AU Creative Writing Group : Forum : First-Publication Rights

First-Publication Rights

10 Years Ago

This is a word of extreme directed towards group members using this site, as well as similar writing-group sites. Although you need not fear ever having someone else rip off and sell your work (your work is automatically under copyright once it is transferred to any form of digital media), I must urge you to be mindful of first-publication rights. All this means is that once you post a peice of work to a site like this, it is consider published, and your first-publication right has been exhausted. What this means for you is that if you ever decide you want to try to have that work published in earnest, you're going to have a hell of a time getting it across an editor's desk. Usually, a publisher will only agree to pay for first-publication rights. If your work is already on the internet for everybody to see for free, they will probably not be willing to pay for it. And simply removing a work from a public domain cannot fix the problem. Thanks to archiving, almost every peice of information ever posted can be retreived. Now, some sites that require group members to go through an approval process preserve first-publication rights, but because content published on is available to anyone who creates an account, such is not the case here. I said all that to say this: use caution and sound judgment when posting here. Know fairly well whether or not you think you could pursue publication of a peice before you post it, as there is no way, yet, to make all of our postings available only to group members. I do not mean to discourage you from using the site. Most of what we will do on here is only intended to be practice (prompt responses, etc.). I just want you to be thoroughly informed before you surrender your rights to what may be a brilliant peice of literature. If you do happen to produce just such a peice of brilliance, feel free to send it to group members' emails, or through a message. That is what we are here for.