How to pitch to Waitrose Food Illustrated

Pitch to: Me (katy.salter @johnbrowngroup.co.uk), but travel ideas can go to Liz Edwards.

Type of article: 99 per cent of ideas are generated in-house, but there’s still a chance for freelances to pitch original ideas.

Topics: With food, the world’s your rock oyster. So, within reason, it could be on anything.

How to pitch: Before you pitch, read some back issues. It’s best to pitch by email with a brief intro of who you are and which magazines and newspapers you’ve written for. Attaching an example or link to recent, relevant articles always helps. Pitch one to three ideas at a time, rather than a long list. Keep the summaries to about a paragraph each. A long list of 30 ideas doesn’t inspire confidence. Just pick your best ones.

Post-pitch: Follow up with an email about two weeks later.

Rate: Depends on who you are and what the story is. But we are very competitive.

What will impress: An original idea, and one that will fit in well with our content. The style of your pitch should suggest the way you will write the piece.

What won’t impress: Exhaustive accounts of a recent visit to Tuscany or Provence or your local food festival. Pitching a December story in December – we work three to four months ahead. Anything on truffle hunting – it’s been done to death. An obvious lack of familiarity with the magazine. Sending a pitch still addressed to Observer Food Monthly but just changing the name of the features editor. A blanket pitch copying in all the food mags at the same time – this happens more often than one might think.

Any other info: Waitrose Food Illustrated is taken seriously by the food world. We regularly break stories that are picked up by the national papers. If you’ve got a great scoop, talk to us first.

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