Online | Nonfiction | Seminar

1-Day Nonfiction Seminar: Writing Pitches that Land Bylines

Do you have a notebook jam-packed with ideas fit for print, but don't know the first thing about pitching them to publications? Are you an essayist with gorgeous completed pieces ready to submit, but balk at the idea of pitching your prose?

You aren't alone. In fact, pitching is challenging no matter your experience level because it asks the writer to repackage their writing and turn on a marketing persona—pick me, choose me, love me!—that may or may not come easily. But here's the good news: Once you learn the basics of pitching, it's like a formula that you can apply no matter the idea or completed piece.

In this one-day workshop with writer Caroline Shannon Karasik (The Cut, InStyle, Narratively, Tonic, Romper, Well+Good), writers of all levels can expect to walk through the steps of crafting various types of pitches and learn the basics of how to discover the publications (and editors) that will be the best fit for their work.

Participants should come to class with at least one idea or fully-developed piece that they hope to pitch to a publication. Through classroom discussion and examples, students can work to refine their pitch and will be given the option to receive verbal feedback from their peers and the instructor.

Our class platform works best on laptop or desktop computers. Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.

Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.  

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- Students will learn the basics of pitching, including how much or how little to include in a pitch, how to write a catchy and detailed subject line, and relevant bio information and clips to include. (Or what to do when you don't have credentials yet!)

- Students will learn about formats for various types of pitches, including cold pitches, I've-met-you-or-pitched-you-before pitches, and pitches for essays vs. reported pieces.

- Students will learn why it's important to do their homework before pitching. This includes where to find information about various editors and publications and how to discover the correct editor or vertical to pitch within a specific publication.

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

This is a one-day workshop: students will do writing exercises and generative work in the classroom, but there is no outside homework.

Caroline Shannon Karasik

Caroline Shannon Karasik’s work has appeared in The Cut, Tonic, Narratively, and other publications. She is currently an instructor at Catapult and an MFA candidate in Antioch University’s creative writing program. Caroline lives in Pittsburgh. You can find her on Instagram @carolineshannonkarasik and Twitter @CSKarasik. Her website is www.cskarasik.com.

Testimonials

"Caroline is everything you would hope for in an editor: kind, hopeful, incisive, and thoroughly committed to emotional honesty. In her own writing, she is telling radical truths about women's bodies, about motherhood — about, really, everything that matters. Anyone who has the chance to work with her should grab it."

Diane fellow workshop participant

"Caroline is the person you dream of having in your workshop: interested, attentive, honest, and smart. She reads everyone's work like she's reading a much-anticipated debut book: with enthusiasm and great care. And her feedback is always gold because get this — she's also an incredible writer."

Stephanie fellow workshop participant

"Caroline will not only teach you, she will unlock what you have already known all along. And then one day you'll be getting coffee or scraping mold off some bread and the perfect pitch you've had inside you will fall out of the secret room in your brain you aren't allowed in. Only Caroline can help gently pull things out of that secret room, she is the pitch witch."

Elizabeth Teets writer, comedian, and host and producer of the Hollywood Theater program "Isn’t She Great"

"Caroline has been an overall pleasure to work with. Her pitches are insightful and original, she submits clean and engaging copy and quickly turns around thorough edits. Her professionalism and ability to detect an outlet's tone and write/report accordingly makes her a highly sought after freelancer in the field. At VICE, she crafted both her pitches and her stories with intention, and it showed."

Rajul Punjabi senior editor at Mic & former editor at VICE

"Caroline is your go-to gal for all things pitching. She's got her finger on the pulse, a keen-eye, and is articulate and well-read as you can get. Caroline's essays and angles challenge me to think more deeply, and her enthusiasm and dedication to her peers and colleagues is admirable. Jump at this opportunity to work with her—your pitches and writing will thank you!"

Chloe Caldwell author of I'LL TELL YOU IN PERSON

“I owe Caroline’s teaching more credit than I can describe. Her workshops provided the perfect structure to get my pitches streamlined and focused. Looking back at where I started, I can see the improvement. And her feedback has helped me gain the confidence I need to reach the writing goals I SHOULD be setting. I could not ask for a better teacher.”

Andria Kennedy writer, and creator of INVISIBLE INKS

“I enrolled in Caroline’s class with zero experience pitching and no clue where to begin. By the end of the first class, I had the basic tools to formulate a pitch. By the end of the workshop, I gained confidence in my ability to pitch, and even had a pitch accepted by a dream publication. Caroline is super insightful, knowledgeable, and encouraging. She’s also incredibly generous with her time and is deeply invested in helping her students succeed. I can’t recommend Caroline enough; she’s really the best!”

Rachel León writer

“Caroline's class was detailed, action-oriented and all the while we had a really fun time. Most importantly, I've been landing pitches regularly ever since taking her class. Caroline is also the most thoughtful teacher I've ever worked with. She regularly emails me with pitch opportunities or thoughts about my writing well after our class ended.”

Patricia Fancher Ph.D., former student and continuing lecturer in the writing program at the University of California Santa Barbara

“Caroline helped me see the forest through the trees. She took pitching from a mysterious process in which I had no control and provided me with time-tested tools and techniques for communicating my story ideas clearly and effectively. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her recommendations are always spot on. Take her class if you ever have the opportunity. It’s a game-changer."

Trevor Keaton Pogue founder of meatballamericano.com and freelance writer for Vice, The Seattle Weekly, and Seattle Met Magazine

“As someone who was new to pitching, I didn’t know what I didn’t know—Caroline changed that for me. She made pitching a little less scary by covering all aspects of pitching—from the actual pitch to ways of finding editors, to what happens after the pitch gets rejected or accepted. I needed someone to hold my hand through the process and she was the perfect person to do so. Since taking her intensive class, I have continued to work with her on a 1:1 basis. She has helped my writing and my confidence; I without a doubt, recommend taking one of Caroline’s classes.”

Nicole Reed, writer