Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Re-thinking an Essay – After It’s Too Late


BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Kathy Stevenson

zz_kathyI recently published an essay, “A Stranger At the Door,” on the Op/Ed page of the Chicago Tribune. And after reading it in its printed form, already irrevocably out there in the world – literally in black and white – I wanted to revise it. I really, really wanted to revise it. In fact, I wanted to rewrite the whole damn thing. But it was too late. The Chicago Tribune editorial policy (as I’m sure is the editorial policy of any traditional publication) is that authors are not allowed to change or comment on their own work once it is published.

As my editor replied to me in an email, “We don’t run letters by authors critiquing their own work.” Of course they don’t! Just think of all the confusion that might take place if this were allowed to happen.

“Oh, wait a minute, I just…

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