By Christine Heinrichs
What a great group of editors Sharon Guynup assembled for the Pitch Slam! Getting editors from New Scientist, Popular Science, National Geographic, National Geographic News, an online publication, Orion and Plenty magazines, provided a wide variety of magazines for us all to pitch our ideas to. The deputy director of the International Reporting Project also participated, responding to pitches on behalf of her program sending reporters around the world to pursue their stories, http://www.internationalreportingproject.org/. What a great opportunity that is! If you have projects that need international travel, check it out and apply.
Hearing what other reporters are working on is part of the fun. Chris Woodside pitched a story on the energy choices of politicians -- what kind of cars they drive and how they heat their homes, what other ways they consume energy and how much. None of the editors thought it was right for them, but they all said they sure wanted to read it!
I pitched a story on native pollinators, which attracted interest from two of the editors. Mark Spellum, editor of Plenty, unknowingly solicited a story from me before the pitches began. He introduced himself and said he was looking for a story on Urban Chickens. Little did he know, the one who wrote the book on chickens (How to Raise Chickens, http://poultrybookstore.com) was in the audience. We had a good laugh, and I've got some solid leads to good stories.