How Men and Women Pitch Stories: A Disturbing Sampling


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.