What counts as publishing?

I’ve been writing poems on here for a bit now, and it seems to be going OK. I’ve always thought of this as an online open mic session, rather than a digital chapbook. It’s been a great space for me to build up a bit of confidence in my work.

However, I’m now thinking about taking things a little further…dabbling in the world of competitions…maybe submitting poems to magazines…pushing myself a little. I’ve been inspired by a friend telling me that she was advised to aim for 100 rejections a year.

Obviously(!), the only way I get a feel for whether my work is OK or not is by putting it on here and hoping for feedback, so the first place for me to look for poems to use in this new enterprise is here. As I said, this is my online microphone. Am I right? Or does this count as publishing? And if it is publishing, am I allowed to revise stuff from here and treat it as new, or is that it?


6 thoughts on “What counts as publishing?

  1. Good questions, Sarah. I’m thinking of doing the same thing, once I get these books I’m working on out of the way. I think you have to look at the guidelines for each contest or publication. Some say the work cannot have appeared anywhere before–and that would include your blog.
    I’m treating the work I’ve posted on my blog as pieces I might want to revise to put into a book, but work that I’d submit to a competition would be new. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was wondering this too, although I’m not there yet in terms of wanting to submit. But in the settings you can request semi-privacy so that WordPress not put your work onto search engines. Then if you have a poem you really like I guess you could delete it from your account and then there would only be an online record of it if someone else copied or shared it elsewhere. Others, please correct me if I’m off-base with this.


  3. As Merril said, “published” is in the eyes of the journal. Some don’t consider posting on a personal blog as published, some do. I generally avoid submitting to those that do because there are plenty out there that don’t. (Unless it’s one I really, really want to be in.) Another way to get around that issue is to submit or post under a nom de plum. I have a friend who does this. My advice is, don’t be intimidated by the process and don’t let rejections upset you. Also, I don’t do mass submissions which, I think, sets you up for a lot of negativity via rejections. When I started out, I sent three poems to The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature only and they were accepted. I chose that journal because I knew my work “fit” their aesthetic. I always choose carefully where I submit and I’ve been pretty successful. Good luck! I can’t wait to read your work in a journal!


  4. Most places consider it published, if it’s been on your blog. But if they are not specific in the guidelines, send them an email and they will let you know. You could try Silver Birch Press as a start, they don’t care if it’s been published, although they have themes for each competition. And they are right here on WordPress. Good luck!


  5. I consider posting here on WP and in the writing communities on G+ publishing – self-publishing. Yeah sure it does not get you any earnings but it spreads the joy/emotions you felt in writing a particular piece. And posting online usually gives you instant gratification because others read it and comment. So my opinion is yes yes this is publishing.

    Great write ☺♥


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