An editor chopped my article down to nothing. Can I publish it in full elsewhere?

I'm just starting out as a freelance writer and photographer. I just had my first (paying!!!$$!) photo essay published in an online magazine of some repute. I'm super excited about it. The only thing is, the narrative accompaniment I spent sleepless nights on got thoroughly chopped and screwed. One paragraph remains intact on the live piece.

Now, I'll take what I can get because at this point, it's a big step for me to be published at all. However, I'm attached to what I wrote-- I think it's good and added dimension to the piece.

My question is- can I pitch it or self publish it elsewhere without compromising my relationship with the mag that published the revised version? We didn't discuss exclusivity, but because I'm a small fish, I want to know if there are unwritten rules I should be privy to.


Do you have a contract? Read the contract. It should tell you that you're in the clear to publish the material they cut.

If you don't have a contract, that's a problem! In the future, ask for one. It's how you know your rights. In the absence of a contract, I would say that any material they did not choose to publish is yours to publish elsewhere, either on your own site or at a different publication.

ALWAYS get a contract! If they refuse, ask them to confirm the rate, deadline, reprint rights, kill fees, etc. in your email exchange so you have a record.