When it comes to pitching essays to publications, your proposal needs to have an idea and an anchor. What am I trying to assert and how am I going to assert it? The “what” is the idea. It’s an abstraction. You need to ground it with an anchor. An anchor is the actual story. It’s the vehicle. It’s the “how.” Most pitches fail because writers only expound on the idea but not the anecdote that readers will need to guide them through the piece, so make sure you have both components. And most of all, don’t take it personal. All you need is one editor to say yes.
—Morgan Jerkins, senior editor, ZORA