Virtual PitchFest 2021: The editors

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

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.

The list of editors and what they are looking for is provided below. Please be sure to read more about the PitchFest and what is expected of participants on this page.

Alex Orlando, assistant editor, Discover Magazine

Discover is a national consumer science magazine that covers all kinds of scientific fields. We want stories that enlighten, inform and get readers excited about science; we capture science that’s relevant to them. Our stories are grounded in the research, but are driven by strong narratives, high reader interest and a conversational tone. Our audience is broad: Science should be for everyone. For the print magazine, you’ll have the best luck pitching front-of-book story ideas, followed by columns and features, which are more limited and selective. Pitches for columns should be focused on one of the following subject areas: medical mysteries, novel earth and environmental science, history of science (that also circles back to today), anthropology/archaeology, behavioral science and technology. We also seek web-only stories, especially short features with a new angle on current events or that are evergreen.

(For print, starting at $1/word. For web, typically $300/story.)

Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, senior editor, Everyday Health is looking for people who can write news, general content, and service pieces relevant to the topics of oncology and mental health.

Essays and blog posts that offer personal takes on these topics are also welcome.

(App. $350.)

Joyce Frieden, Washington editor, MedPage Today

MedPage Today’s target audience includes all varieties of healthcare professionals, but the focus remains physicians, nurses, and physician assistants.

We seek original content that can provide useful information for practicing clinicians, regardless of whether that information is based on clinical research, clinical practice, medical education, payment or policy issues, but what really excites us is a good story that pulls the user in and holds his or her attention.

MedPage Today also has a dedicated enterprise & investigative reporting team that digs into issues that impact practice, including the influence of money and politics on medicine, healthcare overuse, bad practices in science and medicine, and more.

Candice Clark, editor-in-chief, Rural Health Quarterly

Rural Health Quarterly (RHQ) is a national rural health news magazine published by the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. RHQ explores all issues related to rural health care. The readership for RHQ includes rural health care providers, researchers, educators and policy makers. RHQ accepts freelance pitches for stories of any length that cover timely and relevant rural health topics. RHQ stories should help readers understand the complex and often unique health care challenges faced by rural America. Stories about innovative programs and rural health success stories are also welcome.

(Pay varies.)

Lila Guterman, deputy news editor, Science

Science Magazine publishes news and feature stories online and in print. We seek pitches related to science research or policy, but not health or health care stories without a significant research component. We have staff reporters covering a lot of biomedical fields, so we look for pitches for unique angles or stories we haven’t read elsewhere; this year, we are particularly interested in neuroscience pitches. Our features need an investigative or narrative arc, so if you are pitching a longer piece, please give a sense of not only what your story is but how you plan to report and tell it. Please check out our freelancer guidelines. (Pay varies.)

Ingrid Wickelgren, Spectrum

I edit long form features, and we are looking for narratives. We are also looking for unique angles on autism. Before pitching, please scan our previous deep dives to avoid repeating previous topics.

Plays off news stories are fair game, as are new angles or updates on topics covered in previous deep dives (as long as they are not niche topics). Please lead your pitch with the narrative and follow with your thesis and an outline of major points, including some of the people you plan to interview.

Coordinator: Jeanne Erdmann, independent journalist

Jeanne Erdmann is an award-winning health and science writer based in Wentzville, Mo. Her work has appeared in Discover, Real Simple, Family Circle, Women’s Health, Spectrum, The Washington Post, Nature, Nature Medicine and other publications. She is co-founder and editor-at-large at The Open Notebook, a craft-focused website for science and health writers. She is the chair of AHCJ's Freelance Committee. You can follow her at @jeanne_erdmann.