I recently attended The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley 2021 via zoom. The three day event was very informative and enlightening on many levels. The speakers and panel discussions were all presented by very knowledgeable and prominent members of the wine media. If you have a chance to participate in an event like this I would encourage you to do so.
I would like to share a few points the speakers emphasized that are certain to increase the likelihood of your work getting noticed and ultimately being published.
1) Keep pitches about two paragraphs long and make your case why they should publish it and why you should be the person to write it.
2) Write about what you know and be an expert concerning the area where you live.
3) After the initial pitch do one or two follow-ups and if there is no reply, move on.
4) Pitch a story that isn’t in print and is new.
5) When describing wine use references that are familiar to your readers. Example: You wouldn’t refer to cherry and blackberry flavors if you were writing an article for publication in Asia because those flavors would be unfamiliar to most of the readers there, instead use recognizable flavors like lychee, guava, mango etc.
6) Email remains the most effective way to submit a pitch and never use a DM (direct message) via social media to contact an editor and never never ever contact an editor saying “Hey, I’m going to (Tuscany or anywhere else) do you need anything?” They said that goes directly into the trash.
These are just a few things I learned over the course of the symposium. I hope these insights into the thought process of editors will help you when you are pursuing a writing career.