September 27, 2023


Outstanding health & fitness

Preparing for PitchFest and tips for making the most of Health Journalism 2022


AHCJ Health Journalism 2022 is around the corner, with numerous alternatives aimed precisely at freelance journalists. Sign up by March 28 to just take gain of the early chook charge.

Peggy Girshman, a founding government editor of Kaiser Health News,  frequently achieved with writers at AHCJ’s yearly PitchFest. (Picture by Pia Christensen)

1 of the most interesting possibilities is PitchFest, which is scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, April 29. Sixteen editors from prime publications are coming to the meeting to hear your tale ideas. They include things like editors from AARP, WebMD, National Geographic, Every day Health, Kaiser Health News and NPR. A lot more particulars about just about every editor can be uncovered on the Friday event timetable site on the AHCJ web-site.

You have to signal up in progress for just about every 10-minute appointment with an editor. The on the internet signal-up time period opens on Monday, April 4, 10 a.m. CST, allowing for for a highest of a few appointments. I would advise blocking out that time on your calendar now and setting up to indication up that morning. Some editors are particularly common and appointments with them go fast. The connection to indication up will look on the PitchFest site on the AHCJ web page that early morning.

There is no assurance that you will get an assignment on the place at PitchFest, but it does transpire. You raise your odds of obtaining an assignment on the working day or via adhere to-up email messages by coming to each and every appointment with a effectively-investigated pitch.

The PitchFest web site has far more facts about getting ready for the celebration, such as 5 very simple policies for PitchFest etiquette:

  1. Demonstrate up. If you fall short to show up for any of your appointments, you will not be permitted to indication up in progress for up coming year’s PitchFest. Furthermore, be informed that the booked editor will have your title, likely harming your track record with that publication for several years to arrive.
  2. Prepare properly. We’ve posted blurbs from editors describing what they want, so go through those to customise your pitch to what each editor desires. For case in point, information editors will not want to hear a pitch for a aspect. Analyze the publication to make certain your pitch is a good fit.
  3. Get there in a lot of time. We will operate on time and we will operate like clockwork. If you are late, you forfeit your pitch.
  4. Respect the time limit. When you listen to the a person-minute warning, get started to wrap up. When you listen to time identified as, thank the editor and inform them that you will follow up with an e mail.
  5. Have an understanding of the limitations. Make sure you realize that attending PitchFest does not assure you a sale. It does guarantee you an option to pitch encounter-to-face to editors who are exceptionally difficult to accessibility, even by email.

Of system, unbiased journalists never arrive to the conference just for PitchFest. There are panels geared in the direction of freelancers and panels to help all journalists build their expertise. You are going to hear from experienced journalists and editors about how to craft a thriving pitch, negotiate costs, discover sources, include narrative crafting into your tales, and much additional.

The panels at this year’s meeting about critical health topics, these kinds of as local weather transform, racial justice, the pandemic, most cancers screening and extra, will aid you deliver tale thoughts. And each day, there will be possibilities to community with fellow journalists, panelists, editors and reps from hospitals and trade groups.

Karen Blum, AHCJ’s main subject chief on health IT and an independent journalist in the Baltimore place, has written a suggestion sheet for getting the most out of the conference. I very suggest examining it before arriving in Austin.

I look forward to viewing you at Health Journalism 2022!


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