I’ve just been catching up on my Subscription reading, and came across a lovely mention on Trainee Writer. Thank you Kriss!
Anyway, as regular readers of the blog will know, I’ve recently been trying to step out of my comfort zone by entering writing competitions in genres and styles that I’m not used to. Whilst this is definitely something I would recommend, my experience has come with one caveat – be careful what you publish!
One of the main reasons I started a blog was to get feedback on my writing from people who I don’t know personally – feedback like that lovely comment on The Trainee Writer. However, the main problem nowadays with putting chapters of your work up on the net is not necessarily what you would expect it to be. I for one thought the only potential problem with posting writing on the internet was plagiarism, however there is another more legal consideration.
Posting something on the internet can count as publishing, full stop. It might seem temporary, but it is out there for good, the moment you click on that ‘Publish’ button. And there could be implications on the future of that piece. For example, almost every competition I’ve entered this month has insisted that the writing I’m submitting has not been previously published ANYWHERE, and that specifically includes the internet.
Whilst this ought not be a problem for book deals, (I presume provided you don’t post too much of a book?) if you are thinking of using a novel or a short story in a competition, I would suggest erring on the side of caution and not posting it online. With that in mind I just posted my entry to the Grazia competition as, alas, I didn’t win the £1,000 jackpot!