part of the business I guess...


well-- this is a somber post. Most of our posts are quite cheerfull and full of the positive vibes we feel living in the NY area, being blessed with our jobs, our health and our friends and family. But this post dear readers, is of a different tone all together.

As you know, I am a writer (well, an aspiring one, but actually calling myself a writer in a public forum is the right thing to do from a motivational standpoint) and as a writer, I am pitching several ideas for articles to many different publications (A pitch is basically an idea with facts and pre-written sections of an proposed article one is proposing to write for a specific publication(s)).

With the encouragement of Tom and friends (most recently Cora, Angie, Laura, Melissa, Karen and my mother-in-law Bev) I have been pitching ideas focusing on my travel experiences and interesting locales in the NE area. I appreciate the support (thanks guys) and feel I have some great angles/ideas.

Now to the somber part...
I pitched an idea to a famous Newspaper that is read all around the world and makes its home in Manhattan. This publication shall remain unnamed in this post as the journalist society is a small one...

Anyway-- my pitch, to this world famous newspaper (that makes its home in Manhattan and who everyone I am sure can guess its name) a few months ago, to the very specific regional section in the Weekend edition, centered on a specific artsy town near Princeton, NJ. My pitch, very concise yet detailed (which is possible), was sent to them in time for the Spring/pre-summer rush for their readers to benefit from the small town community, historical sites, antique shops and art gallerys (as well as the best pet shop you'll ever visit in the NE) before the summer crowds take residence. I did not hear back from the editor (of whom I had his direct email address AND name) even after I pinged him a couple of times--which is how it sometimes goes in this "business". I was not discouraged-- I just assumed that this was not the time for this type of article.

Since then, I got married, vacationed in paradise and worked very hard at my real job.
Upon coming back from my honeymoon, Tom and I were reading the paper, as we always do on the weekend, and as I opened the local, regional specific section of this specific unnamed paper-- the wind was knocked out of me. On the FRONT PAGE of this section was an entire article about THE SAME TOWN I had pitched with the SAME EMPHASIS on the art galleries and town charm.

Now, I beg of you, please make your own call on this predicament that I find myself in:
Is she just being arrogant to think that it may be possible that her story idea was so perfect and so wonderful that it was bound to be "professonally borrowed" and given to a staff writer at this famous publication in order to save money in this dying newspaper print world?
or
Is she being naive to think that surely she can't be the only person to have thought about this town and its artsy ways and that this is just bound to happen and that surely another person would have known the newspaper lead time and the editor's info (which honestly--is very possible) and the draw this town has to all people in the NE region?

To be fair to myself, I have not yet made a decision on where I feel I stand on this issue. My friends have been kind enough to throw their hands in the air and cry "theif" (thanks guys) and tell me that my idea was "stolen"... but I am not as quick to jump to that conclusion.

As it is, the only conclusion that matters is that the story has been written and I need to keep plugging away with other inspiring travel articles about areas both near and far to pitch to the many publications out there. Oh yeah, and maybe get an agent (I can dream).

Thanks for your sympathy in advance.

** the image appearing in this post is both fitting and also found on the blog bitsnbitesoflife.files.wordpress.com of from which I borrowed it...

5 comments:

  1. Lauren said...

    Whether they stole the idea or it was their own, it just goes to show it was a good one & you had it so keep plugging away! We're rooting for you!  

  2. Di and Tom said...

    thanks!!!!!!!  

  3. SeattleGrl said...

    Thanks you for citing your work (the stuff written on the side). It shows your integrity as a writer.....I am sorry about the idea theft. Unfortunately, it is a common practice....  

  4. andy said...

    Perhaps you should start a NEW company that publishes a newspaper with information from a Manhattan based firm just 1 day late and charge half price. That'll teach them! Or maybe it'll teach me that nobody wants day old news... Hmm, either way it DOES sound a bit sketchy... Have you tried any travel-specific magazines? I subscribe and love Conde Nast for all my travel needs!  

  5. Kathlene said...

    Hi Diana,
    I just discovered your blog and love it! I too blog about our new adventures living on a coast-but it's the other one. (www.bodegabaylife.com) But we have even more in commmon. I'm a publicist and have also had stories "stolen." In some cases they do the story we suggested but exclude the expert we pitched, or they'll interview our client at length and use the quotes and other information but without attribution or even a mention of the client. Fortunately it's doesn't happen often, I've found the vast majority of journalists are ethical. Hopefully yours was an isolated incident and not the beginning of a trend.  

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