October 18, 2013

Leave well enough alone


I love publishing poetry for the Kid's Imagination Train.  Recently, I received a cute poem, but the meter and rhyme were off.  Since I felt that the poem had potential, the author and I worked together to edit it.  In a few days, she was awarded with an acceptance. The poem was slated for publication in a spring issue of KIT. Then, a few weeks later, the author wrote back to me. She wanted to edit the poem—again!   

Please, never consider doing this.  It's rare that an editor will work with an author to revise work. Generally speaking, editors edit manuscripts without author input.  Seasoned authors are aware however, that editors try to keep the story or article as close to what was originally written even though some words or paragraphs are struck. 

For example, when a manuscript of mine was accepted by a leading children's magazine, I was allowed to proof the piece before publication.  Upon reading it however, I found that major parts had been edited.  At first, it was shocking.  Then I realized that the editors had vastly improved it.   

In time, this poet will discover the ways of the writing world.  She'll discover that editors have a vision of how a submission should appear in print.  She find that editors want to publish outstanding work.  She'll realize that once a piece is edited and accepted for publication, it’s time to let go of the submitted work and move on to the next writing project.  

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