06-05-2005, 02:39 PM
I'd like to toss up a few things to consider before posting your work.

If you post a poem in this public forum, there is a possibility you may be giving up First Rights.
Posted=Published to some publications. (If you have any concerns about this, query the pub/mag.)
Some people will not post anything they are considering submitting.

If you'd like a critique from other members, here are a few suggestions:

* State that the piece is a draft/WIP and you'd like crits/opinions/input.

* State that the piece will be deleted after a few days.
(You're welcome to delete your post yourself. If you PM me, I can nix the entire thread, in cases where members may have quoted the whole poem.)

* Rather than posting the poem, you can post a request for a crit by PM or email.

* Never post a final draft. Never leave a poem posted that you've subbed.

06-05-2005, 08:36 PM
Jen, much appreciated!!

06-09-2005, 03:53 AM
Most of my work and poems are now copyrighted to be published in different books, some have been published but sometimes I do play around with something to see how it will fly. Thanks for the heads up.

11-14-2005, 08:01 AM
I am new coming into this site. It's awesome to find a place that offers so much! I have been making myself crazy whishing I had some place to just talk with others about poetry. I saw in the information that you gave that when we post in here that we "might be giving up First Rights". I don't understand. Who would take that away? Does someone claim that work posted in here is their's to be published whithout your knowledge? Why would we not still have the right to our own work if our name or username was posted with our work. And how would someone have the right to use it elsewhere. Sorry for being so dumb about all this, it's all very new to me. I just love the written, spoken, word for the word's sake. If you could help me understand, I would appreciate it.

Thank you,


11-14-2005, 06:01 PM
Don't worry (Well.. not about THAT anyway)

First rights is not the same as 'rights to your work'

First rights is exactly what it says on the tin - the right to be the first to publish the poetry. Once a poem is published somewhere then the right to be the FIRST to publish can of course no longer be sold!

Payment (ha ha ha.. if you can FIND decent payment in the first place!) is more for first rights - sometimes as much as ten times more - than for subsequent permissions to publish (known as reprint rights or one time rights)

Also... if you post in the Poetry Critique room then (As far as I know) your First Rights are not gone because it is a private room intended for use by peers as a type of on-line writers critique circle.

11-14-2005, 07:05 PM

Thank you so much! I am really excited about this site. I am learning so much and enjoying coming in here. Hope no one minds. You guys (all inclusive, generic term without gender specification) are really fueling my fire. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


04-19-2006, 09:14 AM
Hi Alphabet,

You're right, 1st rights are not ALL rights, but when major publications like 'Poetry Magazine" refuse to consider anything that has been posted on the web, (including on one's own homepage), it can be a serious inconvenience in trying to establish a reputation as there are only 1/2 dozen markets out there that pay enough, (over $50 per poem) or have sufficient distribution or prestige to impress any book publishers when you list your credits

"Fables" , which is a major market for "Formalist Poetry", cites the same criteria for what they consider published, but, at least so far, it appears that they will consider such for publication by them, (at least they appear to be giving my poems a reading).

I have stated to both that I consider such judgements "unjust" as posting on one's own website, or such sites as this, entails no "Acceptance, nor any "Payment", and no true "distribution" in terms of providing such to Bookstores or Libraries, or any permanent record as a "Printed Publication" would provide, so I am seriously considering filing a "class action" suit against "Poetry" for the policy, before it spreads to other publishers, because it discriminates against those who have not been able to find acceptance in the Established Markets, (for whatever reason), and simply wish to use such venues in order to make their poems available for people to see.

I see this as simply another ploy to keep outsiders, (read that as Classicists/Romanticists/and Formalists) from achieving Publication and gaining enough of a following to challenge the "Establishment".

A "biased" view? Yes, but I think its a legitimate one.


Mac H.
04-19-2006, 12:23 PM
I have stated to both that I consider such judgements "unjust" as posting on one's own website, or such sites as this, entails no "Acceptance, nor any "Payment", and no true "distribution" in terms of providing such to Bookstores or Libraries, or any permanent record as a "Printed Publication" would provide, so I am seriously considering filing a "class action" suit against "Poetry" for the policy, before it spreads to other publishers, because it discriminates against those who have not been able to find acceptance in the Established Markets, (for whatever reason), and simply wish to use such venues in order to make their poems available for people to see.What the heck !!!?

This is bizarre - you misunderstand their motivations, and then want to sue them based on your misunderstanding!

For a start, they have no obligation to post your poetry - they could insist on only publishing poetry by people with ingrown toenails if they want - it is their publication. You are welcome to start your own publication if you don't like their terms..

Their motivation is simple - they don't want customers to buy the publication, only to find poems that they've already read. Simple as that. No discrimination.

Why would customers pay money to read things that have already been made freely available !!?


04-19-2006, 02:06 PM

You may be right, and I may be over-reacting, but renting a personal website and posting anything that's mine for those I wish to have see it, does not, in my mind, constitute "PUBLICATION", and THAT is what I've objected to.

Simply, because I've posted my poetry in Shadowpoetry.com Member Section, with the "innocent" intent of allowing my friends or others I gave access to have the opportunity to view and enjoy it, "Poetry Magazine", (and others) will not allow me to submit my "Best" Poetry' to them. They have the right, and I'll concede that, but I do believe that such process is DISCRIMINATORY. (and certainly a far cry from policies of the past)

I can and have accepted "rejection" for 45 years, because I realize I'm out of step with the cycle that today's Poetry reflects, but being refused even the OPPORTUNITY to have my work judged, (whether fairly or not) is not justified, and I DO resent that, and feel I have a right to. (how would you like to have a Screenplay rejected because you posted a portion of it here in order to get necessary feedback?)

I may be welcome to start my own Publication, but I have neither the money to do so nor the connections to make such work, which is precisely why either POD or any other form of "Vanity Publishing" is simply a pointless exercise, for without the ability to distribute one's works to people beyond your own family, any such effort is wasted, and without the OPPORTUNITY to present one's work to those who can appreciate it, one has NO chance of success.

Think about it.


P.S. My primary point in posting was to verify that the process of rejection of internet postings has begun in at least two major markets, and that anyone who wishes to publish, now has to take that into consideration, (regardless of the quality of their work).

04-19-2006, 02:15 PM
If somebody has read it, it might as well be published. When I make and sell a chapbook, and distribute it at readings, I consider the poems within to be previously published. I make runs of 50 for each chapbook I make. That means 50 local people have read the poems I published. They are no longer poems I would consider submitting...because I understand that publishers do not want to buy poems that have been previously distributed...in any form...including personal websites. This is a standard...not a bias on the part of the publication.

04-19-2006, 02:42 PM
Sounds like a good argument against Self or Vanity Publishing, then, if one has any serious aspiration about one's work, (but SELLING a Chapbook is a far cry from posting something on the internet). Would those standards apply to showing such to friends, family or instructors via the internet, in order to get feedback?

I don't mean that seriously, just trying to point out the absurd lengths to which such can be taken.

The truth is that if one doesn't have publication credits, one has little or NO chance of getting a "Traditional Publisher" to accept a book for Publication, and if one's works, created over years of effort are going to be "totally discarded", based on NEW standards, that did not previously exist , simply because one desired to have them seen, then, those caught up in that change, will have NO chance of ever obtaining any publication credits or finding any form of success, and I consider that a "Grave" injustice.

You might be satisfied with that. i'm NOT.


04-19-2006, 03:28 PM
The truth is one should follow guidelines requested by the publisher. That's why it's a good idea to just not post poetry on the internet. If you don't want to follow that rule, just submit to publications that do not have that rule in their guidelines. Publications can do whatever they want. I print chapbooks to offer people at my readings the opportunity to purchase what they are hearing. I also publish widely through literary journals. I just make sure I keep everything separate.

04-19-2006, 04:43 PM
After reading through these postings, I have a question. AW has really been my motivation to get serious about wanting to write poetry. I've always written for myself, just to give relief to some inner need. However, for good or for bad, I feel like I have begun to come out of my shell. I have been writing in AW for almost a year now and have a collection spread throughout. I have been considering collecting them all, and start on the next step of putting together a chapbook. I've never done that. If I were to remove all my poems posted, put them into a collection and submit that collection as not previously published, would that be wrong as I worskshopped them online.

I have been studying about submissions and am in process of identifying where I want to submit and what it entails to submit. I have come across some places that specify that they are willing to accept poems that have been on the internet and that they don't consider them as published. Could I still submit to the others if my poems have been removed from the internet?


04-19-2006, 04:53 PM
Good question, kid. I eagerly await replies. We're on the same page.

04-19-2006, 05:16 PM
A lot of it depends on the editor's personal preferences. You might send a polite query asking what the editor considers "published" to mean.

With fiction, I know some of the big name editors (in SF/F, at least) are pretty hard line about anything that has appeared online being published. Others have said they could care less. Personally, I tend to play it safe. But it couldn't hurt to inquire, if you have a particular editor or publication in mind.

10-30-2006, 08:46 AM
Wow. This is scary! I have had several people ask specifically if I HAVE a website so they can see some of my work. Now I'm reading I may not be able to publish what I put on the website? This sounds kind of like a no-win situation. I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and do the site to get some feedback, I'm not really worried about anyone stealing anything from it, but I didn't know it might not be possible to publish any of it afterwards.

10-30-2006, 09:40 AM
Sulley, I think it's a first-rights issue -- but not always. That's why we have the Poetry Critique section; it's password-protected, so search engines won't find them.

I know at least one other person who has never had a problem with publishing poems that were once on the net (I'll go search for the post and put the link here).

Don't be alarmed or give up -- just check first; that's all we're saying!