What: ArtWrite – The Pitch
Where: QUT Art Museum
When: 21 August 2012
Reviewed by: Steph Dooris, Brisbane Ambassador

QUT Art Museum’s third seminar in the ArtWrite series focused on pitching to editors and featured Louise Martin-Chew (Brisbane arts writer) and Sarah Follent (editor of Eyeline Magazine).

Martin-Chew and Follent were the perfect choice for this seminar, as both have extensive experience working on either side of the table. Martin-Chew is a freelance writer who has written for The Australian, Australian Art Review, Art Monthly, InDesign and Green magazine, and previously worked as editorial manager at Art&Australia. Follent used to write for The Australian before her gig as Editor for Eyeline.

The hottest tip from the night was to research. Martin-Chew and Follent both strongly suggested knowing as much as possible about publications before pitching to them. They told the crowd that the best research was to just read the magazines and figure out what they cover, their deadlines and whether there are themes you will need to work within.

The next step, after reading up on who you want to pitch to, was to approach editors. For this, they suggested sending editors a short introduction of who you are and your previous experience (either with writing or in the arts industry), followed by a brief outline of your pitch. All in all, they suggested, the document should not be longer than a page. If you want to include a CV, Follent warned against making it longer as editors are unlikely to have time to look at much more.

When it comes to the actual writing, both Martin-Chew and Follent stressed the importance of sticking to word limits, checking grammar and proofreading. Although it may seem like common sense, the main message I took from this seminar was to be thorough in all aspects of the process, and to really know the magazine you are wanting to approach. The anecdotal advice of Martin-Chew and Follent, two heavyweights in Australia’s arts writing scene, was helpful, logical and reassuring, and definitely made this event a worthwhile way of spending a Tuesday evening.

QUT’s final ArtWrite seminar for the year, Copyright: Copyright for writers and artists, is on Tuesday 23 October at 6pm. RSVP via email (artmuseum@qut.edu.au) or call 07 3138 5370.