Pitching an article for Science Borealis

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Our pitch sessions occur on Slack and allow all members of the editorial team to consider and discuss the proposed idea, provide tips for possible sources/source information, help you focus and determine the article’s structure, and address other key issues that will help you when it comes time to write. Although the team-pitch process is not mandatory, we encourage all of our editors to pitch their articles in this way. We have found the process significantly reduces the number of drafts and amount of editing required to polish the piece. It also reduces the amount stress the contributing editors experience when writing and polishing their posts.

The purpose of pitching is to let the senior editors know what you want to write about, ask them questions or for help, and allow them to help you refine the focus and angle of your story.

Prepare for your pitch session

Do some background research, identify key sources, scope out the intended article, and identify its focus, structure, and what you would want readers to take away from reading your article (key messages). Think of the pitch session as a job interview, not a brainstorming session: its purpose is to fine-tune the details of your article, not resolve more fundamental issues such as topic, scope, angle, etc.

If you’re stuck, hold an unscheduled, casual pre-pitch session in Slack with whomever is available. This is where you can turn to ask your fellow writers and contributing editors for help with resources, leads for interviewees, or defining your pitch’s scope, focus and messages, and where you can run ideas past your colleagues. If you are well ahead of your deadline, start this way.

Email your pitch to the managing editor and senior editors. Your pitch should be a couple of paragraphs explaining the story you want to tell and the approach you plan to take. Include some background, resources, potential interviewees, etc. Also include a range of 2–3 possible dates and specific times (including time zone) during the following week when you are available for Slack pitch session.

Hold a pitch session

We encourage you to take full advantage of the real-time pitch session that occurs on our Slack channel, as it will help you focus your planned article efficiently and effectively.

These pitch session options are available:

  • A scheduled pitch session (~45 mins) on Slack. This pitch session includes other subject/contributing editors, senior editors, and Core Team members if they are available. Contact the managing editor and editorial coordinator to schedule this and send a pitch announcement to the whole team.
  • An open pitch session over several days on the Slack editorial channel. This option is available if you are unable to schedule a specific time. An open pitch is a multi-day conversation on Slack with other subject/contributing editors, who contribute as they have time, about the proposed article. The managing editor will help set up both scheduled and open pitch sessions.

We recommend that you attend one of our pitch sessions on Slack to see how they are run.


Other resources in this series

The role of a Science Borealis subject/contributing editor

Writing for Science Borealis: Our writing practicum for editorial candidates

The Science Borealis editorial cycle

Guidelines for articles published on Science Borealis

Working with the senior editors

Using and crediting images in Science Borealis articles

Promoting your articles


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