what's worse than a rejection email?

It's Friday. Good day for the 23rd 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


**For a second week in a row, I’m giving away a free 1-month subscription to the Approved Pitches newsletter to 10 freelancers who subscribe to this newsletter. This offer is only good on a first-come-first-serve basis. Use this Google Form to be selected for this offer. Those selected will be contacted via email.

What’s worse? | A rejection email or no email response at all?

Why I quit my job | Writer Olivia Messer pens a powerful essay about her experience in covering COVID for The Daily Beast and how it chipped away at her mental health.

Nominate a woman journalist | The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) is seeking nominations for photojournalist women who have reported in dangerous environments. Cash prize is $20,000; deadline is May 28. Self-nominations will be accepted.

Contents:

  1. How a dollhouse became a useful coping mechanism for anxiety (by Steph Coelho)

  2. Even under Biden, the TSA discriminates against Muslim travelers (by Tatiana Walk-Morris)

  3. The chroniclers of the mashup MP3 era (by Christian Adofo)

  4. Editorial contacts

  5. Best of freelance Twitter

  6. Freelance opportunities

  7. Writing jobs


Story Pitches

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

How a dollhouse became a useful coping mechanism for anxiety (by Steph Coelho, stephcoelhowrites@gmail.com)

When the pandemic struck, Jennifer, who has struggled with anxiety all her life and has an immunocompromised child, felt understandably overwhelmed. When she spotted a beautiful Victorian-style dollhouse on the Facebook marketplace, she knew she had to have it. Getting it home involved a generous sister-in-law, multiple U-Haul rentals, and a lot of patience.

I interviewed Jennifer to find out more about her story—which garnered thousands of likes and comments in a second-hand Facebook group she is a part of. I wanted to learn more about the appeal of miniatures, and why she decided on a dollhouse instead of anything else for her pandemic project.

What’s so soothing about miniatures? She responded with, “Maybe because with a dollhouse I can do things with it that I can’t do with my house…There’s just something really fun about teeny tiny versions of these things.”

And Jennifer isn’t the only one turning to tiny things during the pandemic. Dollhouse projects are all the rage and people are sharing their mini-makeovers all over social media.

I want to write a piece that explores the appeal of miniatures and how they may be a useful coping mechanism for anxiety. I’d like to interview others who have taken up this hobby during the pandemic and probe into why they’ve chosen to deal with small things instead of anything else. I’d also like to interview a mental health expert to unpack the psychological appeal of miniatures.


Even under Biden, the TSA discriminates against Muslim travelers (by Tatiana Walk-Morris, tatianawm@live.com)

I’d like to write a story about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) search practices for Muslim travelers, the effect those polices have on Muslim travelers and what could change under President Joe Biden.

Through a TSA FOIA request, I obtained more than 70 complaints filed by Muslim travelers between 2015 and 2020 regarding TSA’s searches and a bit of information about its training practices for Muslim travelers. Many of the complaints pertain to Muslim women and families, but some were also filed by Muslim men. They illustrate a pattern of TSA discrimination against Muslim travelers through invasive searches, detentions and inappropriate comments made by TSA screeners (aka TSOs).

President Biden’s executive order undoing the Muslim ban calls for the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to provide reports next month detailing, among other things, the agency’s screening and vetting procedures for immigrants and nonimmigrants entering the U.S.

My piece would largely focus on the findings within the article I obtained and the experiences Muslims face when traveling to or within the U.S., but it would also include input from experts on what the Biden administration could to improve the traveling experience for Muslims as well as comment from the Biden administration on what plans they have to address the concerns of the Muslim community.


The chroniclers of the mashup MP3 era (by Christian Adofo, ckadofo@gmail.com)

I would propose a feature on influential free MP3 blogs of the BlogHouse and Mashup realm from the mid to late 2000s which brought together an international network of fans online and in reality. I believe this lost era was seminal in merging underground sounds via remixes and mashups across the dance music spectrum including Electro, French Touch, Hip-Hop and Dubstep.

These blogs served as coming of age passages bringing dance music from Indie/Ed Banger era to curious and invested fans with it’s experimental DIY approach laying the foundation for open and interesting collaborations in the early echelon of social media with online followings on MySpace and seeking trending songs on The Hype Machine. I would speak to the owners of influential blogs PalmOut Sounds, The Hood Internet and artists including A-Trak.

I would envision it to be between 1,500-2,500 words and will also include reference clips to accompany the piece to highlight its origin.


Editorial Contacts

Scalawag (Pitch Guide) - Pitch untold stories, fresh perspectives, and original thought covering the nuances of life, politics, and culture in the American South to editors@scalawagmag.org

Healthline - Looking for pitches from those who have decided to stop taking birth control pills to write a personal essay about their experience; send pitches to Joni Sweet at jonimsweet@gmail.com

Input Magazine - Pitch personal essays to ambitious features on tech/culture to Mark Yarm at mark.yarm@inputmag.com

Left Foot Forward - Pitch stories affecting working class and underrepresented communities that are so often ignored to Basit Mahmood at basit@leftfootforward.org

Rouleur - Pitch original, engaging ideas on cycling features or opinion pieces around the theme of speed to Andy McGrath at andy.mcgrath@rouleur.cc


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 Michelle Garrett at @PRisUs because she is the host of the #FreelanceChat, one of the most engaging and informative Twitter chats on freelance work.


Freelance Opportunities

via @earthjournalism (May 6): NEW STORY GRANTS: We are seeking pitches from journalists around the world about #FisheriesSubsidies: How are they linked to overfishing & the loss of ocean biodiversity? What are potential solutions? Check out more information below, and apply by June 1.

via @SpenserMestel (May 6): Outside Magazine is looking for pitches of personal essays on The Oregon Trail video game for its 50th anniversary, particularly ones that explore the game’s cultural influence. The rate is $0.50 per word. Send pitches to klindsey@outsideim.com

via @trentsjohnson (May 6): Attn: FREELANCE WRITERS, @GetMeGiddy is looking for stories about STDs, chronic conditions, physical & mental health, sex, parenting, marriage, grooming etc. General rate: $175 for 550-700 words, negotiable if reported or significantly longer

via @laurynhaas (May 5): (1/4) I’m seeking pitches for @BusinessInsider! We're specifically interested in people with unique jobs, migration, and returning to the office (examples below!), but open to any pitch related to our business verticals — tech, media, careers, real estate, entrepreneurship, etc.

via @Container_Mag (April 29): Pitches now open for Container Magazine Issue 3. We publish human-centred, interesting, critical or disruptive views of creative technology. Find out more and pitch us.


Writing Jobs

Los Angeles Magazine is hiring a Staff Writer - Los Angeles

Capital One is hiring a Copywriter - Virginia

Elephant Journal is hiring a Social Media Editor - Colorado or Overseas

Morning Brew is hiring a Writer - New York

Los Angeles Times is hiring a Night Reporter - Los Angeles


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