor off
  • How to package your ideas in a way that will engage your editor (and give them enough information to make a decision)
  • Researching publications – are you sending your idea to the right magazine?
  • Pitch the idea then write, or write the article and pitch with that – what is the best approach?
  • How can editors make life easier for the people who pitch to them?



  • Welcome and introductions – Carlotta Eden (5 mins)
  • Panel discussion with Sirin Kale, James McConnachie and Sameer Rahim (30 mins)
  • Questions from the audience (20 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments – Carlotta Eden (5 mins)


Send us your questions in advance 

If you would like to send questions in advance, email lbrendfish@societyofauthors.org with ‘How Not to Pitch’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and try to answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.


SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual  Bookshop.org and Blackwell’s stores featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


The line-up

Sirin Kale – Features WriterJournalist

Sirin Kale is a journalist for the Guardian, British Vogue, The Observer, VICE, Wired, GQ, the New York Times, and other publications. She is a former editor at VICE.


James McConnachie – Editor, The Author

James McConnachie is editor of The Author, the journal of the Society of Authors. He reviews non-fiction for The Sunday Times and is an agony uncle for Metro, alongside other journalism. He is currently writing a biography of a mountain, to be published by Bloomsbury. 


Sameer Rahim – Managing Editor

Sameer Rahim is the Managing Editor of Prospect magazine. Previously Deputy Books Editor of the Telegraph, he has been a book critic and arts journalist for nearly 20 years. He judged the Booker Prize in 2020. His first novel Asghar and Zahra (John Murray) was published in 2019. 


Carlotta Eden – Editor & Writer 

Carlotta Eden was the Managing Editor of The Author for two years before moving on to a medical publication in October 2021. She co-founded and edited Synaesthesia, an online literary and arts magazine, and has previously written about TV, film, travel and books.

Twitter: @1chae



Book your place using the registration form below.

All SoA @ Home industry insider events are free but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE


18 October
14:00 - 15:00 BST
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