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Will my editor publish this, given the circumstances?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2698 points ) February 25th, 2014

I write from time to time for a major U.S. newspaper. I pitched an article and got the assignment. After I finished the reporting, which took an entire day, I called my editor and told that that it was a rich piece with some as yet untold anecdotes, and that I’d like to submit more than his requested word count. He said cool.

We set a soft deadline and when it came, I had finished my piece. I hated it. It read like a bio, was over twice as long as originally requested (OK, I felt, since he was open to having me file more) and I needed to tweak it. This was on a Friday night. So I emailed him and he said can you cut it down? And I said sure, no problem.

I submitted it the next Friday (so one week after the agreed upon date). I submitted over double his requested length. I’ve yet to hear anything. I followed up a few days after submission — I usually hear from them right away — and nothing. I followed up a week later (today) and nothing. I asked them to send me quick note to let me know if they’re still interested in it, and if not, to let me know so I can try to place elsewhere. And that of course, I’d prefer to place it with them.

I’m sad. I put a lot of work into it. I recognize that I was late in submitting, but I deserve a response. I pitched the article, and was given the go ahead, which is an assignment.

Should I cut the article down to their desired length myself? Should I give him a call? Should I leave it be? Should I pitch elsewhere? It’s not timely (as in need-to-be-published-now), but it is in a way, as well, as it needs to be published by springtime. I’m a freelancer, still learning, and passionate about this. I care about this piece, and about writing for this publication.

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