Friday, January 21, 2011

Choices by Georgia Downer

I submitted a short story for inclusion in a local library publication. Today I was asked to read the story at the yearly awards program. I agreed. I then remembered that all stories submitted are included in a bound collection of that year’s submissions.

Before I committed to the library, I intended to submit the story to several publications, all of which require “unpublished” material.

Do I honor the first submission and have it become published material or withdraw the story from the library contest and submit as “unpublished” to other sources?

Georgia Downer is BWG Treasurer. She writes essays and short fiction and has won prizes for her work. She's currently working on a novel.


  1. Good question, Georgia! I've heard that having your story in the library's' bound volume definitely changes it to a published status. That's great news! I think your dilemma is basically where will your story get the most exposure?

    I'm not sure what I would do. Not much help, am I? Let us know what you decide.

  2. Don't know how others might feel, but once I give my word on something--that's it. It's kind of like the time my daughter accepted one invitation and then got another one. I made her stick by her word. Later, I was pretty aggrivated at another child who told her she would be at her birthday party and then accepted another party invitation to a "cooler" party. I know it isn't exactly the same, but your word is your word. Knowing you, Georgia, you've got so many good stories in you it won't matter. You've got plenty of material to send elsewhere.

  3. I have started sending my writing to a variety of places, without a concern for keeping publication rights. I think that we have many good stories in us and when you are famous it will not matter if it is a reprint.
    As a professor I have several technical publication in and out of print. While I did not do them for money, it is fun to see my name in print.

  4. Hey Georgia, I have to agree on having it published in the library's volume. You can always find contests for published stories. Either that, or ask the unpubbed contest founders if they'd accept it if you weren't paid. (You weren't, were you?) The worst that could happen is you'll have your story in print for posterity. Good going,lady!

  5. Georgia,
    I don't know if you have made your decision or not by now, but I tend to agree with Wendy. Once I give my word--I stick to it. You can always write another story for those other contests. After all, you ARE a writer. There are lots of good stories floating around in your head just waiting for you to put pen and paper (or keyboard and inkjet) together!

  6. Georgia,
    I was the anonymous commenter...I didn't have a google account! Good luck with your writing.