13 Ways to Steal a Story Concept


About a year ago, Little Rock writer Leslie Peacock wrote a story about the discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas. The article first ran in the Arkansas Times. A couple weeks later, we edited it slightly for our Memphis readership and popped it into the Flyer.

Peacock is a strong writer and she'd come up with a clever concept, to wit: "Poet Wallace Stevens’ '13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' is about the vagaries of perception. This story is about how we see things too. And so: 13 ways of looking at an ivory-billed woodpecker."

Imagine our surprise when we opened Sunday's New York Times Sunday Magazine article on the Ivory-bill, also broken into 13 segments and also called — you guessed it — "13 Ways of Looking at an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

It may not exactly be plagiarism, but it's damn close, and our feathers are ruffled. You can read our story here. You can find theirs on your own.

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