Freelance writer Joan Trossman Bien knew she had an interesting story on her hands. A friend introduced her to Dulanie Ellis, a 64-year-old documentary filmmaker who discovered her true passion later on in life. Bien thought Ellis’ story was a perfect fit for AARP The Magazine, and pitched it as a profile for the feature well.
Features editor Margaret Guroff thought the piece would work better for the mag’s FOB, and passed it along to David Dudley. One of Ellis’ documentaries was about farm-to-vet programs, and Dudley thought it would be an ideal story for the mag’s “Upfront” section. “The bottom line here is that Joan’s idea had at least three or four big things going for it,” said Dudley. “It hit on an issue that we’d been wanting to write about. It had a simple, easily understood premise that would make sense even in a short 200-word piece. [And] it had a timely Veteran’s Day connection…”
I would like to write a profile for you about a woman who has truly found herself in the second act of her life and has made the many changes needed to accomplish her new passion. There is a new trend developing among baby boomers, brought about by a combination of circumstances and a belief that once you step aside, you lose your involvement in life. The majority do not intend to retire. Dulanie Ellis counts herself in that crowd.
To read the rest of the pitch and find out why the editors chose it, read: Pitches That Worked: AARP The Magazine.
— Aneya Fernando
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