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Resurrect your darlings: How to recycle deleted material from your manuscript

Why trash your deleted pages when you can publish them?

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I wasn’t thrilled to delete a favorite chapter from my latest book – a story about how several kids’ books my neighbor placed in my family’s Little Free Library helped my young daughter to overcome anxiety and depression. But I cut it anyway because I agreed with my editor that the tone and content didn’t mesh with the rest of the chapters. Still, trashing the piece I’d labored on and loved hurt. And so, on a whim, I revised it as a stand-alone essay and sent it to Real Simple.  

The magazine accepted it. Editors published it along with a photo and my bio. I earned a hefty paycheck and a top-notch venue in which to showcase an essay directly related to my nonfiction work Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019).

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