A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Wonderings - Blog Excerpts To Published Material

Before I plunge into today's question, there are a few housekeeping items I need to mention. If you haven't stopped by The Literary Lab in the last couple of days, you need to. Scott and Davin have been walking through their writing processes, and it is very interesting reading (particularly for those of us trying to improve and refine our own processes). If Lady Glamis can share her ideas on the subject (hint hint), it'll be an awesome finish to the topic.

My friend (at least I hope I'm still a friend) Rebecca Woodhead is trying to win the literary category in the Shorty Awards and she could use your vote. She already won Ms. Twitter UK, but this would be an even great accomplishment on top of that. I have been woefully remiss in mentioning her progress, so I don't blame her if she wants to thump me on the head with an oversized fountain pen. She is doing awesome, but she could really use your votes. Make me proud all you wonderful followers and vote her to the top.

And last (but not least), Jody Hedlund - newly agented and on her way to publication - has been providing us a glimpse into her journey as she wades through the process. I have found it fascinating, and I think you will too.

Now on to business.

Yesterday I joined the Lighthouse Writer's Workshop as a member so that I can take a course on writing short stories. I have decided that this is a great place to begin my creative writing education.

This morning I began thinking about short stories and what I would bring to this class. I have started quite a few meanderings here on my blog, many of which I can see expanding into a full-fledged story. As I was thinking about these, I experienced a horrific moment. What if I am not allowed (or not encouraged) to use the writings I have posted here?

What I am concerned about is whether posting a writing on blogger makes it less likely that I could ever publish that story in a real magazine/anthology/publication. I'm not concerned that anyone else owns the rights to the story, since I write everything here myself. I am more concerned though, that someone else would not want to publish it in their media since a rough draft/previous version exists out here on my blog. I actually enjoy using this medium as a way to test out story ideas, work my way through them. But am I limiting myself by doing so?

If anyone can shed light on this, I'd really appreciate it. While I'd hate to stop posting my creative thoughts here, I would really hate to miss the opportunity to take those writings and actually get them published as a completed story later in the future.


Elana Johnson said...

I think, and I could be wrong, that if you post your short stories here, they're considered "published." You know who you should ask? Aaron over at "The Other Aaron." I think his blog is aaronpoulsen.blogspot.com I might have spelled his last name wrong...

Nisa said...

As far as I have heard, posting excerpts and ideas is fine. Just don't post the whole thing. Whether it be a novel, short story or flash fiction, it's considered published if printed on a blog. I try to err on the side of caution and post very brief snippets. Not even whole scenes. I hope this helps.

JennyMac said...

I keep hearing about the Shorty awards. Must go check them out and thanks for the link to The Literary Lab too.

Lost Wanderer said...

If you post a whole story on the blog, it is considered published. Someone might be willing to publish it, but it won't be considered for "first print."

But excerpts are fine.

However, if you post them on a password-operated blog then they are not considered published. So if you wanted several people to read your stories, you could create a new blog just for that, and you can invite people to follow it. Jamie did that for her NaNo novel.

Jamie D. said...

Yep - what they said. I don't post anything on my blog that I might want to publish later (I'll occasionally post a short paragraph excerpt or so, but nothing more). It won't necessarily make your stories "unpublishable", but you'll have used up "first rights"...and reprints are a hard sell in fiction, from what I've heard/read. It's pretty easy to set up the "invitation only" blog like I have for my NaNo novel though.

You might be able to get away with posting a short story for a limited time (ie, less than 12 hours), and then removing it right away. As long as it doesn't get cached anywhere, then no one will know it was here. You just have to make sure it's down before the bots index your site again...which can be tricky.

Jim Harrington said...

Some magazines now state in their guidelines whether they will consider stories previously posted on the author's blog. Some will. Others won't. I'm sure you'll be able to find a home for any story you publish here. It just may not be in the magazine you really hoped would accept it.

This is a question I should (and will) ask on my Six Questions For blog--http://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/