[DWJ] News from the archive - Charmed Life

Ellen Willcox eawil3 at email.wm.edu
Wed Jun 1 10:00:17 EDT 2011


On the one occasion that I met her, DWJ told me that an editor had marked up
a draft of Howl with red pencil - "for reasons like, 'you can't say that, it
isn't grammar'" - and she went through and erased all of the pencil, leaving
every page a pink smudge.  She said the editors apologized and asked if they
could mark it a different way next time, and she said she didn't want there
to be a next time.  (Which sounds a bit mean; she also told me about another
editor for whom she actually did change some things.  I think it was just
the "not grammar" bit that did it.)

- Nic




On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 8:42 AM, Kyla Mackay-Smith <kyla at keyfitz.org> wrote:

> Well, you never know--I know that high school editors are not nearly as
> observant and skilled as professional editors, but I do remember one
> instance of submitting a story to my high school literary magazine, getting
> a rejection and some immensely stupid "constructive criticism" back, waiting
> a few months, and resubmitting it without any changes. That time it got
> accepted, along with the comment "we really liked the changes you made!" :^)
>
>
> On Wed, 1 Jun 2011, Deborah Meghnagi Bailey wrote:
>
>  Love it. And I too hope that her editor was not fooled, but giving in,
>> otherwise - ouch!
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf
>> Of
>> Hannah Green
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 1:51 PM
>> To: 'dwj at suberic.net'
>> Subject: [DWJ] News from the archive - Charmed Life
>>
>> Following on from yesterday's post, I've just been comparing two
>> typescript
>> drafts of 'Charmed Life', which again indicate how certain of her own
>> instincts Diana was when it came to her writing.
>>
>> She explained when we collected the archive, that the first typescript was
>> her 'final' draft, the version she felt was finished and ready for
>> publication.  So she sent it to her editor, who returned it saying it was
>> good but needed quite a bit of cutting and revision.  Diana disagreed, but
>> rather than argue, she simply photocopied the complete typescript, and
>> took
>> a pair of scissors to it.  Numerous pages were cut up and then taped back
>> together again, to make it look like she'd made significant changes to the
>> text.  In fact, nothing had been changed.  She then sent the cut and taped
>> typescript back to her editor, claiming to have done the revisions
>> requested, and it was accepted.  I'm not sure whether her editor was
>> fooled
>> by the apparent 'cutting' (I'd hope not, as it suggests a rather lax
>> attention to detail), or if she realised what Diana had done and decided
>> to
>> give in gracefully.  Either way, once again Diana won!
>>
>>
>>
>> Hannah Green
>> Archivist
>> Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
>> Design Works, William Street, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0JP
>> Tel. 01914952707
>> E-mail:
>> hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk<mailto:hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>
>>
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