- Submit pitches to Louisa and Ella at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Take some time to get acquainted with READ ME. Get a feel for what we look for in essays, and what we’ve already covered.
- Make the email subject eye-catching and specific to the essay you’re writing. No to ‘Girls on Tops pitch’, yes to ‘Pitch: Demystifying Virginity in Lady Bird’. Make us excited to open your email.
- Briefly introduce yourself – what you do, where you’ve written, what you’re interested in. The latter is particularly important, as we could ask you to write about it in future. The introduction doesn’t need to be longer than 2 sentences.
- Tell us what film(s)/artist(s) you’re writing about, and why now. This could be because of an anniversary, a news article, or just a personal piece you’ve been researching for a while. If an idea had come to you in a knee-jerk moment, make sure you have strong enough arguments to make it into a fully developed piece. Always take more than enough time to really make sure that what you’re pitching holds some water. Also do some reading to see if any other features currently exist online. If they do, you’ll have to change and develop your unique angle.
- Try not to send us more than one or two ideas at a time and please do not send us completed drafts in your initial pitch – we're interested in working on building your piece as a collaboration, so won’t accept writing on spec.
- Keep your pitch as condensed as possible, this way you can work on distilling your idea. Aim for pitches to be 100-150 words in length.
- Tell us why you should be the person to write this piece. Have you researched this topic during your studies? Did it change your outlook on an aspect of your life? Do you feel a kinship with the character/artist? For it to be topical isn’t enough, there has to be something new in the specific way you are writing about it.
Give us an estimate of how long the piece will be, and when you can complete a draft by. We will never pressure you to finish something when you don’t have time, but it’s good to show an understanding of the scope of your project.
- Respect our word count – approximately 1200 words. If you need to go over it for a specific reason, always acknowledge and justify this.
- Assume the reader has no idea what you’re talking about. Never use “the” if you haven’t introduced what you’re talking about yet. Your job is to set the scene and tease out what is worth looking at, and why.
- ...but then don’t remain at a surface level. Don’t relay what’s on Wikipedia, what’s in the news, what someone else has said. If we can find it elsewhere, it’s not enough. Don’t write anything that we can reply with ‘why?’ on the Google Doc. We’re looking for original, unexpected, thorough analysis.
- Suggest a headline. It’s always more satisfying when it comes from you.
- Read, re-read, and re-re-read your draft. Double check the spelling of every single person’s name, even if you think you’re sure. Read your piece aloud; it’s the best way to find typos and see if your syntax works.
- Send us a byline to include at the end of your essay.
- Share the piece on Twitter and tag us @girlsontopstees!
- Make out an invoice to Girls on Tops Ltd and email it over to us. If sending a PDF, please include your name in the title of the document.
- Pitch us again!