Day 271: Pitch to Chicago magazine
June 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
If there exists such thing as a grad school field trip, we took one today to the Tribune Tower to visit the offices of Chicago magazine, where one of my magazine writing professors serves as Senior Editor.
While the gothic architecture of the lobby – complete with stone, wood beams and stenciled journalism quotes – was beautiful, our exploration of the building ended there. After arriving on the eleventh floor, we were confined to a small conference room, where our professor had to “drag” her fellow editors in to come talk with us.
We were offered the opportunity to pitch ideas to the editors, face-to-face. This is far more intimidating than query letter composition, where you can send a faceless email and shrug off a rejection. Initially, we were all pretty nervous to suggest anything, but keeping in mind the mission statement of the Novice du Jour, I volunteered to present a story idea.
I pitched an article about the Mayne Stage, which I visited on Day 265, with the following selling points:
- History – The original theater was built in 1912, and experienced iterations as a synagogue and shoe store before its recent renovation.
- Diamond in the rough – The cabaret theater, complete with flat-panel TVs and leather seating, sits in the midst of a historically lousy neighborhood.
- Anniversary – The theater, which opened last June, is approaching it’s one-year anniversary.