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Reslant It/Rewrite It/Resell It
by Kathryn Lay

You've spent a lot of time researching and writing your article or essay. You've found a market for it and have sent it out. But have you explored all the possible options for your idea?

With a few changes it might have even greater market potential. Though not every idea has reslant possibilities, many do. One writer took the information from her essay on a humorous camping trip experience and changed the focus or slant several times. She sold how-to's, anecdotes, travel advice, and more to 7 different publications and sold them all as First Rights because, although some of the same information was used in each, the result was different articles.

How would you reslant a piece?

Perhaps you sold an article to a women's magazine concerning a traumatic medical experience. Did the original article deal with your emotions? Did you describe what happened and give advice on how you overcame or survived? By adding your experiences with faith and prayer, the article is ready for resell to a religious publication. Perhaps the article can be rewritten as a how-to for a children's magazine, an essay for a back page of a magazine, and so on.

Another way to reslant your published piece is by taking a nonfiction article and developing it into fiction. After selling and reselling an experience in which my husband and I gave a hitchhiking family a ride, I rewrote it with a few changes into a short story. The fiction version, "Road Ministry", sold and resold, as did its nonfiction counterpart, "Do You Need A Ride?"

Yet another way to give new life to your published writing is to rewrite an article originally written for adults and aim it for the children's market. Many interesting articles can be revised for children.

Can your travel experience be redone for a family magazine, a woman's magazine, a golfing magazine, an RV magazine, a religious magazine, a children's magazine? Think about all that happened during that experience. During your research to add information to a piece, have you interviewed someone who would make an interesting article on their own? Perhaps they have an unusual hobby or do volunteer work?

By keeping files of all information for each article, you can feasibly go back later and redo it differently.

The story of my daughter's adoption has sold dozens times. Some were straight reprints. Other were new articles on different events of her adoption that were written to fit different magazines. They have sold to women's magazines, dozens of religious publications, anthologies, magazines geared toward adoption, etc.

When you are rewriting a piece and using some of the same information you've used before, write it in a different way. Get fresh interviews if possible. Think of who your new readers will be and what kind of questions they'd like answered to determine the emphasis of your piece.

If your piece can be read or focused to be read by various groups of people, it's a reslantable idea. Tightly focused pieces are a bit tougher and may only be do-able as a one-time piece, and resold as a reprint.

Ex: If you write a personal experience about what happened when you rose above your financial problems, could you redo this for a business publication? Could you do it for families, single parents, working mothers, college students, etc, gearing it toward their specific needs and using your experience as well as anecdotes from others?

Reslanting takes a bit more work than reselling reprints, but as your writing moves along, consider this option as an extended part of your writing.

© Copyright 2001, Kathryn Lay

Kathryn Lay is the author of 26 books for children, over 2000 articles, essays and stories for children and adults and the book from AWOC.COM Publishing, The Organized Writer is a Selling Writer. Check out her website at www.kathrynlay.com and email through rlay15@aol.com

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