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Girl's Best Friend Visits the ROM

Leonicka Valcius: Girl's Best Friend Visits the ROM

Monday, November 3, 2008

Girl's Best Friend Visits the ROM

I got another byline. Except there is no "WOOT" this time. Sure that's my name at the top, but that's not my article. At least not the way I wrote it.

My assingment was to cover the new exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, The Nature of Diamonds, in 500 words. After going to media event I realized it was impossible. I had spent 2 hours at the exhibit and still had not seen everything. There was no way I could pack it all into 500 words. So I sent the editor an email proposing 4 smaller pieces: a quick brief on exhibit itself and 3 artist spotlights. This idea was shot down for space issue. Totally legitimate. As a compromise, the editor gave 1000 words.

I spent an entire weekend writing and proofing and editing and pulling my hair out to make it work. Finally I got down to a piece that was 998 words and that I was completly happy with. I emailed it as I was supposed to. Come Monday moring it wasn't published. That's fine. The deadline for Monday's issue is the Friday before; I had sent my piece Sunday. So I waited for the Thursday issue. There was none. I email the editor to ask what the deal is. After all I wasnt the only one waiting for this article to come out. Apparently they had taken that week off. But lucky for me, he had looked my article over and, although it had to be cut down for space, it was quite good. Again, no big deal. The paper has alot to cover so I understand.

So I wait. And on Monday when the paper finally hits the stands, I tear it open to see my name in print. And there it is. Stark against the gray of the newspaper, the byline is beautiful. But as I begin to read I don't recognize the words. Paniced, I turn on my laptop and cross reference my copy. I mean it had been a rough week. It's possible that I forgot what I wrote... But no. The differences between what I wrote and what was published were obvious. They did more then edit the length of my article. They completly stripped it of my voice. Without the byline I would not have recognized it as my own. And that hurts.

So as always you can click on the title of this post to read the latest published article that bears my name. Woot.

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