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Gemini season is upon us. It's the 24th edition of the Missed Pitches newsletter.

Welcome to Missed Pitches, a home for rejected ideas. This newsletter brings you every Friday a fresh batch of rejected story ideas, editorial contacts, writing gigs and more. If you’re an editor looking for story ideas, this is the perfect newsletter for you. If you’re a writer looking to give a home to your previously rejected story ideas, this is for you, too. Submit your rejected pitches 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. Meet the high school seniors picking their colleges virtually (by Hailey Johnson)

  2. These Black cowboys are changing everything you knew about horsemanship (by Amber Officer-Narvasa)

  3. How sitcoms mock women to undermine their achievements (by Tasneem Pocketwala)

  4. My autism diagnosis is not a tragedy (by Rebecca Dingwell)

  5. A brief history of the exquisite textile Muslin (by Kamalika Mukherjee)

  6. Editorial contacts

  7. Best of freelance Twitter

  8. Freelance opportunities

  9. Writing jobs


Story Pitches

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

Meet the high school seniors picking their colleges virtually (by Hailey Johnson, haileyyjohnson@Gmail.com)

National Decision Day came and went but high school seniors this year hurried to figure out where they will spend the next four years. When making a decision, seniors typically rely on stats, reviews, rankings, YouTube videos, and of course, the on-campus visit.

Yet, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, students have had to base one of the most important factors of their decision, now on a virtual tour. Limited to Google Images, virtual tour guides that cannot answer your questions, and spaces of the campus off-limits since they were not included in the aerial shot, decision day has never been tougher.

Last year, there was more time for college seniors to visit their prospective schools before the coronavirus pandemic hit. However, since then, campuses have been closed to students only and on-campus tours have remained on an indefinite pause.

How were students supposed to see any schools? For this feature, I would interview three students who have to rely on virtual tours to decide where they are going to college. Their respective schools range in distance from a few states away to an entire continent.


These Black cowboys are changing everything you knew about horsemanship (by Amber Officer-Narvasa, amber.kalli.12@gmail.com)

In cities throughout the United States, historically Black stables and barns continue a rich legacy of Black horsemanship. From the Compton Cowboys to Philadelphia’s Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club and New York’s Federation of Black Cowboys, these organizations provide opportunities for Black people to engage in the predominantly white, often inaccessible equestrian world.

Through Black-led urban stables, generations of young people have found a new connection to animals and the natural world in the heart of the city. In the face of rapid gentrification, many of these community institutions have had to adapt to rising rents, increased land prices, and other sources of precarity.

Within a shifting urban landscape, the presence of Black equestrian organizations tells a fascinating story of history and community change in the contemporary American city.


How sitcoms mock women to undermine their achievements (by Tasneem Pocketwala, tasneemsp05@gmail.com)

Now that Golden Globe nominations are out and Schitt’s Creek’s Moira Rose has all the world’s attention, can we talk about how clever girls in American sitcoms are so often neurotic?

Whether you look at Monica in Friends, Jan in The Office and of course, Moira Rose, there's a clearly noticeable pattern about female leads in sitcoms who seem to be allowed success but only at a cost. Moreover the neurosis that these women are shown to suffer from are summarily depicted as just personality ticks.

In this article I pitch, I want to talk about how popular American sitcoms trivialize neurosis especially in women, often by rendering the butt of the joke the woman herself as the sufferer of the illness. Interestingly, these neurotic female characters are also supposed to be smart and successful.


My autism diagnosis is not a tragedy (by Rebecca Dingwell, dingwell.rebecca@gmail.com)

Recently, at age 28, I was diagnosed with autism.

I’ve struggled with emotional reactivity, meltdowns, shutdowns, sensory processing sensitivity and the like since I was young. I always assumed there was something deeply wrong with me until I started researching autism during lockdown last year. Unexpectedly, I found community and love for myself.

The crux of the essay is how a lot of folks still see autism as a tragedy (exemplified by media portrayals and certain “awareness” campaigns), but for me, the diagnosis was the closest to a happy ending I could imagine. As if a map has been placed in front of me with roads I could never see before.

Although Autism Awareness Month is over, I don’t believe writing about autism should be confined to one month. I think this piece is especially relevant now given conversations and criticisms around a recent, celebrity-studded “Color The Spectrum” event.

The essay draft is about 2,000 words, but I am flexible on this.


A brief history of the exquisite textile Muslin (by Kamalika Mukherjee, mukherjee.kamalika89@gmail.com)

Muslin is a much loved textile in high end fashion due to its soft feather like texture, but history of this textile is rather sadistic.

When the British arrived on the shores of India, the handloom weavers were busy weaving fine silk cloth that would one day dress the Royalties of England. Given their enterprising nature, the British decided to take all the raw materials from India and ship them to England, where fine dresses and gowns would soon become the talk of the town for the ladies of the Victorian Era.

However, while in the process of doing so, they put all Indian weavers out of commission and drove a wedge right through the handloom industry, damaging it massively; although India has bounced back on its eco-friendly and sustainable raw materials that are breathable and light.

I would like to write a feature on the history of Muslin whilst keeping the story engaging, include quotes from fashion designers, and textile historian Sonia Ashmore for the same.


Editorial Contacts

Can I Play That (Pitch Guide) - Pitch personal essays, industry accessibility analysis, and commentary and features on game accessibility to submit@caniplaythat.com

Observer (Pitch Guide) - Pitch ideas with an emphasis on power players, cultural trends and smart, unique takes that offer something new. Send all business and innovation pitches to editorial@observer.com; art pitches to Erin Taylor at etaylor@observer.com; and entertainment pitches to Eric Vilas-Boas at evilas-boas@observer.com

Sylist Magazine - Pitch fitness and wellbeing story ideas to Miranda Larbi at miranda.larbi@stylist.co.uk

Cosmo - Pitch if you are a journalist to try/who has tried eharmony to write an in depth review (including background & history on the site) for cosmo. Send pitches to Paisley Gilmour at paisley.gilmour@hearst.co.uk

Giddy - Pitch articles on sex, masturbation, diet, exercise, relationships, grooming, mental health, STD and STIs, and other topics to rmunford@getmegiddy.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 Stefan Palios at @stefanpalios because he is a freelance entrepreneur who dispenses a lot of good advice about making money as a freelancer.


Freelance Opportunities

via @m_j_whitehouse (May 17): In the market for long read pitches for the next print issue of THE FACE. Email pitches@theface.com

via @SAPIENS_org (May 15): We're seeking pitches by Indigenous journalists writing about Indigenous anthropologists and their research! Learn more

via @freelancingfor (May 20): Public address loudspeakerCalling all freelance writers!
We're launching our new Guest Voices newsletter initiative.We want to hear from a diverse range of freelance journalists open to sharing their experiences and top tips. This is a paid opportunity. Find out more here.

via @canopyatl (May 17): We're looking for pitches and for an editor for our upcoming Forest Park Issue! You can find the editor listing here...

via @linderrama (May 5): We have writer guidelines for Popular Mechanics on our website, now. Pitch us


Writing Jobs

PETA is hiring a Media Writer - Remote

Physicians for Human Rights is hiring a Senior Writer - Remote/New York

StoneArch is hiring a Marketing Writer - Minneapolis

Relix is hiring an Assistant Editor - New York

BuzzFeed News is hiring a Health Editor - Location is flexible


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