The Art of Pitching Nonfiction: How to Sell Your Essays, Reporting, & More

113A, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level
Saturday, March 26, 2022
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


The first impression a writer makes on an editor happens in the pitch. But what exactly does a successful pitch look like? How long should one even be? What elements should a pitch contain in order to get that coveted assignment? Four writers with experience publishing reportage, essays, profiles, and other nonfiction discuss how to grab an editor's attention with a pitch that tells a compelling story and how to pivot if a pitch gets turned down.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Event_Outline_CNF_Pitches.pdf



Caleb Johnson is the author of the novel Treeborne, which received an honorable mention for the Southern Book Prize. His writing appears in the Paris Review Daily, Southern Living, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Currently, he teaches writing at Appalachian State University.

Irina Zhorov is a freelance writer and audio producer based in North Carolina. She is working on a novel about Soviet miners in Siberia.

Jenny Tinghui Zhang is a Chinese American writer based in Austin, Texas. Her essays and stories have appeared in The Cut, Catapult, Ninth Letter, Passages North, and The Rumpus. Her debut novel, Four Treasures of the Sky, will be out April 2022 from Flatiron Books.

Latria Graham is a fourth-generation African American farmer, writer, and teaching artist based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her work often centers social justice initiatives, and she has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, the LA Times, and Elle. More of her work can be found at LatriaGraham.com


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center