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Question: Do I have a Say in How My Article is Edited?

Question: Do we have a say on the way the article has been edited? I received an email from the publisher who said our articles are being edited to suit, I suppose, the general readers of their publication and they said they would flick it back to us to have a read, I wonder if this is the norm or once you're paid, do they have exclusive right to edit the article whichever way they want to? Christine

Answer: Great question Christine! Once a publication accepts your article, they pretty much can do what they want with it.

One of my very first sales was to a computer magazine and they totally ruined the article. I was actually embarrassed to have my name on it. I called a writer friend of mine who had lots more experience. He agreed, after looking at my submission and the printed result, that they had indeed made a mess of things. But, he pointed out, there wasn't much to be done. I might, he suggested, be able to get them to print some sort of tiny retraction or correction in the back of a subsequent issue, but all I would accomplish would be making the editor angry - never a good idea. So I sucked it up.

Many magazines, however, will give a you look at what they're planning. I've always appreciated that and have found that those editors always make me look good. And I've tended to write for them over and over again.

But there is just no guarantee. I've always thought that those magazines that do give us a chance to see what they're up to are way better organized, and maybe better funded, than those that don't. So, it's a pig-in-a-poke. Treat this magazine well; they are treating you well.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman

Question and Answer Index

If you have a question you'd like to see here, send an email to me at: anne@aboutfreelancewriting.com. Please, put Q&A in the subject line so it won't get lost. I don't promise to answer every question, but I'll consider it. Know too, that when you send a question, and I do decide to publish it, I reserve the right to edit for clarity, etc.


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