Writer Checklist: Before You Hit Send

June 27, 2018

When Black women and non-binary people harness the power of media, we can bring real change to our communities. Echoing Ida wants to break down barriers to writing and publishing so more of our stories can be told.

Do you want to write a piece for publication? Do you need help submitting a strong pitch and draft? Turn these tips into your go-to checklist before you hit send.


Did you do your homework?

YES, because:

⇒ I know what kind of work this outlet accepts.
⇒ I know what stories perform well with this outlet.
⇒ I know this outlet’s voice.
⇒ If the outlet has covered my subject, I’ve added their coverage to my pitch.

Is your pitch strong?

YES, because:

⇒ It answers these questions:
      Why now? (Why this is newsworthy, at this moment.)
     So what? (Why people should care.)
      Why me? (Why I’m the best one to write this piece.)
⇒ It adheres to the outlet’s pitch guidelines.
⇒ It followed the How to Pitch a Reporter madlib from our friends at Lightbox Collaborative.

Are you on time?

YES, because:

⇒ For print, I’m pitching 3-6 months in advance.
⇒ There’s enough time to accommodate this outlet’s publication cycle.
⇒ Both my pitch & forthcoming draft can fall within the news cycle.


Is your writing clear?

YES, because:

⇒ I re-read my piece.
⇒ I corrected my spelling and grammar.
⇒ I have a sound argument or coherent structure.

Is your piece effective?

YES, because:

⇒ I have evidence to support my points / enough details to tell the story.
⇒ I checked every fact.
⇒ I anticipated questions my audience might have.

Will your editor love you?

YES, because:

⇒ I’m on time!
⇒ I was open to their edits and feedback.
⇒ I wrote a clear, effective piece.

Good luck! If using these tips helps you get a piece published, let us know: email us at echoingida@forwardtogether.org, and we’ll be sure to amplify your work on Twitter.