Push Yourself to Pitch

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Recently I commented to Angela Mackintosh, our fearless leader here at WOW! Women on Writing, that I had applied to work as a contributing writer for Writers Hive Media. Ang told me that she wonders how many of us send in work to the various markets listed in the monthly markets newsletter. If you’ve never read the newsletter, you can find the June 2023 issue here. It’s the issue that included the listing for Writers Hive. 

If you’re anything like me, it is easy to read through the newsletter or spot a market listing on Twitter but never get around to pitching. After all, we've all got a list of things we need to accomplish and people clamoring for our attention each and every day.

The way that I’ve solved this for myself is by creating my weekly push. Those pings that you get on your phone whenever an email comes in or a Youtuber you follow posts a new video? Those are push notifications. 

I don’t create notifications that pop up on my phone. It would be pointless. I ignore them! 

Instead, I email myself a list. It might be a list of interesting agents that I find in the Query Tracker weekly update. Other times it is the list of markets that I find in the WOW! Women on Writing Markets Newsletter. I just select the market listing, copy, and paste it into an email. 

As I copy and paste, I arrange them based on a variety of factors. Something with a tight deadline often goes at the top of the list. Even if the deadline isn’t stated but it is for seasonal material, the listing goes near the top. 

Sometimes I find only one or two markets. This time I found five. What's on my June list? Writers Hive, the New Scientist, The Victorian Writer, Oh Reader, and Wired. 

Whether it is markets or agents, once I have compiled the list I click SEND and off it goes. Ping! (That’s the push notification telling me that it has dropped into my email inbox. Don't worry, I'll ignore it.) 

Does this work better than simply leaving the newsletter in my inbox?  Yes!  Because once I’ve read a newsletter, I can ignore easily ignore it even if I know it contains several solid markets. It is much easier to find the markets that I want if that’s all that’s in the email. 

With my June list, I applied to write for Writers Hive and then clicked forward.  Then I delete that particular market from the list and send the items that remain back to the top of my inbox. Ping! 

Why does this work for me? I couldn’t begin to tell you. But what I do know is that this year I’ve gone from sending out the rare and occasional query, pitch, or submission to sending out three a month. Do I succeed every month? So far, the only month I didn’t get it done was March when I had two book deadlines. 

Whether your interest is literary journals, writer’s retreats, agents, or book publishers, you can do something similar. When you find a listing, email it to yourself. Resend the list to yourself periodically as needed to keep it near the top of your inbox. Its presence will act as a reminder. “Hey! Hey, Sue! Send in that query. Pitch that article idea. Apply for that position.” 

And, if you’ve submitted to any of the markets listed in a WOW! markets newsletter, why not let Angela know below? My own list includes Writers Hive, Writer’s Digest, and Creative Child. 


Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of 40 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.

The next session of her new course, Pitching, Querying and Submitting Your Work will begin on July 10, 2023).  Coping with rejection is one of the topics she will cover in this course.

Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins July 10, 2023) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins July 10, 2023).


Nicole Pyles said...

I like this idea! I use a similar technique. Cause I'm far less likely to ignore myself, especially if I send it in all caps to me or something haha

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I LOVE that idea. Actually, I type all caps notes to myself in the body of manuscripts. INSERT BRILLIANT TRANSITION. WHAT DETAILS WOULD LEAP OUT IN THIS SETTING.

It is funny how we trick ourselves into getting things done.

Nicole Pyles said...


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

That is perfect!

Ann Kathryn Kelly said...

SueBE: I add interesting calls for subs into my Notes app on my iPhone. I create a separate Note for each interesting opportunity: "Submit to XX. Details in Inbox." Then I assign a date and time to the Note. This of course means I get all kinds of pings going off at 8:00 in the morning ... and yes, I'm guilty of pushing quite a few notifications to noon or 5:00 or 8:00 at night ... and even bumping the day reminder out by several days. But on the whole, I find this works for me. :-)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Hi Ann,

Even if you put it off for a few days, it sounds like this works well for you. And isn't that what counts?

Angela Mackintosh said...

Yay, Sue! :) I'm so glad you pitched, and I love the idea of emailing yourself. I frequently paste market links into a draft email just so I can find them, but, doy, never thought about sending it to myself! I add deadlines to my Google calendar, which I live by, but sometimes I don't look at the upcoming dates so I'm scrambling to get something submitted on the same day.

It's funny, but I think a lot of writers actually use your method! Since I'm on WOW's editors email, I get writers accidentally hitting reply instead of forward or sending it to themselves, and it's frequently a note like "check this for essays." I also get added to Google calendar notifications for deadlines and class start dates that we've sent to writers, but I'm just thrilled writers are actively doing something with the newsletters. It makes my day! :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Hi Ang,
I always err on the side of optimism. "I will pitch all of these." Sometimes once I research a market, I realize that they aren't a good fit. But if I don't look at them, I won't pitch anything. And if I try, I might get a yes!

That is funny about accidentally e-mailing you. That's why I hit forward. TO is always blank. But it is wonderful to know that so many people are looking into the markets.


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