June MEDIA WRITING WORKSHOP WARM-UP EXERCISES: perfect pitch

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So, this Friday, then.

It’s round two in the triumvirate of summer writing workshops, taking place this month 10am to 12 noon at the CHIC co-working hub in Chester.

The topic for this session is writing the perfect pitch, followed by individual tuition — bring some work-in-progress writing for the latter, such as a blog post, draft feature etc.

Meanwhile, to start us thinking about this next session, I’d like to offer up two of my recent pitches. Please read the following two pitches and then share your thoughts below.

Do you think one of both have been commissioned? Which one/s and why? How could I have improved on these pitches to secure the gig?

And when you post, please also include a brief introduction about yourself, so we can get to know each other before the workshop and start a dialogue as a group.

1) Ideas / Flanders / art installation in June

The windswept Flanders coast is not the first place you would look for contemporary art.
But the Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea has been embedding large-scale public artworks into the Belgian coastline over the years.
The fifth Beaufort Festival of public art opens June 21 and runs to September 21 this year. It takes the theme of Beyond Borders and features a series of giant artworks by a group of international artists, such as the British artist Scott King, at locations including Ostend and Art Deco De Haan.
The ten resorts that make up the 42-mile sweep of the Flanders coast offer a little-known escape for foodies, families and locals seeking a sandy-beach alternative to the Mediterranean stampede.
This year art will be put the region back on the map for European explorers with an eye for art, design and architecture.
I’ve covered Flanders for the section before — see Rubens in Antwerp (Jan 2015, link). More from my portfolio at atkinsondavid.com.

 

2) Ideas / West Sweden / midsummer in June

Midsummer is more than just another day to the Swedes.
The midsummer festival has always been a major celebration in Sweden and, today, it’s more culturally important than ever, a way for the urbane, modern Swede to tap into the country’s ancient mythology and folklore.
It’s a return to nature, a way to connect with ancestors and a celebration of the longest day of the year with food, friends and family. To travel to Sweden during midsummer is a chance to connect with Swedes in a very grass-roots way.
I will uncover the myths and traditions of midsummer with a trip to West Sweden. My journey starts in Gothenburg and leads out into the archipelago, combining city-break attractions with some back-to-nature island hopping.
Along the way will be maypole dancing, public displays of dancing, flowers under my pillow to dream of future lovers and lessons in making my own ‘krans’, the laurel-wreath headwear associated with midsummer.
I’ve recently covered Sweden for Rough Guides — see 10 ways to spend summer in Sweden (link). More from my portfolio at atkinsondavid.com.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone Friday 12, 10am.

Please call or email with any questions.

6 comments

  1. Becky Sowray says:

    I’m Becky. Writer (blogs on local culture, short plays, stand up poet, short stories.) and band manager (fan-dom and employment do apparently mix). Defender of all things local. Wanting and needing to develop my paid writing work.

    I like both these pitches. The second one includes more descriptive writing, the first is more structured and covers many more hard references. I can see that the second one would be more directly appealing if you were looking at travel sections of most newspapers; that said, on the basis of a load of personal biases, I prefer the first.

  2. Thanks for kicking us off Becky. You make some good points here. What do the others think about these two? What conclusions can we draw about how to write a winning pitch?

  3. I started blogging around 18 months ago about getting outdoors more with my children.

    I preferred the second pitch as it was more descriptive and I think this was the one that was commissioned. If that was the case then I suppose being quite descriptive and perhaps with British audience references makes the difference.

  4. Bill Webster says:

    Were they commissioned? Who knows (apart from David)? it is not just the quality of the pitch but also the priorities of the recipient; the strength of ‘the hook’, and the recipient’s belief in the capability of the pitcher to deliver.

    And David has expressly addressed several of the above in his pitches which are clearly formulaic when seen together like this.

    I am guessing that they were both commissioned.

    And if they weren’t they damned well should have been! 🙂

  5. Thanks for posting, Bill. Answers tomorrow at 10am. You make a good point about pitching. There are two people involved and one or both could be having a bad day. More tomorrow.

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