Think of the three S's—short, sweet, and sexy.
  1. Pitch a story!
    Often, writers pitch ideas, but editors want stories. For example, depression in America is an idea, but Are probiotics the new Prozac is a story. When in doubt, narrow your focus and put yourself in the reader's shoes. Ask yourself "would I read this?"
  2. Don't bury your Lede.
    In a pitch, you only have a few words to summarize the purpose of your story. Don't bury your lede with unnecessary explanations or details.
  3. Briefly outline your story.
    After I summarize my story, I outline how I'll write it. If I am interviewing experts, I mention this. Also, if I'm writing about new research, I always reach out to the researchers to set up an interview beforehand and I let the editor know.
  4. Mention your credentials.
    If you're super qualified to write the story, let the editor know. Do you have access to sources? Or do you have a lot of experience about the topic you're covering?