If there's one thing more challenging for writers than putting the proverbial pen to paper, then it's the pitching process. Whether it's because you love the craft, but loathe the business, or simply have no idea where to begin, pitching can be both mystifying and straight-up time consuming.
But it doesn't have to be. In fact, once you nail down the basics of pitching, you might even feel excited about applying the principles you learn in class to your pitching process—especially when it results in your work getting published!
In this six-week 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. This class can be useful for nonfiction writers at any level who are looking to improve their pitching techniques, whether or not they’ve been published before.
Participants will spend their first class breaking down the basics of pitching to prepare for workshop. From there, the remaining five classes will involve a craft talk paired with two workshopping sessions per class. Through classroom discussion and examples, students can work to refine their pitch and will have the opportunity to receive written and 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, formats for various types of pitches, and relevant bio information and clips to include.
- Students will formulate and submit one pitch for workshop, as well as during the practice of workshopping their peers' work. Each student will walk away with a polished pitch, ready for querying.
- Students will engage in conversations about pitching, including how to generate or expand upon story ideas, as well as methods for discovering editors and publications best suited for their work.
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Students are expected to submit one pitch for their assigned workshop, as well as read and comment on their peers' submissions each week.
Week 1: Pitch Elements (Or How Do I Even Begin?)
Week 2: Types of Pitches (And When to Use Them)
Week 3: How to Put Together Clips (Even If You Don't Have Them)
Week 4: Methods for Generating Ideas
Week 5: Research + Report: How to Find Data and Expert Sources for Your Pitch
Week 6: Get Connected: Discovering Editors and Publications for Your Work
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.
"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!"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."