layoffs — not again!

This is the 19th edition of the Missed Pitches newsletter.

Buyouts at Medium’s GENmag | The same year that the online magazine launched in 2019, it published a depressingly good piece (by Maya Kosoff) on the emotional toll layoffs had on journalists that year. Less than two years later, the online magazine is doing layoffs of its own with several editorial staffers announcing their departures, including deputy editor Michelle Legro and others.

J-school and freelancing | If you follow Meira Gebel on Twitter you probably caught wind of a story idea she is working on about how journalism schools fail to teach the various aspects of freelancing. Follow Meira and look out for that story when it’s out.

Don’t Write Alone | Catapult is launching “Don’t Write Alone,” a new resource center for writers of all stripes. Big hat tip to Nicole Chung for putting it out there.

Regret the error | Boy, last week’s edition had some egregious errors. But you can catch the corrected version of the newsletter here.

Big shout out to my colleague Abigail Geiger for helping me put together this week’s edition of Missed Pitches. Give her a follow on Twitter!

If you have any rejected pitches that you’d like to volunteer for this newsletter, send it over using this Google Form. Give me a follow on Twitter at @MissedPitches for updates and shout-outs. Support this newsletter; buy me a cup of coffee! // rungomez

Contents:

  1. The Wolf(f) of sports memorabilia (by Peter Kropf)

  2. Tracking the world’s ships (by Brandon Sward)

  3. A show on Zoom tackles grief, latinidad and connecting with loved ones from afar (by Bianca Silva)

  4. Beach, fishing, immigrants and a pandemic to lock you down (by Lolita Brayman)

  5. Furniture for Mad Men (by Alana Pedalino)

  6. Editorial contacts

  7. Best of freelance Twitter

  8. Freelance opportunities

  9. Writing jobs


NOTE: The following rejected story pitches have been lightly edited for space and clarity.

The Wolf(f) of sports memorabilia (by Peter Kropf, peterkropf27@gmail.com)

I am a published sportswriter who recently wrote an in-depth profile on Les Wolff, one of the nation’s top sports memorabilia experts. The piece discusses Wolff’s personal life, his interaction with countless famous athletes, and the sports collecting industry, as well as the pandemic’s impact on that industry.

This is an exclusive story that no other outlet has covered. Wolff may be doing TV work and publishing a book about his life in the near future, so this article is a sneak peek/preview of what is to come. While the story covers sports and the business of sports collecting, it also touches on non-sports and human-interest themes that all readers will enjoy. The article is written in magazine style and includes four high-quality photographs with captions.


Tracking the world’s ships (by Brandon Sward, brandonssward@gmail.com)

I wanted to know if you’d be interested in running an interview with/review of an emerging Brazillian artist named Wisrah Villefort, whose recent project EEE tracks ships around the world. This has obviously become incredibly relevant due to the recent and ongoing crisis at the Suez Canal. I’d like to talk about the relationship between capitalism, privacy, and technology.


A show on Zoom tackles grief, latinidad and connecting with loved ones from afar (by Bianca Silva, biancrsilva@gmail.com)

I’d like to pitch a feature story on a show written and performed over Zoom by Julie Piñero, a Latina comedian and producer who has worked for HuffPost and Audible.

Delejos was created following the death of her partner, Jose, a virtual reality game creator who was killed in 2019 and explores the themes of grief, being latinx and the very relevant feeling of being far from loved ones and connecting with them from a distance. Piñero takes this emotional journey through an unfinished video game her partner was creating prior to his untimely death called delejos, a video game based on his experience of fleeing from Venezuela. The performance incorporates elements of standup comedy, live music and at-home “VR headsets.”

I’ve been in touch with Julie and have seen her performance. She’s been performing on a weekly basis with a slew of upcoming shows throughout February, March and possibly beyond. In the story, I’d also like to explore how performing to a Zoom audience has brought a new level of intimacy and emotion that wouldn’t necessarily occur in an in-person setting and how the pandemic brought this story to life.


Beach, fishing, immigrants and a pandemic to lock you down (by Lolita Brayman, LBrayman1@gmail.com)

I’m reaching out with a long-form pitch. It’s a travel story in lockdown made universal by pandemic circumstances. An essay about being unexpectedly quarantined and “stuck” in a tourist’s paradise in South Florida — a sleepy beach town in Miami; isolated in an oceanfront, high-rise condominium but also sharing the experience with a renegade community of senior citizens, immigrants, and fishermen.

It describes an absurd and desperate attempt to get to the beach under lockdown restrictions and offers a glimpse into an overlooked and diverse community. At the very core are the details of an ongoing, personal conflict I’ve had with a certain beach patrol, law enforcement officer (his name has been changed).


Furniture for Mad Men (by Alana Pedalino, alana.pedalino@gmail.com)

Michael Merisola is the proprietor of CooCooU, an upstate New York vintage furniture warehouse that makes you feel as though you’ve just walked into an episode of Mad Men.

I’m proposing a profile on Merisola covering the following: how he’s trained his eye for vintage, what he finds himself drawn to/his influences when he looks for stock, his favorite pieces in his shop right now, how he decorates his space (simple and Scandinavian), why he’s chosen a Rust Belt HQ, what it’s like lending his art and furniture out for Oscar-winning films such as The Shape of Water, and the pitfalls of his chosen gig — including a recent brush with the law when he sold a mounted leopard to an undercover U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service agent.


Editorial Contacts

San Francisco Chronicle - Pitch California-centric editorial pitches and story ideas to Matthew Fleischer via his Twitter DMs.

HelloGiggles - Pitch lifestyle story ideas for the upcoming May publication to Raven Ishak at raven.ishak@meredith.com

FanSided (Pitch Guide) - Pitch opinion columns, essays, detailed analysis, interviews, reported features, cultural criticism related to the world of sports to freelance@fansided.com

Open Democracy - Pitch story ideas on world affairs, ideas and culture to Olivia Crellin at olivia.crellin@opendemocracy.net

Roundtable Journal - Pitch an interview, feature or personal essay on sex work to Siham Ali at siham@roundtablejournal.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 Sian Meades-Williams at @SianySianySiany who has a newsletter that lists freelance writing opportunities and jobs in the UK.


Freelance Opportunities

via @Jesse_Hirsch (April 7): Food journalism outlet The Counter is generally looking for pitches from freelancers based outside of big media cities. In the past few months, they’ve published work from freelancers in Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, Alaska and Arkansas, among others. Pitches can be emailed to editors@thecounter.org

via @bibivanderzee (April 6): The Guardian is looking for “great stories about the environment.” Pitch Bibi van der Zee at bibi.vanderzee@theguardian.com

via @BreannaDraxler (April 6): YES! Magazine’s next issue “asks such an important question: ‘What is enough?’ I'd love to work with you on a piece for it, so please pitch me your story ideas!” Pitch to fall2021@yesmagazine.org by April 30 for the fall issue. 

via @newterritorymag (April 6): The New Territory, an autobiography of the Lower Midwest, is regularly seeking pitches for long-form journalism and creative nonfiction and other nonfiction work, as well as smaller nonfiction pieces at the community level. Find pitch guidelines here

via @thedrift_mag (April 7): The Drift, a magazine of culture and politics, is accepting pitches on a rolling basis. Pitch editors@thedriftmag.com


Writing Jobs

Salon is seeking a full-time Staff Writer – Remote

Food52 is hiring an SEO Food Staff Writer, Food and a Recipe Editor – Remote

Footnote is hiring Assistant Editors - Washington, D.C.

Jobvite is hiring a Content Writer - Indianapolis

The Business of Business is hiring a Business Writer - Remote

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