Tag Archives: icons

Day #2: A pitch with no pub… lication

20 Jul

No word yet from Clint @ Bacon busters. Which is very upsetting, as the potential for pig puns is bigger than pork buns. Instead of finalising this financial year’s budget forecast at work today, I’ve been dreaming of potential headlines for this little pig piece, including ‘Girl goes the whole hog’, ‘Hunting – what a boar’ and ‘Sow, you think you can shoot?’ Maybe I shouldn’t have told so much hogwash in the pitch, like introducing myself as a freelance writer, when any quick Google search would reveal this is a complete porkie pie. Thanks to Tim and Kate for their contributions.

But yesterday’s post did get me thinking about something other than making bacon. Specifically, Slim Dusty. So I started humming ‘The Pub with no Beer’. And then it came to me, just after that bit about the faraway look on the face of the bum (when I was little I thought this was actually a face drawn on a posterior, with a permanent marker-ed leer). In the absence of any famous contacts, due to an absence of a high-profile journalism career, I can mine the people I already know for stories! And I just happen to know the grandchildren of two of Australia’s most famous icons: Slim Dusty and Don Bradman.

How about a feature profiling these and other ‘famous, twice-removed’ twenty-somethings and how their upbringing, beliefs and own career choices were influenced by their iconic Nannas and Pops? Did they feel the pressure to follow suit? Did they rebel, or be inspired? Does it dominate dinner party conversation? I needed one more subject to make this a story, and decided after spending my formative years living across the road from Bob Hawke and watching him play putt-putt on the roof with his grandkids, that he’d be the perfect iconic subject. Topical too, after Sunday night’s ratings blockbuster on his life. Quick dabble online revealed a nice hook: his grandson Dave has his spleen removed last year after a rugby accident, as did Hawkie Snr after a motorcycle crash in his youth. Bingo!

Quite chuffed with the idea actually, aside from one niggly hurdle: I can’t for the life of me think who to pitch it to. Editors’ universal bugbear, according to Sue White, a freelance writer and teacher at Sydney Writers Centre, is a pitch which doesn’t know the publication’s style or content, nor understand their readership. So who would want to actually read about this?

Search as I might, I can’t seem to find anything that fits: a general lifestyle, gender neutral publication for people in their 20s and 30s (I don’t think this is quite women’s mag fodder, with 2 male case studies). Quickly resist the urge to start one up (been down that path!) and decide instead to depart from traditional magazine land and into the back verandah, cuppa tea territory of the weekend paper lift out sections. Just the kind of story I’d soak up like gooey eggs with toast on a Saturday morning.

Decide on the Good Weekend – massively ambitious with a readership of 1.6 million and award-winning journalists, but I figure aim high and then once rejected I can recycle the idea with a new angle for 50 something. Or something. Find the editor’s email address using an age-old method of sourcing her name at front of the mag and some trial and error, and the pitch is off, with a little (white-lie) sweetener about interviewees lined up and happy to be photographed. Day 2, done! A mere 98 to go. Dear God.



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