Home Science Communication Learning how to pitch science writing

Learning how to pitch science writing

by Eva Amsen

I love non-fiction writing, but I’m really terrible at pitching my ideas. That’s unfortunate, because non-fiction stands and falls with a good pitch. I just can’t sell myself.

To illustrate how awful I am, here is part of an actual pitch I sent somewhere a few weeks ago.

“It sounds WAY more exciting than it is, though. (…) This story lacks personal development on my part, and has no conclusion.”

ACTUAL PITCH. Not altered for hyperbole!

In my weak defence, I knew the recipient. Somehow that makes it extra difficult to say nice things about myself. (They’ve met me: they know I’m not perfect!) Needless to say, this did not get accepted. (But neither did my less self-deprecating pitch, so positivity isn’t everything.)

This was just a small thing, but when it comes to pitching BIGGER projects, like a BOOK, I really need to learn to get better. That’s why I’m now taking an online course at Gotham Writers’ Workshop to learn how to pitch non-fiction books.

I’m in week two of the course, and need to hand in an assignment next week. It’s a short assignment in terms of word length, but SO HARD. It will take me all weekend, I think.

Meanwhile, the class lectures are really great. There are lots of examples, for many different kinds of non-fiction books. There’s a risk factor, though: Because they are all exemplary pitches and proposals meant to sell books, I now want to buy lots of books!

Hopefully I’ll figure out how to write like that and sell my own ideas properly.

Related Articles