App Academy is looking for smart writers with experience in the technology and career services industries to contribute to The Cohort. Have you ever had a great idea for a story that you wanted to explore through writing but were afraid to try? Or perhaps you have advice about how to approach a new career, or about how to manage colleagues? Maybe you wanted to give your take on the latest and greatest gadget?
If you said yes to any of these questions, then you’re a good fit to write for this site.
If interested, the first thing you need to do is send us a pitch. It’s not a hard thing to do but does require unique skills. The most important thing to know is there’s no perfect way to pitch. But there are ways you can make it a good one.
The tips below will help you focus your story to App Academy’s expectations.
- Send us a pitch one to two paragraphs in length. Tell the editor quickly what the idea is, why it’s important, why people should want to read it, and why you’re qualified to write it.
- Use a clear, active subject headline that describes the story. Example: “Why the iPhone X Freaks Me Out — In a Good Way.”
- Explain how you’re going to tell the story. In other words, what’s the format? Is it a Q+A, an essay, an opinion, a How-To? Is it a video or audio piece? We’re open to your suggestions.
- Provide the sources you expect to use, including yourself if you’ll use your expertise.
- Provide links to previously written content. If you’ve never written anything before, it doesn’t disqualify you but we’d like to talk to you over the phone first.
- Provide links to previously written content of the idea. Did Forbes write about the exact same thing you want to write about? We probably will pass. But if you have an interesting take on the same subject, we’d be happy to hear about it.
- Please send us links to your LinkedIn page or online resume.
- How long you think it’s going to take for you to write the first draft.
We suggest you to not send similar story suggestions to different publications at the same time.
If you do, we expect to be told so we can have the opportunity to remove it from our release schedule, or, if we were the first to accept it, to have the opportunity to be the only one to publish it. We don’t want to improve your story, edit it, and then feature it only to find out you it to a different site.
Pitch Stress Test
After you consider the idea-thinking process of the pitch, we want you think about the following questions to “stress-test” the quality of the idea.
- Why should people reading this story care? What can they take out of it? Will people in the tech industry be interested by this story?
- If you hadn’t written the pitch, would you personally be interested in reading it? If so, why or why not? What would you change about it to make it interesting?
- What are the key points of the story that could be challenged by an expert?
- How did you find out about this story?
- What’s fun about it?
- Is there an interesting anecdote, a key data point, or a great insight that can carry the weight of the whole article? Maybe your uncle is a roboticist and your connection with him allows you to find out something others can’t. Maybe you just have access to someone that is really interesting who others can’t reach or don’t know about. This is actually a stress-test of the writer: Are you thinking enough about the potential arguments in this story or subject matter?
- Is all the information you expect to use available? Where did you get it from, and how? If you got it from a news site, say so. If you got it from a colleague, say so. If it comes from academic or private research, write out their names and give us the link for it. Don’t steal any ideas.
We look forward to your emails.