Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

How Men and Women Pitch Stories: A Disturbing Sampling

HAPPY SOCIAL NETWORKING DAY!In light of CNN talking head-to-be Kathleen Parker taking a brave stand on how Obama does things in "a woman's way" (and she's not saying that as "evidence of deficiency, but rather" that it "suggests an evolutionary achievement"! No, She swears!), I've been looking at our inbox with gender in mind. Right now, we're getting a lot of emails from writers about our "submission policy." (Thanks, Time. Also, I guess our submission policy is: let's talk?) But they all have something in common. The emails from men are pretty direct. The emails from women are often kind of… apologetic!

Inquiry letter from a man:

"Do you take pitches? Should I just write something and send it? Do I have to tickle the balls? I want to write for the awl, dammit."

Inquiry letter from a woman:

"As an long-time admirer of your site (and non-too-frequent registered commenter), I've been too shy to pitch as I've never felt like my work measured up to your fine standards."

Inquiry letter from a man:

"Can you offer a word of advice regarding how submissions work, desired timetables, what you like the pitches to look like, and so forth?"

Inquiry letter from a woman:

"I'm sure I'm going about this all wrong, but I couldn't find any sort of submission area on the site. What I'm wondering is, how does one go about becoming a contributor to The Awl?"

On one level, it's not bad that many people are polite and self-deprecating! I mean, I have a tendency to file stories to editors with the preface "HERE IS MY GARBAGE, SORRY."

And also I guess some of this is good news? I mean, at least the sexual services being offered are from men. (Though I don't think that offer is very earnest, and I resent that.)

I will report back in short order regarding trends in our transpeople submissions.

54 Comments / Post A Comment

Zack (#2,609)


That's exactly what I say in bed!

Zack (#2,609)

And you can to if you consider this submission …

Art Yucko (#1,321)

that's exactly What She Said, too-

saythatscool (#101)

That's like 10 years of my ex-wife's shit right there.

Me too, except I call it "junk"

Chris (#5,644)

Note to self: More (sincere) promises of sexual services in upcoming pitches.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

don't promise tickles if your mouth can't handle the ballsful.

Chris (#5,644)

Noted again!

TroutSavant (#1,990)

Can we have a submissive submissions column? Also, I'm predicting a deluge of very earnest offers of sexual favors in response to this post.

Did you get my email?

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I have not pitched to the Awl, but I suspect that I would do so in "a woman's way." The absence of recruitment letters from the Xavier Institute suggests that this is no evolutionary achievement worth noting.

mmmark (#4,458)

I very much pitched in the "woman's way." But I am also awful at cardinal directions and spatial reasoning. So…

Jim Behrle (#3,292)


I'm sorry, whose balls do I have to tickle to get something published on your site?

deepomega (#1,720)

Who do I have to lick to get my articles posted up here?!

shaunr (#726)

Men are pitchers, women are catchers. It's natural and in the Bible.

missdelite (#625)

Except these days, the men would rather talk about their feelings, than throw the gd ball.

JHenryWaugh (#212)

This comment is me demonstrating how men ask if the Awl meetup is taking place in DC tonight.

cherrispryte (#444)

It better be taking place, otherwise I have a shitload of Bourbon Bawlls and nobody to eat them.

JHenryWaugh (#212)

Thanks for responding. It is at Looking Glass Lounge, yes? And it will still be taking place around 8ish?

cherrispryte (#444)

Yup, still at Looking Glass. I think its getting started more around happy hour time, but assuming people actually show up, we ought to be there for awhile.
I am trying not to bug our dear Editor about the meetup, but if some form of reminder doesn't go up soonish, I'll request one.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Shit. Now I'm REALLY confused.

Christ on a cracker, just paste it into the comment box.

Brad Nelson (#2,115)


Sticky note on my chest. All day.

Andy Wibbels (#4,739)

I got a huge case of the giggles last night imagining this. Thank you.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

-whew- thank f'in stars I came to my senses and never submitted "Gesticulating at the Greenery, or How to Mow Your Fucking Grass.
-not cut from writers' cloth-

:( I was going to submit a first person narration of my life as a performance artist entitled "Here is my Fucking Garbage Now Tickle It!!1!1!1."

Art Yucko (#1,321)


keisertroll (#1,117)

I absolutely suck at foreplay in real life; what makes you guys think I'd be any good at it when it comes to submitting stuff?

KarenUhOh (#19)

What Time thing? HUH??

This Time thing.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Time finds out about Tumblr, and then we're FUCKED.

KarenUhOh (#19)

The one that sentences me to reading Gawker?

keisertroll (#1,117)

My 5,000 word essay "White people submit to The Awl like THIS/Black people submit to The Awl like THIS" seems to be all for naught.

I would read this, especially if it results in angry Tumblr rebuttals

carpetblogger (#306)

O I see what you're doing here. You like to start fights on the internet.

This does not mean you are not right!

garge (#736)

Even if you only love me 15% as much as I love you, it is enough for me. Just please don't leave me!!!!!

dham (#4,652)

This is a serious life problem, asking for things like a woman! Was called a bad feminist for it by Important Female Professor.

But seriously, how are the awl women at requesting their annual raises?

A.R. Chrisman (#2,964)

I asked you about that ball thing in private.

G Garcia-Fenech (#4,190)

About six months ago I half-ass pitched a book review column on novels about alcoholics to Choire via G-Chat, but I worded it as if it had been something I had considered then dismissed. And I pointed out I was drunk when I mentioned it. So far no word of me getting a regular column.

Does that qualify as a male pitch, or a female pitch?

MattP (#475)

Incidentally, I know that first pitch worked, I'm sure I've seen Cho's byline on a couple articles…

El Matardillo (#586)

My usual submission letter: "Publish this fucking story!"

Miles Klee (#3,657)

mine was vastly less coherent than any of these

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

Mine too. These people can form sentences and are probably not drunk all the time.

Miles Klee (#3,657)

wait did we just figure out the secret to pitching to choire?

Matt (#26)

When I pitched that Batman thing, he responded that I have Mental Issues!

Screen Name (#2,416)

Mine was about 800 more words than the longest example and I concluded with a dramatic flourish by rejecting my own inquiry into possibly making a pitch.

I was worried (about what? I DON'T KNOW), so I looked back at my submissions. My March Madness pitch was definitely male and, even though it wasn't serious and may have been completely unrelated to a later swimsuit post, my swimsuit question was also fairly direct and to the point. So I pitch like a man, in baseball and by email (N=2).

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

Ugh this carries over into a lot of things. My (male) friend's cover letters for postdoc positions said something like "I would like you to consider me for blub" and mine said something like "I am potentially maybe inquiring about the possibility of hypothetically getting something resembling a blub, possibly?".

sigerson (#179)

I have nothing to pitch but if I did I think I'd just send it to Balk with a "see attached"

I usually go down to Awl HQ and throw a rock through their window with my submission tied to it and a post it saying I am sorry about breaking their window.

zidaane (#373)

RE: Who's back to I have to shave

You guys have a submission policy? That's awesome…cuz I got a domination policy. Oh yeah.

AriDari (#5,907)

honestly, women are just better suck ups then men

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