A lot of my freelance writing course students ask me what to do when they don’t hear back from an editor on a pitch they sent. They wonder if the editor ever received it, if it went to spam, if the editor hated the idea and that’s why they didn’t respond, or a number of other things that worry them.
I encourage freelancers to follow up on their pitches and their introductory emails to clients. I was an assigning editor (meaning I gave assignments out to freelancers) at magazines and websites for about nine years. Don’t let that idea you worked on die with that editor and publication.
Here’s why an editor hasn’t responded to your pitch and what to do about it:
These are just a few reasons I’ve come across in my years of working at and writing for magazines. It’s very easy for an editor to miss a pitch when they’re scrolling through their emails. The most important thing you can do is follow up—I suggest email. I never answered my phone at the office in recent years and I’m guessing most editors don’t want you to call.
If the editor doesn’t respond again, revise the pitch for another outlet if you think it’ll work for a different magazine. There’s no need to let that hard work you spent researching an idea go to waste. It also doesn’t mean you can’t pitch that editor ever again. Give it shot in a few weeks with another article idea and try to see if you can make it even more relevant to their publication. Learn how to make more money freelance writing.
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