AHCJ’s second virtual PitchFest was held late last month with 67 freelance members participating. Writers pitched their ideas to top health editors from 21 publications, including AARP, Discover Magazine, Kaiser Health News, National Geographic, The New York Times and Scientific American.
Freelancers signed up in advance for 10-minute sessions with editors. These meetups allowed them to pitch a story idea and better understand the types of stories editors want today. Both sides welcomed the opportunity to get to know one another and consider assignments.
“I’ve always appreciated all the work and organization that must go into PitchFest to make it run so smoothly. Last year I had no idea how things would go when PitchFest moved online, but I ended up loving the accessibility and increased privacy (and I am still writing for one of the editors I met there!). I found this year’s new platform even easier to use. But I’m still looking forward to the next in-person event,” said Sheila M. Eldred, an independent journalist in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The one-on-one dynamics of the in-person event translated well to the online format, especially for Elizabeth Devita Raeburn, executive editor at Everyday Health, who calls herself an “extroverted introvert.”
“I love PitchFest, not only because it’s a pragmatic way to recruit new writers (and I always need them), but because it’s a novel way to get to know people in the field who I might not otherwise have encountered,” Raeburn said. “I’m looking forward to seeing all my people in person when AHCJ goes live again.”