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.

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.


- 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


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


"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