Working with an editor: re-post from Dana Sitar

A young blogger, Dana Sitar, whom I follow write a recent post on a subject dear to my heart: editors and how to handle them. I’m a complete believer in editors, and would almost never publish anything without one. My blog posts are the exception (maybe you can tell?).  The snag comes when you’re freelancing. I’ve had my share of editors who insist on an ungrammatical ‘improvement’ to my writing, or who’ve changed the sense of what I was trying to convey by their edits. Dana asks the question: When should you confront, and how? Do read her piece and then I’d love to hear your ideas for how you handle this.

Working with an Editor

A few months ago, I found myself in a frustrating situation with an editor for a freelance assignment. I loved the assignments I was getting, and he gave glowing reviews and useful feedback on the work I was turning in. But sometimes the edits I saw in the final published work were… questionable. I’m no Yes-Man when it comes to work, but I also try to pick my battles, and I couldn’t decide whether challenging his edits was one worth engaging.
When should you question an Editor?
He’s got the reputation of his publication to maintain, so he makes the changes that fit the image he’s worked hard to cultivate. I’ve got my reputation as a writer to maintain, so I worry about the integrity of every article published with my name on it. So how do we reconcile disagreements?
Usually, I just bow my head and bite my tongue. Read the rest here

Recent Comments

  • cyclingrandma
    October 12, 2012 - 10:08 am · Reply

    It’s a lot about letting go. An old newspaper reporter policy is to never read what you’ve written once it’s in print. I try to do that with my freelance work– otherwise I’ll get annoyed about little things that only I detect. That changes of course if it’s a big alteration or makes the work non-factual. Wearing an editor’s hat for the anthology taught me how to approach writers– blog posts generally aren’t edited as well as an essay or news article so that was a challenge as well as convincing writers to cut their works.

  • jessicamjonas
    October 12, 2012 - 1:52 pm · Reply

    I agree with the commenters on the original post that it makes most sense to me to politely ask the editor why he or she made those changes. There are some high-school English “rules” that may be outdated, the editor might change phrasing to fit the style of the publication, or it can be a gentle, nonthreatening way to get an editor to review a change and potentially realize if a mistake has been made.

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