Thursday, December 08, 2011

On Previously Published Work

In FlashFiction-W (my online workshop) we're discussing sending out previously published work. And I agree that we should get as many publications as possible for our work. But markets that accept previously published work are more difficult to find (since there are fewer of them). Here's something I remain stuck on . . .

Some of my own favorite pieces have been published in print publications. One was published in a start-up publication that went belly up right after my piece was published (and I don't think it was because of my work :-)). Very few people would have seen that piece (if any at all). So it seems like it should be legitimate to circulate it as not previously published. (Most certainly it has never been published online.)

Another piece I published in a print publication received a Pushcart nomination so I'd love to see that one published again too. The place that published my piece was also a smaller place and is also no longer publishing (for some years now).

But it's so much work to find the scarcer markets willing to use previously published work. (Plus, some who accept such work also pay a reduced fee for it.) So some of my work sits idle and mostly unread.

One writer I know was banned (for life!) at one prominent publication for accidentally submitting a previously published piece so some editors do take a determined and stubborn stand on this issue.

I also read about a more well-known writer who says we should never abide by editor/ publisher rules and if we want to see a piece published again we should submit it without stating that it's been published before. He claims to do it all the time.

I can understand why an editor wouldn't want to publish something that too many have already seen. But for the print publications, those with smaller audiences, I think writers should be able to submit such work as fresh (if a publication refuses to consider previously published work).

I often suspect that some won't accept such work because they don't want to bother with noting where it was first published. That's understandable because that's extra work. But I also think writers should be able to decide for themselves what's been seen by too many already and what has not.

If you know of markets that accept previously published work, please do let me know about them. Maybe then I can get some of my previously published work shown once more.

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At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Carl Plumer said...

Hi Pam!

Try Foghorn Magazine. The editor over there is Summer Block and she's awesome.

She cheerfully reposted one of my previously-in-print stories (PiP — do we have a new acronym here?).



At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Kitchen worktops dude said...

My wife is having the exact same problem, very frustrating and like you I can't understand why previously published is such a big no no. In that case, let's not ever reprint new editions of books! It's all about bringing it to a new audience, surely.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Langdon Kennedy said...

I know about a publisher that accepts previously published work lightspeed magazine, they even pay!

Also on my flash fiction blog I have a writing links page where I put a link to a search engine that lets you find publishers that accepts reprints.
Blog: the link to writing links page is on the right side.

I hope that helps and if you want to publish any of your stories on my blog or vice versa since you want to republish things that may be something we can arrange, just email me:


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