Last Updated: 5/01/23
Good freelancers take assignments. Great freelancers come up with their own ideas, pitching them to the appropriate section Editor. Truly remarkable freelancers dig deep and experiment creatively to pitch ideas no one has even thought of or connected yet. They also understand that sometimes the big swings don't quite connect or are before their time and aren't disappointed when they get a ‘Pass,' but instead use it as fuel for another big idea.
If Michael, I or a Section Editor brought you on as a freelancer, it's because we think you're at least a great freelancer, and we desperately hope that'll you're a remarkable freelancer.
If you pitch something – that is your idea and no one will be handed your story.
However, when Michael, I or one of the Editors post that we are “looking for pitches” – more than one person can (and should) PITCH their take on it. Don't assume that just because another person has tossed their hat into the ring, they will automatically get the assignment.
We have writers in 9 different time zones, and people with varying skill levels and baliwicks.
In light of that, it is not fair to operate on a “first come, first served” basis.
If Michael or I post a topic or headline in any of the “pitch” Slack channels, it is open until I assign it to someone. If you want to cover it, reply to the topic with your PITCH. We may not have seen the other person's take yet, or we may be hoping to see an even stronger one. We've even, on occasion, assigned multiple freelancers to one topic because a few great ideas or approaches were pitched.
Pitching channels in Slack are #newsroom, #pitches-reviews and the various team channels (geek, Pokemon, Star Wars, travel, etc)
Again, any unclaimed topics are open until they’re not.
Always wait to get “Approved” before you start working on an article. Don't even start your research until you get Approval. We don't pay for articles that are not approved.
Please ONLY pitch in the appropriate room for the topic you are suggesting – myself, Michael or one of the Section Editors will tell you to “go for it” or “you have approval.”
If you get a No or a Pass, it's time to move on to another idea.
What is a Proper Pitch?
One sentence, a proposed headline, or a link to the Screen Rant or Collider coverage is NOT a pitch.
A pitch answers why. Why this topic? Why now? Why are you the writer to tackle it, and how will you make it different? Why would our readers care – or why will they decide to read our article about (insert hot topic here) on MSN instead of Collider's?
To give you an idea, here is the pitch I sent to Michael when I was applying to be a freelance Geek writer for the site.
PLEASE put pitches in the appropriate channel. If you need access or an explanation of what a channel is, ask and I’m happy to explain.
DO NOT send pitches via DM. All that is doing is cluttering things up and wasting everyone’s time.
Please do not tag me, Michael or another editor in your initial pitch either. We do our best to respond to each pitch within 24-36 hours on weekdays. Again, we're on several time zones, so please don't think that “prompting” us with tags is going to get you noticed. We will notice, but it will not be in your favor.
When you pitch, DO NOT ask 5 more times the same day or DM me repeatedly whether or not your pitch has been approved. We will let you know if your pitch has been approved or not within 24-36 hours.
UNLESS YOU HAVE SPECIFIC PERMISSION FROM ME, YOU MAY NOT HAVE MORE THAN THREE (3) PITCHES APPROVED OR ARTICLES CLAIMED AT ONE TIME.