What does a “letter from an editor” look like? And how can I get one?
A “letter from an editor” can be very simple. It should contain the name of the publication (ideally on the company’s letterhead), the type of commissioned piece, and the expected publication date. It should be signed by your commissioning editor. Most editors will provide letters of support for an application of this nature. Should they have questions, please have them email: [email protected] with the subject line “Editor Question”.
What does an editor look for in a pitch?
A recent Nieman Reports article details this so well, we think it should answer all of your questions related to successful pitching. [View the article here.]
Can you help me find a media org or editor for my piece?
At this time, ECFJ is not connecting ideas/pitches to editors. You should be able find all you need in these FAQs to help guide you in that process.
How do I identify the right outlet for my story?
There are a lot of wonderful publications out there that have and continue to work with non-traditional reporters. The best way to identify the publication you see as supporting your pitch is to research where pieces like the one you are proposing are being published. Ask yourself: Is this a subject that the publication has supported in the past? Is the format I am proposing something the publication has commissioned previously? Also, keep in mind, you don’t want to pitch something too similar to something recently commissioned. Always check the archives before sending in the pitch.
How do I reach out to an editor?
Very often editor’s emails are available via their social media profiles. And most publications have general email addresses for pitching on their sites.
Do I qualify for this?
If you are a practicing artist, or Artist-Journalist team we welcome your application!
Artist-journalist teams must be able to show their past work in their application, and be able to describe how they will work together to produce the piece. It is not necessary that the artist or journalist have previously worked together, but the application must illustrate why you are both the right people to tell this story. When applying, please clearly illustrate how your proposal connects to one of our supported areas of focus, and how you plan on working with your editor to complete the collaboration.
Do you only consider written articles?
Artists of all disciplines are invited to apply. Publications have editors that are focused on a variety of pieces. If you are pitching a photo series, for instance, connect with the photo editor. Or if your idea is for a specific part of a publication, reach out to the editor that oversees that section. If an idea is a good fit, more often than not an editor will pass it along to the appropriate colleague if it doesn’t fall under their purview.
Additionally, journalists of all disciplines are invited to jointly apply with an artist.
Who should I add for my reference letter/contact?
For this section, we would love to have the name of someone you may have worked with in the past, and can discuss your professional relationship, if necessary. You can either include a letter or just their email address and we may reach out to them during the review process.
What are some examples of artists’ work that have been published in major news media?
Here are some stellar examples of different kinds of pieces produced by artists for publications:
- (Photography + Text) Trevor Paglen with The Intercept
- (Illustration + Text) Molly Crabapple with The New York Times
- (Op-Ed) Kameelah Janan Rasheed with The Guardian
- (Photography + Video) Sim Chi Yin with Al Jazeera
Still looking for more information?
Watch this video shot for the Center for Artistic Activism featuring our Editorial Director, Marisa Mazria Katz, and former Eyebeam alum Steve Lambert on “How Artists Can Make the News.” You can also email [email protected]