Writing for The Conversation: How to ‘pitch’ a new article

Meet The Conversation’s New Zealand Editor: Politics, Business and Arts, Finlay Macdonald, and Executive Editor, Liz Minchin and grab the opportunity to have all your questions about The Conversation answered.

When: Tuesday June 23, 12-1pm

Where: Online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88207451801

35 UC academics and PhD candidates have written for TheConversation.com, and these articles alone have had 1.4 million article views globally.

Conversation articles can be freely republished by other media across New Zealand and the world. Conversation authors have been republished in 28 languages and 97 countries by outlets including Scientific America, the South China Morning Post, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The Guardian, Quartz, The Jakarta Post and The Washington Post, as well as Stuff, The Herald, RNZ and more in New Zealand.

But what’s the process for becoming a new author? And what should you know before you pitch a new idea?

The Conversation is a not-for-profit publisher of research-based news and analysis articles by academics, aimed at a broader, mostly non-academic audience. Its readers include Nobel laureates, school students, business leaders, prime ministers and presidents.

There are now Conversation websites based in Australia and New Zealand, Africa, Indonesia, the UK, US, Canada, France and Spain. The Conversation Australia and New Zealand edition alone reaches a monthly audience of 8.5 million unique readers on site, and 17.7 million article views on site and via republication (in May 2020).

But because it’s become such a popular way to reach a wider global audience, only a small proportion of article ideas submitted to The Conversation can be published. Every week, our two New Zealand editors, Finlay Macdonald (Politics, Business + Arts) and Veronika Meduna (Science, Health + Environment), receive far more ‘pitches’ than they can edit and publish.

That’s why we’re running this presentation – so you get a chance to hear directly from Finlay and Liz about:

  • success stories from Canterbury and other New Zealand authors
  • our plans to cover the New Zealand election and COVID-19 recovery, plus
  • practical pitching and writing tips, to make your story stand out from the rest.

Finlay and Liz will do a brief presentation first, then there will be time for Q&A and to talk about your story ideas.

(If you’re unable to attend this session, the recording will be available afterwards and we will be running more sessions with UC in coming months.)

About the presenters:

Finlay Macdonald is an award-winning journalist, editor, publisher and broadcaster with 30 years’ experience in the New Zealand media. He has been editor of current affairs magazine The Listener, a publisher at Penguin Books and HarperCollins, a weekly columnist for the Sunday Star-Times, and has written and presented for television and radio. He joined The Conversation in April 2020.

Liz Minchin is an award-winning journalist and author, who worked in newspapers, radio and online before joining The Conversation in 2012. Liz’s current role is as Executive Editor, New Zealand.