Rejected Writing: Satirical News Headline Pitches

by robinhardwick


A few years ago, I was hired, and then quickly fired, from writing for a satirical news site (calm down, not The Onion). I had submitted two pieces to them which made them quickly realize it was a mistake to hire me. I heard this news while wandering The American Girl Store at The Grove. Is that a metaphor for my life or what?

The way satire news sites generate content is that they have their writers or potential writers pitch several headlines, and then the editors will choose the ones they want you to write. That means you have to convey your idea and why it’s hilarious in just the headline. Furthermore, the pitched headline to actually written piece is around 25:1. As you can imagine, I have a lot of my orphaned headline pitches to share. Some of these I am proud of, and some of them were made in desperation to hit a pitch quota. [Also, here’s a full piece that was rejected and one that was published.]

Area Woman Has Unrealistically High Expectations for New Year’s Eve Plans

Food Truck Frenzy Arrives at [Insert small town here]

Town Gossip Blog Probably a Bad Idea

Wife’s “One Hour of Lovin” Coupon Expires at Midnight

Experimental Theater Performance Actually Just a Bunch of Nonsense

A Capella Group First Ever to Have Idea of Performing Gangsta Rap

College Scholarship Created for Social Media Minorities

Flash Mob Organizes in Protest of the Cancellation of Pan Am

University’s “Design Your Own Major” Program Under Scrutiny

Local insurance Office Finally Starts Using Google Docs

Santa’s Elves Are Sick and Tired of Building iPads

Reality Show Star Not Here to Make Friends

Jewish Population Divided Over Which Movie to See on Christmas

Happy Hour Actually Not Happy

Art School Graduate Laughably Optomistic About Job Prospects

RA is Always So Damn Cheerful

According to Mother, Area Woman is Going to Die Alone

Spin Doctors cd found in back of Closet after 17 years

iPhone App helps user find the true meaning of Christmas

Area mother discovers Twitter

Man’s expectations for New Year’s Eve are dangerously high

Local woman brings up medical marijuana card in every conversation

Movie Theater patrons Speculate on solo moviegoer

College offers Course on Snarking

Living in Manhattan is not like you see in the movies, study finds

Local movie theater’s debuts midnight showings of Elizabethtown not drawing crowd

Liam Neeson now doing any role that is offered to him