I'm glad you liked my thing but you were wrong I made it better okay
July 11, 2016 4:12 PM   Subscribe

So I wrote a thing, submitted it a bunch, revised it substantially, and got the first edition accepted. My question is there any non-asshole way I can ask them to look at the revised piece?

So, yeah, is there a non-jerkface way to say, hey, can you look at this revised thing? This is for an online journal and they plan to put it up in two weeks. I feel like I will be a jerk face for asking because they are now presumably dealing with different things (it's a small journal run out of presumably love) and don't want to deal with my whiny artistic needs or whatever.

The other query I have is (and YANML) is does publishing the piece w/o the revisions somehow set the thing in stone in some IP way? Practically speaking, if I wanted to anthologize the silly thing, could I say, "first published in X, republished here with revisions." I do hold copyright of the thing after the journal publishes it.

I am at a remove from anybody in the know when it comes to such patterns and practices so I thank you for your wisdom.
posted by angrycat to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A little more context might help - a literary journal where they more or less publish things they like will have a different attitude about this than something scientific or formal where they have an editor thoroughly read everything before publishing it.
posted by Candleman at 4:19 PM on July 11, 2016

Response by poster: oh of course
it's a lit journal
posted by angrycat at 4:27 PM on July 11, 2016

Best answer: Practically speaking, if I wanted to anthologize the silly thing, could I say, "first published in X, republished here with revisions." I do hold copyright of the thing after the journal publishes it.

I see notes like this all the time when I read collections by writers who have previously published in periodicals, so I'm going to go with: Yes, you may do exactly this without compunction.

As to your other question, a good way to know the answer is to ask the editor if they would like to see your revision. I like to be clear that I'm OK with no if I ask questions like this, so in your shoes I'd probably say something like, "I understand the upcoming publication date may make this impractical, but since submitting this to you, I have made some revisions and I wonder if you would like to see the revised version."
posted by not that girl at 4:28 PM on July 11, 2016 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Based on my experience with small lit journals run on love and certainly not profit motive, I would say you should just send in the revised version and ask if they would be able to run that one instead. Be ready for potential pushback though if, for example, they have already laid it out or otherwise committed to the one you sent in originally.

And again in my experience, without commenting on official "IP" issues, it is customary for the journal to insist on rights to first publication but leave the author with residual rights to re-publish elsewhere after X amount of time, for instance in an anthology. I would definitely write to clarify the journal's official position on that and see if they would even insist on any "previously published" attribution like the one you suggested. This is definitely a legitimate thing to negotiate about so don't hesitate to ask.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 4:32 PM on July 11, 2016

Best answer: I'd just write back to the editor and tell her you've done some substantial revisions to it recently and ask her if she wants to read them, because you'd prefer they run that version if possible (which I assume is the case?). Depending on their scheduling, she may say yes, she may say no -- on preview, I think not that girl's script is a good one.

Just so you know, this is not a jerkface or asshole thing to do, and it's not being whiny either. It happens all the time. Be polite and professional, obviously -- as I'm sure you have been in all communications! -- but simply telling your editor you've made some revisions is not an imposition on her!

Congrats on having your piece accepted!
posted by Countess Sandwich at 4:41 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Lit journal editor here, I've had this happen, and everyone here is correct. not that girl has your script, Joey Buttafoucault has your P.S., especially if the submission guidelines don't include that info.

(For what it's worth, you're likely fine for an anthology -- most online lit journals I know of want six months to a year, and it often takes an anthology at least that long to come together.)
posted by gnomeloaf at 4:53 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ah you all ROCK thank you; I've sent the querying email.
posted by angrycat at 3:27 AM on July 12, 2016

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