Would a magazine editor steal my story idea?

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Dear Dr. Freelance: About six months ago, I sent a story idea for a food feature to the editor of a nationally recognized magazine. We went back and forth a bit, with me sending just a bit more info each time. I even sent recipes. She ultimately rejected my idea, but imagine my surprise when a recent issue came out with a food feature bearing a striking resemblance to the one I had pitched to her. How could she feel it’s OK to steal my story idea? I don’t suppose I have any recourse (do I?), but I’m interested in knowing how common this is.—Fed Up

Dear Fed Up: The recent Cooks Source fiasco makes it all too clear that some in the editorial world check their ethics at the door. That said, your circumstance, in which you believe a magazine editor stole the story idea from your query letter, is different from Cooks Source copying and pasting an actual story without pay or credit. [Read more…]

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