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Backstory of a Feature That Never Got Published

I met Layne Mosler online in 2008 or 2009, back when I was managing editor of an online travel magazine. She was a member of the magazine’s community section (think a Facebook/blogging prototype, but geared exclusively toward travelers) and I was compelled by her story. She had an interesting life and she was a solid writer. I wanted to learn more about her.

By the time our paths crossed in person in 2010, I already knew I wanted to write about Layne, and I discussed the idea with her before pitching the former editor of Edible Queens. In one of those rare-enough moments where the subject-writer-editor stars align, everyone was keen, and so Layne and I got together for dinner and conversation at Kalustyan’s (which, by the way, if you’re a cook, is THE source for spices and dry goods if there’s an ingredient you can’t find elsewhere in New York).

I wrote up my draft of the article and sent it in. It languished, as articles so often do, and by the time the editor got around to following up with me, it was to say that he was leaving the publication. The new editor wasn’t interested in the piece, which, she felt, wasn’t Queens-centric enough (Why, for example, had we not had dinner in Queens if we both lived there and loved it so much? Answer: Kalustyan’s just happened to be convenient to where we both were that evening). Plus, the article ended with Layne moving to Berlin, and we just couldn’t have our Queens subject doing that, could we?

I thought about where the piece might fit elsewhere and what kind of retooling it might require to line up in another publication’s feature well, but the pieces just never came together and here we are, more than two years later. Layne’s story is still interesting to me and I think it will be interesting to readers, too, so I decided to dust it off and post it on my other blog. Hope you’ll stop by and read it.

How do you make decisions about what to do with pieces that have been commissioned but never got published? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Layne Mosler eats her way around the globe from the seat of her taxi | Collazo Projects

  2. I am super fortunate that this rarely happens to me, but it did recently and I still haven’t quite figured out what to do with the piece. It was a very general interest health piece meant for a custom publication and required a good bit of original reporting. A year after turning it in, I just found out that the magazine will never hit newsstands. For now, I’ve followed up with the sources to offer an apology and promise to do what I can to find a home for their stories. Beyond that… I don’t know. Not a terribly useful comment, I guess 😉


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