Editors already on board for virtual PitchFest, set for Oct. 27-28

About Jeanne Erdmann

Jeanne Erdmann is an award-winning health and science writer based in Wentzville, Mo. A member of AHCJ's board of directors, she is the chair of the organization's Freelance Committee. Her work has appeared in Discover, Women’s Health, Aeon, Slate, The Washington Post, Nature, Nature Medicine and other publications.

Although Health Journalism has been postponed until 2022, PitchFest is a go — in a virtual format like last year’s event.

Here is how PitchFest will work: The event will take place over two days, Wednesday, October 27, and Thursday, October 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Participating editors will choose two-hour slots. Some may choose two consecutive hours, while others may select 30-minute slots that work best for their schedule. They may also choose to schedule slots on both days.

Each participant will have up to 10 minutes with each editor. Appointments will be 10 minutes without a break between appointments. Participants will have to keep careful watch on the time and start wrapping up pitches at 8 minutes, so everyone can remain on time.

For $45, participants can choose three editors in the first round of sign-ups. Once all participants have chosen initial slots, they’ll be able to choose two more editors at no additional fee. All appointments will be subject to availability. (The initial fee of $45 will help cover the cost of software.)

Here’s the signup schedule:

October 12: Editors’ information & schedule for appointments available for journalists.

October 15 noon ET: Appointment page goes live for journalists to select times.

October 21 noon ET: All remaining appointments will open up.

October 26 5 p.m. ET: Appointment calendar closes.

The same rules apply for the virtual event as the in-person PitchFest. Participants need to choose their slots carefully, as they cannot be changed or swapped. Participants much show up on time with pitches prepared. Refunds are not available.

To get prepared, tune in at 1 pm EST on on Tuesday, October 21 for a pitching webinar. Freelance Committee member Michele Cohen Marill will host the event, which will include a journalist and several editors. Panelists will share their advice on pitching and get writers prepared for PitchFest.

Please direct any questions about the event to AHCJ Events Coordinator Susan Cunningham at susan@healthjournalism.org or Jeanne Erdmann at Jeanne.erdmann@gmail.com.

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