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Virtual PitchFest

Wednesday, Oct. 27 - Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021; 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET

Attention independent journalists!

Editors from some of the top magazines and newspapers are going virtual to meet you! Bring your best ideas to the AHCJ Virtual PitchFest.

This session has been created to give you an opportunity to pitch your ideas virtually one-on-one with editors from selected publications.

To participate, you must be an AHCJ member, register and pay a non-refundable $45 fee. You will need to do this prior to booking appointments with editors. Please register now by following this link for instructions on how to navigate PitchFest (195K PDF).

Registering will take you to the Career Fair Plus website. Career Fair Plus is a career fair platform which has been modified for PitchFest. In the video and on their website, you will see or hear titles which may not correspond to our platform:

  • Employer = Editor
  • Student/Candidate = Freelance journalist
  • Career Fair = PitchFest

On Oct. 15, noon ET, the editor’s schedules will go LIVE for you to book up to three time slots with the editors of your choosing. First come, first serve with limited appointments per editor.

At noon ET, Oct. 21, if we have Virtual PitchFest editor spots available, even if you have already selected three appointments, we will open the remaining spots until filled.

Read more: About successful pitches.

Important dates

Oct. 1- 13
  • Check your AHCJ membership status. Use this form to join or renew.

  • Visit the PitchFest platform on Career Fair Plus, may begin looking at the editors.

  • Create an account on Career Fair Plus.

  • Register and pay.

Friday, Oct. 15, noon ET
  • Open for sign ups online for up to three appointments per AHCJ member

  • First-come, first-serve with limited availability

  • Up to three appointments at $45, nonrefundable, payment required to reserve your spot

Thursday, Oct. 21, noon ET
  • If time slots are available, members who have already registered may select an additional editor time slot, at no additional charge

  • Anyone making their initial registration on or after October 21 will still pay the $45 fee for up to three appointments, subject to availability

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 5 p.m. ET
  • Sign up period concludes; appointment calendar closes for the event

  • AHCJ cannot guarantee the length of time an editor nor the calendar will remain available before closing

Wednesday, Oct. 27 - Thursday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET

  • Virtual PitchFest

How to sign up »

(Requires member login.)

Editors include:

  • Betsy Agnvall, editor, Staying Sharp, AARP
  • Kathleen Fifield, health editor, AARP
  • Marci Landsmann, senior editor, Cancer Today
  • Alex Orlando, associate editor, Discover
  • Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, editor, Everyday Health
  • Christina Vogt, senior associate editor, Everyday Health
  • Kira Peikoff Beilis, editor-in-chief,
  • Joyce Friedan, washington editor, MedPage Today
  • Kristina Fiore, director, enterprise & investigative reporting, MedPage Today
  • Bijal Trivedi, senior science editor, National Geographic
  • Brendan Maher, news feature editor, Nature
  • Erik Vance, staff editor, New York Times
  • Alexandra Sifferlin, health and science editor, NYT Opinion
  • Kathy Ritchie, health and caregiving editor, Next Avenue
  • Candice Clark, editor-in-chief, Rural Health Quarterly
  • Lila Guterman, deputy news editor, Science Magazine
  • Cori Vanchieri, features editor, Science News
  • Macon Morehouse, news director, Science News
  • Tanya Lewis, senior editor, health & medicine, Scientific American
  • Josh Fischman, senior editor, medicine & science policy, Scientific American
  • Ingrid Wickelgren, features editor, Spectrum
  • Nicholette Zeliadt, managing editor, Spectrum
  • Scott Veale, senior editor, Undark Magazine
  • Kyung Song, senior health editor, WebMD
  • Carrie Gann, managing editor, WebMD
  • David Olmos, executive director, editorial, WebMD/Medscape
  • Kara Platoni, senior science editor,

Use this link for additional information on this year’s editors. Check periodically for updates.


  • You must be an AHCJ member to sign up for PitchFest appointments. AHCJ reserves the right to cancel appointments of anyone who is not qualified.

  • This opportunity is available to members at a nominal fee to help offset the cost of production; price includes the webcast. There is a flat fee of $45, nonrefundable.

  • Each appointment is for 10 minutes.

  • You will NOT be able to change appointments after the sign-up period ends. No cancellations.

  • You may sign up for only one appointment per editor.

Five Simple Rules for PitchFest Etiquette:

  • Show up. The editor has your name so if you schedule an appointment, be on time and show up ready to pitch. There will not be people waiting to fill in for no-shows during the virtual event; therefore, the editor will be sitting for 10 minutes waiting for the next freelancer. AHCJ will not be able to refund any money due to not showing up, changes or cancellations.

  • Prepare carefully. We've posted blurbs from editors describing what they want so read those to customize your pitch to what each editor wants. For example, news editors won't want to hear a pitch for a feature. Study the publication to make certain your pitch is a good fit.

  • Arrive on time. We will run on time and we will run like clockwork. If you are late, you forfeit your pitch.

  • Respect the time limit. You will have only 10 minutes to pitch the editor. At the end of the allotted time, please thank the editor and tell him or her that you will follow up with an email.

  • Understand the limits. Please recognize that attending PitchFest does not guarantee you a sale. It does guarantee you an opportunity to pitch virtually face-to-face to editors who are extremely difficult to access, even by email.

Freelance PitchFest FAQ

How does signing up for Pitchfest work?

Editors who will be appearing at PitchFest are recruited by Freelance Committee Chair Jeanne Erdmann in the weeks before the virtual event. The editors’ time during PitchFest is divided into 10-minute blocks. Sign-ups for those slots takes place in advance of the virtual PitchFest at a date and time that is announced in advance. You are allowed up to three slots at $45 during the advance sign-up period. 

If slots will be held open until Oct. 26, why should I sign up in advance?

We encourage you to sign up on Oct. 15 for several reasons. First, because it represents your best chance of getting the slots you want with the editors you most want to meet and, second, it gives you more time to prepare for the appointment.

Do I need to come prepared with pitches?

Coming with pitches is essential. Getting face-to-face time virtually with these top editors is a rare opportunity and shouldn’t be wasted. These editors have told us that they expect pitches that are fresh, detailed, and demonstrate that you have researched the publication in advance. Do not expect to be able to use the time to have a “get to know you” chat; editors have told us in the past that they think less of writers who do not present pitches to them.

What if I can't attend my pre-arranged time slot?

We ask you to show respect for the effort that has been expended to provide this opportunity for you by honoring your commitments to your appointments.

If you are on the fence about participating, we ask that you refrain from the advance sign-ups.

AHCJ is working with a software company to produce this event and will not have access to make last-minute changes or cancellations. We are unable to refund your money.

This is important: Do not ghost. The editors have told us in the past that they are insulted when people do not show; remember, they have your names in advance, and they will remember them.

How does PitchFest work logistically?

The event is virtual and you will have 10 minutes to pitch an editor. This software does allow for a visual meeting or audio only. If you have a camera and can meet visually, it would be ideal. You are able to access the appointment by browser or mobile device. AHCJ will send you additional information prior to the event covering logins, customer service support and general information.

An editor I spoke to said that s/he would like to continue the conversation. May I speak with them further?

Please exchange contact information with the editor for a future call. This allows us to keep the PitchFest running on schedule.

A final note:

With our annual conference being postponed, the PitchFest committee has worked hard to develop this unique opportunity for our members. Please take the time to graciously thank the PitchFest committee for their hard work and all of the editors for spending their afternoon listening to your pitches. AHCJ is thrilled to offer a virtual PitchFest for our freelance members and we want to thank you for your continued support and interest.