• Don't tie yourself in a knot about pitching a story. (Getty)
We appreciate that pitching is difficult, so here are some tips from us to make sure your pitch for content gets our attention.
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26 Oct 2015 - 11:42 AM  UPDATED 14 Aug 2018 - 1:06 PM

Hey,

Thanks for thinking of SBS Food to publish your work!

Food is not just fuel. It’s love, family, home, emotion, tradition, health, sickness, ethics and money. It’s big business and small satisfactions. If you love writing about food and everything it touches on, just as much as you love cooking or eating it, and have a great story idea, we’d like to hear from you.

We accept pitches from all types of digital content creators - writers for articles, recipe developers, video journalists and shooters for video packages, photographers for studio and location assignments, and concepts for web series from production companies (if you have a television prop, pitch it here). 

We appreciate that pitching is difficult, so here are some tips from us to make sure your pitch gets our attention.

Our content is unlike those from most other digital publishers because SBS is governed by a Charter. SBS inspires all Australians to explore and celebrate our diverse world. Your pitch needs to touch on issues relevant to culturally and linguistically diverse communities or First Nations peoples. This is very important. (While we do publish content, on occasion, that falls outside of our Charter, keep your pitch aligned to our remit to give it the best chance.)

"I’m trying to get people to be less afraid of their neighbors.” ~ Jonathan Gould

Please browse our site. Nothing cheeses us off more than a generic pitch that hasn’t been tailored to our brand or our audience. Hold tight this advice from indomitable writer Helen Rosner (which not only applies to articles but to all forms of content): “The best way to be a writer is to read like an editor”.

Craft your pitch with a good idea about which section it belongs to on our site:

Cook

  • Bringing the world to your kitchen, with 8,000+ recipes and 3,000 cooking videos  from more than 100+ cuisines. What we're cooking (or thinking about eating) at SBS HQ. Do you have a recipe that makes us want to rush into the kitchen and start cooking or baking? #wakeuphungry

Read

  • From the Food desk: The latest food news. What's happening on plates locally and around the world.
  • Feaster: Your local insider for just-opened restaurants, cafes, bars, food events, festivals and pop-ups. Feaster celebrates the stories behind the dishes and the people making them – it’s not a review section.
  • Eat well: Feel good and eat better. Separate the food from the fad with our food-related health stories. You’ll need to be an expert in your field or have bonafide qualifications to write for this section.
  • Play with your food: What the internet is saying about food. *facepalm*

Food Network

  • We write and produce digital content for our sister channel, Food Network, Australia’s first and only free-to-air 24/7 food channel. Praise be the shows.

We’re after well-crafted, thoroughly researched stories (features, first-person and news articles) and video content - that will connect with an online audience from a wide range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. It could be a punchy 300 words or a powerhouse 1000 words (although we're mostly publishing pieces in the 500-800 word range); it could be 60-second clip or 3-minute video story. 

We’re looking for content that excites people about food; that explores current trends or shares insight on food-related events. Stories that engage, challenge or inspire. What happened when a soup kitchen started charging 20 cents for coffee and $2 for food? How a Cambodian migrant is making Australia’s best pie. Why Grandma pizza is the easy pizza absolutely anyone can make at home. How a baker and his 13-year-old son preserve their Syrian culture through baking bread at a refugee camp.

Be original. Think beyond the obvious - we don’t want a story telling us there’s a trend in food. We want to know why that trend matters. Think about how your story makes an issue interesting to people who didn’t think they cared, or excite them to try something new. Do surprise us, make us laugh out loud, and want to share it with our friend and our mother. 

Have we already covered it? Very important. Use Google, or keep up to date with us via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our e-newsletters or via our always-reliable RSS feed.

Nail the pitch with a headline. A pitch with a bang-on headline gets us excited.

Be succinct. A well-thought-out two or three paragraph summary of your idea will suffice. Be specific about the thrust of the story: What’s the hook? Who's your talent? Please include links to any websites, references or reports.

How is it relevant to an Australian audience? Also very important. We are deeply interested in the world around us but you pitch must have a local angle.

The images. Still or moving, how will this story best be illustrated? Are you supplying photographs or footage?

Tell us who you are in a sentence. Attach a few links to your writing.

Send your pitches to pitchfoodstory@sbs.com.au. We receive a large volume of pitches every day. Apologies in advance but we won’t be able to respond to every pitch, but if it’s the right fit, we’ll be in touch in a week or two. If your story is time-sensitive, please flag in your pitch.

Yep, we pay. Our rates are comparative to other digital publishers, and will be outlined at the time of commissioning.

Look forward to reading your pitches!

Best, the SBS Food team

Well-baked ideas
Black sesame & yuzu biscuit sandwich

Wagon Wheel alert! Two black sesame biscuits, sandwiching a vanilla marshmallow and a layer of yuzu jam, all covered in black sesame white chocolate... sign us up! #BringBackTheClassics

Salted peanut brookies

These clever cookies are the hybrid of a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie – dark, rich and chewy on one side and crisp, simple and familiar on the other. The perfect cookie really!

Miso raisin brownies

Culinary legend has it that the chocolate brownie was invented by the Palmer House Hotel as a dessert for ladies attending the 1893 World Fair in Chicago. The original recipe featured walnuts and an apricot glaze, and this version is still served at the hotel to this day. Red miso adds an intriguingly salty note to this adored American classic.

Vanilla slice

Vanilla slice seems to be one of those bakery goodies that's always bought and never made. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make, though... and how utterly delicious it is when you do. The trick is to make sure the pastry is well baked and a deep golden colour. Also, sandwiching it between two large oven trays means that the pastry isn’t allowed to ‘puff’ while baking, resulting in a wonderfully crisp casing for the luscious custard filling.