Welcome to Writers Talkback. If you are a new user, your account will have to be approved manually to prevent spam. Please bear with us in the meantime

Publication Issues/Social Media

edited January 2018 in Writing
Hi all, I'm sorry if this has been asked before, I've been away from the group for a while.
I was just wondering about publication issues, especially surrounding social media like facebook, or blogs.

I have looked into entering a few competitions, mostly Poetry, and they state that they most not have been published before, which is fine, but I don't understand if that means never ever anywhere. I used to post on a Blog website ( which has now been shut down ) and have posted a few of them on my facebook and tumblr accounts. Does this count as being published, from the eyes of the competition runners? I never recieved money or paid money for them being there.
It would be great if i could either use them 'as is' for a competition, or rework them for a competition. - If I did re-work them, would that be an issue or not, as sometines self-plagirusm is a problem too, and all but the facebook poems were written under a pen-name, so would proving they were mine to start with be a problem? - especially the ones on the blog site which is now closed down?

Hope all of this makes sense

Thanks, Em


  • Competition organisers usually state what they mean by previously published. Some will specify that blog/online publication does or doesn't count. If they don't specify I would assume that it DOES count as published, as that is the norm. But you can always ask.

    I wouldn't worry about proving they were yours. I could only imagine it would be an issue if someone else claimed they were theirs and I wouldn't think that was likely!
  • I only ever publish poetry on my website if it's already been published elsewhere. Even posting a poem here on TB for the OWC can count as published - which is one of the reasons I don't enter any more.

    More frequently nowadays, submission guides specify that 'previously published' includes anywhere online.

    Of course, you could re-work your poems to make them a bit different from the originals...
  • Available anywhere on a blog or social media seems to be classed as published by most competitions.
    But you can always ask them for clarification.

  • It depends on your Facebook restrictions. If it's only been on your Facebook and you only let friends see it, I wouldn't count that as published - it's more like sharing something in a creative writing group. But public posts, or the ones shared to Tumblr, I'd think it's different.
  • You need to read the rules carefully as they vary. If they just say 'unpublished' then generally that means anywhere at all - whether or not you got paid doesn't come into it.

    I'm not sure re-working would help. If it's still the same poem with a few changes, then it's still a previously published poem. Writing a new poem on the same theme is fine though.
Sign In or Register to comment.