Well, as it turns out being overly casual in a pitch is not always necessarily a CLM (Career Limiting Move). I heard back from the editor at Pagesdigital, and, amazingly, she reckons an on-the-ground fan’s perspective and wrap up might be just the ticket. I suspect this may be just a polite, metaphoric middle finger to my request of special backstage access or interviews with real bands, but I’ll take it! One slight spanner in the works of my digital publishing debut… the due date. Precisely 24 hours after stumbling back into the cold, harsh fluorescent light of reality. This might have to be a team effort, by the campfire (or flashing Ray’s Outdoors lantern) before bed (or inflatable mattress), methinks.
I deliberately didn’t mention Pitch Fever in my email, desperately hoping to be taken seriously as an established and very respectable member of the literati, rather than an experimentalist virgin writer. Nevertheless, she coyly wished me luck on the 100 pitches in the last line of her missive. There can be only one explanation. A quick self-search confirms this hypothesis, along with a few surprises. Good lesson early on to watch what I say, and to curb my tendency towards hyperbole.
Speaking of pitches, its day 8, and since we last spoke, I’ve popped a couple more irons on the pitching fire. Two sparked by a rather lovely night out with my boy on Wednesday night, a fortnightly (oft ignored) tradition where we alternate turns to take the other on a surprise date. The idea being to keep the romance alive and resist the lure of our ridiculously oversized wall mounted tele (which came with the house). My turn this time, so we headed off to the World Press Photography exhibition (is anyone else still haunted by those 6 images of the Zimbabwean elephant feast?) and then a truly spectacular little bar in Surry Hills called the Shady Pines Saloon. Since I’ve been old enough to finish a beer I’ve dreamed of a bar with peanuts in the shell, and here not only are they abundant (and complimentary) but surrounded by candlelight and taxidermy and Johnny Cash, and washed down with an incredibly impressive array of International whiskeys.
Ergo, two pitches: One to Time Out (Sydney) on ‘Ten tight arse dates’ (inspired by the free exhibition) and one to the SMH’s Spectrum on the small bar situation in Sydney. Since the liquor licensing laws were (finally!) amended in December 2007, and licenses went from being exorbitant to a mere $500, we expected a plethora of lantern lit, laneway watering holes to pop up. Up yours Melbourne, we began to say, we’ve got ferries AND your gorgeous grungy wine bars. But progress has been slow. There’s been some crackers, and some fizzers, but I could still count them on one hand. Within a 2km radius of each other. The boy and I were fantasising that night about opening up one of our own, and so I decided to be a little sneaky, and combine our own research with a potential story. Why aren’t there more small bars popping up? What do you have to do apply for a license? Is there a whole lot of red tape? How do they actually make money, with so few people and so much rent? What are some of the pitfalls, and joys? A dummies guide, if you will. I’d talk to someone vocal at Raise the Bar, a couple of bar owners who are killing it and a couple who’ve gone under. Maybe even a break-out box on some of the hidden gems. I’m a sucker for a break-out box.
One more quick pitch asking to do a couple of reviews and interviews for the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival, happening in September – how can you go past an interview with a chick with a write up like this – and we’re up to one week of pitchin’. Phew. This whole pitching palava is far, far bigger than I originally imagined. Generating ideas, rejecting ideas, research, hooks, angles, publication choices, analysis of publication, target audience, interview and case study ideas, editor addresses, emails, and this here blog. Thank God Masterchef is finally over and I’ll get an hour of my life back each day. Although I’m sure the wall-mounted temptress will find some other way to suck me back in. Damn her and her wily ways.