From a first rate review by Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles TImes. The witty Wolcott, now at Vanity Fair, first worked at the Village Voice, and learned from reading other pitches how to write to intrigue:
"Avoid preamble — flip the on switch in the first sentence. Find a focal point for your nervous energy, assume a forward offensive stance, and drive to the finish line, even if it's only a five-hundred-word slot …."
It's a lot harder than it sounds, but a good reminder on what to do, and what not to do.
Meanwhile the LA Times itself is headed for another editor and another excursion to hell. Painful. Despite all its woes, it's a good paper. To be punished for trying so hard has got to hurt.