Friday, October 6, 2017

Example Query or Pitch Letter

What follows is the query letter that resulted in the Wall Street Journal article, When American Expats Don't Want Their Kids to Have U.S. Citizenship. For more tips on writing letters, see this post on five steps to writing a great pitch letter.

Dear Specific Editor Name at the Wall Street Journal,

At a time when Americans abroad are renouncing their citizenship in record numbers, I have noticed another growing trend: Americans giving birth abroad are not giving American citizenship to their children. On purpose.

In fact, when my American daughter was born in Switzerland, which does not grant citizenship based on place of birth, I often wondered whether I would have applied for her to have American citizenship had there been another citizenship option. Emotionally, this was quite a sad thought for me, but practically, based on the way my husband and I had been treated by our own government as Americans abroad, it seemed right to spare our daughter, who might never have lived in the US, of American policies.

Many acquaintances of mine who did have citizenship options for their babies took them. One American, married to a dual German/Swiss citizen and living in Switzerland, gave only Swiss nationality to her daughter, who was born last year. “We figured we were living in Switzerland so our daughter should be Swiss. Also, I want to think long and hard about whether we give her American citizenship or not due to all the issues Americans abroad are facing now,” she says. Another American living in Australia, who is married to an Australian, chose not to give her son American citizenship for similar reasons.

But then there are still Americans who give their children American citizenship despite having other options—even without plans to return to America. An American living in Zurich and married to a German, has two daughters who are dual American and German citizens. “It just makes it easier to travel. And we come to the States to visit a lot,” she says.

In my 1,000-word article, “Not-so American Babies Abroad,” for your Expat Section, I would explore the growing trend of Americans abroad who decide not to give their children their own citizenship and why. This piece would include a short personal narrative along with interviews with American parents living abroad.

I am an American repatriate and freelance writer. My work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, CNN Travel, and many other publications. Thanks for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Writer Abroad


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