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Sancho Panza
May 13th, 2003, 10:24 PM
Hi folks. I'd like to start with a thanks to the site owners for making such a friendly and useful site. I can't believe I never stumbled onto it before now. I'd also like to thank the users and forumers who seem to be a polite and knowledgeable bunch, as well as active and large (which I have found to be a rare combination on the web.) It's a pleasure to be here

That said, I am an aspiring (unplublished) writer, who after years of quiet desperation has decided to start writing all those stories and thoughts that I've always put off writing (and subsequently forgot.)

Anyhow, I've got a question that pertains to this site. I am interested in getting some feedback on the first chapter of the sci-fi/fantasy hybrid novel I am writing, but was not sure about the submittal guidelines that were posted. First, can I submit a chapter (about 3,000 words), and second, would I submit it as a short story, or is there something I'm missing?

Finally, for copyright purposes, would this inpinge on any type of publishing I would seek when I have completed the novel? Would the first chapter draft somehow interfere with the idea of "previously published?"

That's it. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

juzzza
May 15th, 2003, 08:42 AM
Hi Sancho,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Firstly, WELCOME to SFFWORLD.COM

Feel free to submit the first chapter of your story using the Short Story submission pages. Just let people know it is just a sample so they don't get disappointed when they love your work and want to read more.

You retain all rights to your work, this is a critique environment only.

It is generally accepted that posting a snippet or sample chapter of your work is not considered as being 'Published'. If however you submit a complete short story, some publishers consider it to have lost first publishing rights. This is what I believe and someone like KATG, who is much more experienced and knowledgeable in the publishing world will confirm.

If you are uncomfortable and intend to sell your work, offer interested parties to email them your sample chapter, they can then email back critique or post it in this thread.

Good luck.

Juzzz ~ Mod Bod

KatG
May 15th, 2003, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by juzzza
Hi Sancho,

It is generally accepted that posting a snippet or sample chapter of your work is not considered as being 'Published'. If however you submit a complete short story, some publishers consider it to have lost first publishing rights. This is what I believe and someone like KATG, who is much more experienced and knowledgeable in the publishing world will confirm.


Knowledgable about publishing maybe, knowledgable about on-line publishing, not so much. I have been told, by others more in the know, that you can potentially get into trouble posting whole works on your own website, or that posting them on some sites, like AOL, could be constituted as publishing the work. However, it's only electronic publishing and shouldn't hopefully interfere with print rights. It's one of these delightful gray areas that everyone is still figuring out. There is also a slight chance that someone might plagiarize and take your material and post it somewhere as their own. I've only heard of that happening with non-fiction articles so far, but it's one of those on-line issues that people discuss. The American writers groups the National Writers Union and the Authors Guild might have information on this topic at their websites that could be helpful.

I would think that, given that the posting of material here is specifically designated as for critique only, and that if you post material with the heading or introduction that it is for critique purposes only, that the material would be considered the equivalent of a manuscript copy of the work. Certainly, if it is only a portion of a manuscript, it would fall under the heading of fair use quotation and not be considered published work. I would also think that given that this is a community of writers and fans on a global scale, the danger of plagiarism is slight to none. It's not like it's particularly profitable to heist someone's short story.

Now, Juzz, who's putting together a potential E-zine which would publish work from SFF-World participants, has a trickier situation and has to use a standard contract for first time electronic rights for all works being published, that would specify exactly what licensing and print rights his E-zine did and did not get from the author. But that's a separate operation and not connected to the site's critique area.

juzzza
May 15th, 2003, 09:42 AM
And guess who I will turn to IF that time comes KAT me old mate. ;)

Sancho Panza
May 15th, 2003, 12:46 PM
Great, thanks Juzza, KatG. I will submit this "snippet" later this afternoon, then will post a new message hare, and perhaps in the Fantasy forum, asking for some good old faqshion criticism.

Glad to know about the publishing rules. I was not too worried, but you never know. Also, I am not too worried about plagairism. This seems to be a pretty good community, and if there ever WAS any issue, I'm sure that it could be traceable.

Thanks again.

KatG
May 16th, 2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by juzzza
And guess who I will turn to IF that time comes KAT me old mate. ;)
No, no, you get yourself a lawyer, me boyo, set you up properly. You can also bug other magazines for a look at their boilerplate.