Why can’t you pitch Law Review pieces?
Everyone knows the law review submissions system is a drag. For authors, because they write to an empty process. To editors, because they have to read tons of bad stuff and compete for the good stuff.
Today, I started drafting a new piece, (“The Insecure Monopolist”) and I started thinking: this system could be different. Why these ridiculous submissions? Pitching would be better.
In a pitch system, you write up a decent summary of your idea, and send it to editors. If they like the idea, you’re on, with a deadline and so on. You get to stop thinking about submissions, and start writing something truly great.
I know as a writer, I way prefer the pitch system. For some reason, writing to a submission system is demotivating, even if you know you’ll land the piece somewhere.
Editors usually prefer the pitch system as well, even in academic publishing. One reason is that its a lot less work to go through proposals, as opposed to manuscripts. Another is that the editor gets to shape the piece as it is being written, which is more interesting than messing with footnotes on a completed piece.
I suppose this proposal goes against certain ideals of meritocratic blind reads, but that’s hardly a perfect system for reasons others have detailed.
I predict that perhaps the absolute so-called “top” journals might want to stay the way they are. But for the journals more in the middle, so to speak, taking pitches might be a great way to land good scholarship without reading tonnes of crap.
Maybe I’ll try it, let’s see how it goes.