Bittersweet irony of being published

Imagine my joy when I received the news that my entry into The Weekend Australian’s “Follow the Reader” column had been accepted and I was going to be published!


It was just a silly little story about my even sillier Tragic 80’s 40th birthday party in France but it was to be published in a national newspaper and I was dead excited.

Obviously it’s an accomplishment that many have achieved before me, but I had all but given up hope since I’d sent in my submission 6 months ago and not heard a peep since.

I eagerly awaited the day my column would feature, and imagined the excited phone call from Mum, whose idea it was for me to enter and whom I hadn’t told I was to be featured.

The day arrived and I opened the newspaper full of excitement, only find my column re-written in the present tense, and shall I say, ‘condensed’.  Even though the story is my own more or less, it’s not really what I wrote.

And my Mum?  Well as it happens she hadn’t done her usual Saturday morning reading the paper ritual and I eventually had to ring her after lunch to tell her to look at the travel section.

So things didn’t really turn out as I had hoped or expected.  Can I really claim success when the end result was not wholly my own work? What do you think?

You can read my story in The Weekend Australian by clicking here.


    • I expected a little editorial interference but I really don’t know why they changed the whole thing to present tense, I don’t think it adds anything really, but then I’m biased!


  1. Absolutely you can claim it as your own, it was your story. Not great that they rewrote it and condensed it without telling you, isn’t that a breach of copyright or something. Congratulations regardless, you have been published.


  2. All good things come to those who wait!! I hope this has inspired you to ‘put pen to paper’ and try again. What about sleeping with cheetahs (not cheaters)?


  3. You definitely can claim success even thought the article changed. While I don’t publish a well-known publication, I work in corporate communications and we change articles a lot to fit the space available and to reflect the points we need to make at that time — even really well written articles. Enjoy this accomplishment — you deserve it!


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