You’re probably here because you pitched something to me by e-mail.

If you pitched something to me and I responded normally, my apologies – you’re here by accident, and you’re one of the many people I’m enduringly grateful to, for approaching me when you didn’t need to, for having great ideas and rock-solid integrity, for helping me do my job, and generally just being, you know, nice.

If you pitched something to me and I responded with a number and a link to this page, this page is for you.

And we’re playing a game.

It’s called The Pitching Game, and the rules are simple. The number you received is the amount of points I’ve awarded you, according to which boxes your e-mail ticks, as below.

Best of luck!



Getting my name wrong…10
Giving me more than one name across the whole e-mail…30
Failing to recognise I’m a man…50
Abbreviating my name in a chummy way, eg. “Mikey-boy”…100
Abbreviating my name in a creepy way, eg. “MikeymikeyMIKEY”…1,000
Calling me by the first word in my e-mail address, which isn’t my first name…  15
Not bothering to use a name at all, eg. Dear Sir…0
Using my surname as my first name…0 (possible culture difference)
Using my surname as my first name & you’re based in London…500


Complimenting me on my blog in a way that avoids mentioning anything specific about it…50
Failing to recognise I write about travel or writing…40
Failing to recognise I write about anything except what you’re pitching me…80
Taking a wild stab that I’ve been hospitalized/burgled/suffered from ill-fortune in some way, and starting with an inspecific “I heard about your troubles, hope you’re ok!”…20
Compare me somehow to Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer or Adam Sandler…Death
Offering me a sponsored post “for free”…50
Offering me a sponsored post “for free” and hammering home how grateful I should be…150
Name-dropping a friend who, when I check, has never heard of you…100
Using buzzwords or acronyms incorrectly, eg. “I am expert with niche” or “trained in CRM, CPR & Deep Blog”…20
Telling me what my readers really want…50
Telling me I’m not running my website in a way that people will find either useful and/or enjoyable…250
Having no compelling story to pitch other than “I’m awesome/I’m a guru”…50
Using the word “guru” without obvious irony…100
Asking me to compete with other bloggers for the right to work with you – eg. Who Garners The Most Likes On Facebook Shall Be The Anointed One…1,000


Having a Google avatar of a celebrity, eg. Liam Neeson or Tom Hanks…     50
When questioned about celebrity avatar, claim it’s really you…Ban + e-mail to police
A MySpace or Facebook e-mail address…100
An email that appears to be a string of random characters before the “@”…  200


Tellingly, your introduction is in a different font type and font size to the rest of the e-mail…      25,000

Image: Waldo Jaquith.

  • Eva

    Can I just note that while you probably searched for any good pitching pic, I love that you wound up with one shot by Waldo Jaquith, former editorial staff at the Virginia Quarterly Review? Writing: It’s a small world after all.

  • Gooooooooo Boston!

  • The Beautiful Game indeed! (Not.)

    Thx for the mid-afternoon belly laff. ‘Tis truth!

  • Oh I giggled through this whole thing.

  • hahahah, i love this posting! — this is my favourite “Offering me a sponsored post â��for freeâ�� and hammering home how grateful I should be” :)

  • Pingback: Here's The Score, Pitchers Of Crap - Fevered Mutterings()

  • Love it! My favorite: Compare me to Dan Brown et al.

  • I’ve got some who would rack up about 50,000 points. Great post, Mike. Maybe I should just respond to all those I now delete by sending them the link to your post :-)

  • Mike-a-rino baby!

    I LOL’ed at your most excellent internet site. Our mutual friend Nora Dunn, the professional hobo, told me about your troubles. Colorectal cancer is a scourge to young and old alike!

    That’s why I’m writing to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! You will thank me when you learn all the details. I’m giving you, as well as a dozen other bloggers including Jodi Ettenberg, my very dear personal friend, the opportunity to write about law and politics at my site.

    For a fifty euro entry fee, each of you may write one guest post on the legal topic of your choice. You may then submit it to all of your friends on Twitter, such as Shannon O’Donnell, also a great pal of mine. Whoever gets the most re-tweets wins the coveted prize, a fully sponsored guest authorship gig at my site, for a minimal fee of twenty euros a month, at which you will write on topics of my choosing.

    This is a golden opportunity for a young lady like you, Shannon, to break into the bigs! My fellow authors and I are not just gurus of the industry: We are spectacular Mega-Gurus of the genius industry!

    Please rsvp, with your payment account info, to the email addy I left you, to jump on this train to prosperity, stardom, and wealth.

    • Is your prestigious competition open to all? I would dearly like to pay you for the privilege of entering…

  • I sincerely hope someone actually reads your responses… well done!!! And I sure feel sorrow for the poor dolts so desperate to work, they actually stoop to sending those pitches out and about!!!


  • Can’t. Stop. Laughing. I think people earn thousands and thousands of points a day in my inbox. Alas!

  • Made me laugh again!

    May I re-post?

  • This is awesome, I want to send my poor pitches here too. Put me in, coach!

  • “deep blog”???

    Umm, is that a new thing I need to know about?!

  • I don’t understand.
    All the emails I receive are carefully handcrafted with the utmost of care dedicated to each paragraph, each word, nay – each letter.

    (I really do hope you’re indeed responding to pitch offenders with this link. You’re my hero if you do).

  • Cam

    hah! This is great Michelle. I’m glad you wrote this post because it’s exactly what your readers are looking for. You’re clearly an expert in this field. :-)

  • Dear Sir,

    It was with much excitement that I came across your (website/blog/piece of paper blowing in the wind). I particularly enjoyed your post about (the top ten things to do somewhere nice/those photos of your socks/your treatise on 19th century Russian slavery).

    I hope that we will be able to (collaborate on advertising my product/re-align the stars and be together/get naked in a bath of jelly beans).

    Looking forward to (hearing from you/watching you leave your house)

    All the best


  • You pretend to be annoyed by these pitches, yet you so calmly collected all of these. You must have been planning this post for a long time — absolute genius. I need some of your patience!! Please!

  • LOVE! I’ll be sending my pitchers to your page…

  • I am joining the game and will now be referring inquiries to this page.

    Love it when I am offered a sponsored post “for free.”

  • Love it! It’s clear we’re all getting the same pitches!!

  • Haha, this is so true and too funny!



  • Oh, this made my day! If I ever get a medical testing email pitch request again I’m sending them your post.

  • Please make more games like this! I didn’t want to stop reading …

  • Pitching or bitching? Hot damn how I yearn for the day when I get enough spam so I can create a masterpiece such as this. Thanks for the laughs Mike!

  • I humbly suggest that the points for ¨hammering home how grateful I should be¨ should be WAY higher.