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Happy Friday! This is the 22nd edition of the Missed Pitches newsletter.
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Is texting a love language? (by Sahar Arshad)
A second Chernobyl (by Guillaume Ptak)
The most popular India dish you’ve never heard of (by Kamalika Mukherjee)
How goal-setting helped to improve my productivity as a freelancer (by Sherel Purcell)
Celebrating Mother’s Day in a pandemic (by Elise Seyfried)
Best of freelance Twitter
NOTE: The following rejected story pitches have been lightly edited for space and clarity.
Is texting a love language? (by Sahar Arshad, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We’re a technology-efficient generation. We’re a generation of dating apps, online groupchats, and DMs. In the last year, texting also became in effect one of the only ways to stay in touch with our loved ones, our co-workers.
However, even before the last year, online friendships and connections were being formed on the internet, with different kinds of people from varying backgrounds and interests finding commonality with each other. Children of the internet bond over meme culture. Fandoms unite on tumblr in their fan-theory group chats. Relationships blossom in the twitter DMs. And with no physical expressions to take note of, sometimes it’s the way we text, the tone and attitudes and *vibes* that we give off that help us find camaraderie with the next person, or scare them off.
I’d love to write a feature by speaking to multiple young people who’ve found friendship, love or any kind of connection through ongoing online texts. For so many of us, the way we text on social media is so definitive of ourselves. It’s where our humor, attitudes come out. I’d like to speak to a psychologist who is an expert on our behaviors in relation to social media, to get an expert comment on what they think about texting language being a way to build friendship and love.
A second Chernobyl (by Guillaume Ptak, email@example.com)
The abandoned Yunkom coal mine, located in the separatist-held area of Donbass, eastern Ukraine, is threatening to contaminate the whole water system of the region with radioactive materials.
Following the 2018 decision of the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic to end the costly maintenance of the mine, where in 1979 Soviet authorities detonated a 0.3 kiloton atomic bomb, water has been filling the lower levels of the complex, carrying active radionuclides to the surface.
A “second Chernobyl,” warned a minister of Ukraine, the consequences of which would be felt far beyond the country’s contested borders. This impending disaster is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the oft-overlooked environmental havoc wrought by the conflict on the region, which has been utterly devastated by almost 7 years of war and where 1 out of 4 people is already left without access to drinking water.
The humanitarian crisis in Donbass provoked by a lack of access to water isn’t a matter of if but when, and Yunkom might just prove to be the tipping point.
The most popular India dish you’ve never heard of (by Kamalika Mukherjee, firstname.lastname@example.org)
During the British Raj in India, Railways were a lavish affair and most of them had luxurious dining cars that would dish out curries, puddings and salads with dinner rolls. One of the more popular dishes on the menu was the Railway Mutton Curry.
In the Northwest Frontier Mail, the chefs in the pantry car were preparing a Mutton Curry for themselves at night when an English Officer wandered into the pantry looking for a quick bite. With no food left, they offered him the robust curry that struck a chord with the officer who loved it so much that he started calling it the Railway Mutton Curry. Given it popularity, one must think it’s a hot favorite, however, this dish only pertains to the pages of history with only a handful of restaurant recreating the authentic version.
I would like to write a reported piece following the timeline of this dish and why it has almost disappeared from the menus of Indian restaurants. For quotes, I would like to include Michelin Star Chef Atul Kochhar of Kanishka in Mayfair, London who’s an expert in the Indian Culinary scene.
How goal-setting helped to improve my productivity as a freelancer (by Sherel Purcell, email@example.com)
As a seasoned freelance writer, I’ve become obsessed with the whole goal-setting-track-it-all scientifically-based concept planners and journals which I can’t stop buying. I’ve even subscribed to the Facebook group for the BestSelf journal addicts as I’m endlessly fascinated by their goal-setting problems and discussions of which style and brand of recording methods work best to achieve their hopes and dreams while keeping track of their daily health targets and accounting of their days.
Like many writers, I’m prone to procrastination and also cynicism when it comes to ways to improve my production. But I’ve had some recent successes placing stories and upping the number of pitches I send out using a mash-up of the many goal-setting and planning systems available to the organizationally-challenged. I’ve also just been hired to present my findings in a zoom class for a local seniors online learning organization.
I would love to report on my findings for your readers and my reviews of the best journal/planner choices available for writers and small business-owners.
Celebrating Mother’s Day in a pandemic (by Elise Seyfried, firstname.lastname@example.org)
It was Mother’s Day in 1918, exactly four years since Anna Jarvis came up with the concept of a day dedicated to mothers. While Jarvis hated the commercialization that followed, and would later disavow the holiday, it has persisted for 107 years.
In 1918, my great-grandmother had said goodbye to two of her children, sending them to Ireland to escape the worst of the Spanish Influenza that was ravaging the United States and much of the world. On a remote Irish farm, Minnie Sheridan felt Rose and Frank would be safer. And it proved true — neither child contracted the virus. My grandma Rose lived to be 100 years old, in fact, but I was raised on her memories of that terrible time.
It was Mother’s Day in 2020, exactly two months since the official start of the pandemic in the U.S. As the mother of five grown kids, I was missing four of them —two in NYC, one in Portland, Oregon, the fifth child an hour away (but he worked in a restaurant.) Fear of COVID-19 kept us separated on Mother’s Day and nearly every day for the past year.
I hold out little hope for Mother’s Day 2021, but I fervently hope that in 2022 we can all be together for a holiday my family always made very special for me. This is a look back at the official celebrations of motherhood, occurring during the two pandemics, and a look ahead to a brighter day for moms everywhere.
Yukon News - Pitch features about Yukon/Canada to Gabrielle Plonka at email@example.com
Autostraddle - Trans writers pitch about anti-trans legislation in the United States to firstname.lastname@example.org
Men’s Health UK - Pitch about men’s health to Daniel Davies at email@example.com
Our BK Social - Pitch interesting stories focused on Brooklyn focused to AyannaP@OurBKSocial.com
Lux Magazine - Pitch about youth organizing, mutual aid, climate crisis, speculative design, how cities should be, video games to Pitches@lux-magazine.com
Best of Freelance Twitter
NOTE: This space is dedicated to featuring one worthy Twitter account that provides an invaluable service to the freelance community.
⚡️ Follow @freelancingfor, an account run by @lilycanter and @Emmajourno, who also run a newsletter by the same name. Both the Twitter account and the newsletter are a a freelancer’s must-have resources and advice.
via @LesHorn (April 29): I am pleased to share a guide to pitching VICE's Culture Desk. I hope this guide will be of use to you, especially if you have never written for me before. Please share with your networks! I am eager to bring new voices into our freelance fold.
via @joshuatopolsky (April 23): HELLO writers / people with strong opinions—@inputmag is looking for freelancers to work with us on a regular basis on reviews, how-tos, and guides. Are you that special someone? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
via @reader (April 27): Call for pitches: The way we think about travel has changed immensely over the past year — the challenges, the stakes, the workarounds, the logistics. We're looking for stories that explore the concept of travel from any angle. Email pitches to email@example.com!
via @HypocriteRdr (April 27): Send #pitches for our TEETH issue by 5/15! We pay all contributors. Think dental dams, love bites, gold teeth, tusks, incels' obsession with tongue postur, The Skin of Our Teeth & more! For a taste of what we publish, see hypocritereader.com/96/
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