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On Magazine Submissions, Facebook and Twitter…

In my last column for the Haiku Society of America, “The maddening process of submitting poems,” I focused on how the submission process has changed over time. One consideration before editors in modern times is social media. While many artists see social media (Facebook and Twitter) as part of their creative process, as part of their conversation while considering their poems, some editors see any digital appearance of a poem as a previous publication. This creates a problem for poets.

Here’s where Carlos Colón (AKA: Haiku Elvis) comes into the picture. He requested a follow-up to that column. He said he would like to know from editors who made the “decision to accept submissions that previously appeared on Facebook and Twitter. Has this decision affected the quality of their magazine? Have they received negative or positive feedback, and in what amounts?”

Carlos went on to say that he applauds the decision made by magazines, like Frogpond, and he hopes that other magazines will follow.

That is exactly what I intend to do for the next column, so I’d love to hear from editors who are considering an adoption of this policy, as well as others who have.

Let me know!
Gene
And thank you again, Carlos!

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Michael: I understand Facebook better now, thank you. Sounds like you teach a lot.

    One of the aspects of social media that I enjoy is the relationships that grow over time, as well as being able to be spontaneous. However we publish, it seems that through writing we get to know others – and maybe ourselves better too. It’s just having things in common – bird watchers from all over compare sightings and photos, people who enjoy crafts share ideas and photos, others share recipes. And lots of haiku. It takes courage for people to grow with the world watching. I’m sure social media helped THF grow into the wonderful resource it is now.

    After Michael mentioned Shakespeare, I remembered how my mother quoted him “to the end.” The little poem at the end of this comment wrote itself, and I posted it right away. There is a context on my blog, because as trust grew, I told more of my stories. Poetry is wonderful because we can share and protect privacy at the same time. Sometimes it’s nice to be spontaneous, as other work takes a good long time. So many young people follow that I can only think that the posts offer hope. I know my calling . . . grateful to still be a teacher, in a way. And if I’m more teacher than poet, that’s fine. Not my decision.

    There are many haiku blogs that are wonderful literary sites as well. I’ve seen a few included in Red Moon Press books, as I believe Lorin also mentioned. I’m sure there are other examples, that others can mention.

    And of course each journal sets its own policies and has its own character.

    I’ve realized lately that I am “passing the torch” to the next generation more and more. So as I wrote before, how and where will they publish? How can we best encourage them? I don’t know for sure.

    the years
    that were so hard
    and yet
    they gave me
    my stories

    Thanks, Ellen

  2. Some comments on your comments, Lorin:

    Lorin, you say “Publication is not defined by any form of editorial intervention, and calling self-publication “appearance” rather than publication is to my mind an evasive equivocation. Public “sharing” is publication.” I would say you are confusing the legal definition of publication with the literary definition. I’m making the case that sharing a poem on Facebook is a form of publication, legally speaking, but not a form of literary publication.

    You also say “Sharing a haiku in a classroom, a haiku group that meets physically or meets online isn’t publication (it comes under ‘peer review’)…unless such meetings are available to the general public, as they demonstratively are with Facebook or Twitter.” I would counter by saying that Facebook is easily configured so that one’s postings to your own page are private, for friends only, so let’s make that clear. And I would also suggest that sharing poems in nonprivate Facebook pages isn’t literary publication for another reason – most of the time it’s really a sort of peer review.

    You say “Publication is not defined by any form of editorial intervention, and calling self-publication “appearance” rather than publication is to my mind an evasive equivocation. Public “sharing” is publication.” Again, I would say you’re confusing the vital distinctions between publication in a legal sense versus a literary sense. And I’ve never referred to self-publication as merely an “appearance.” I specifically referred to self-publication as bypassing the editorial selection of another (hopefully experienced) person and publishing material in a fixed form such as a book. To post something on a blog or on Facebook isn’t “self-publication.” in the literary sense of self-publishing a book. There are obviously grey areas here. The point is that it’s perfectly fine for a journal to publish a poem no matter where it might have previously appeared, even in another journal or book. You are welcome to have your policy regarding your journal. For the sake of Frogpond, I happen to agree with its policy to consider poems shared on Facebook, etc. One thing such a policy promotes is the wider sharing of the best poems, and doesn’t inhibit them from the sharing poems on Facebook, whether that’s considered “peer review” or not.

    Next you say “Hmmm, Michael, of course,/I> you applaud Frogpond’s decision. You can’t deny that it was at your own strong urging & due to your influence within HSA that Frogpond adopted that policy.” Actually, my perspective is that I had practically no influence on the decision at all. A discussion arose in the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page, chiefly led by Mark Brooks, as I recall, and he approached George Swede with the proposal to change Frogpond’s policy. I think Alan Summers may have been part of the persuading team, but I don’t recall being much involved at all. I certainly never approached Frogpond about it. I recall that others outside the discussion on the NaHaiWriMo page had similar feelings that the policy would be good to change, so it wasn’t just a NaHaiWriMo thing either. And while I voiced my opinion on Facebook, I was not involved with any lobbying of Frogpond, or even with the HSA, to the best of my knowledge. I don’t recall if this was something voted on by the HSA executive committee or not, but if it was, I would have shared my opinion there; however I don’t recall that it was an EC decision because it seems to me it should be the editor’s decision. This is all WHY I said I applauded the decision – it was chiefly or entirely someone else’s decision, not mine.

    You say “I do think that you’re muddying the waters by making a distinction between the legal and a “literary sense” of publication.” Not at all. Rather than being muddying, I think it’s clarifying. It’s vital to differentiate these two sorts of publication. Think of a poem pinned to a noticeboard. That’s “publication” by a legal definition. But that’s a far cry from literary publication. Recording the history of a poem (such as saying it was made into a bookmark or a handmade Christmas card) is very different from claiming a publication credit, which, in the literary sense, implies that someone else selected and thereby blessed the poem, and then published it for the author. Again, this doesn’t mean that self-publication isn’t publication, but self-publication is formally publishing something in a finished context such as a book, a process that happens to bypass the “acceptance” step. Multiple factors go into defining literary publication.

    It’s worth taking a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publishing. It notes that “With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources, such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishers and the like.” I note that it doesn’t mention Facebook or Twitter, and I’m in particular thinking about Facebook here. More importantly, the site goes on to say “Publishing includes the stages of the development, acquisition, copy editing, graphic design, production – printing (and its electronic equivalents), and marketing and distribution.” These are things that help to differentiate literary and legal definitions of “publication.” This long wikipedia entry focuses almost exclusively on LITERARY publication, and it too makes the distinction of publication as having a legal meaning as well (there’s a short section on legal issues, all of which would be pertinent to “publishing” on Facebook, but that no one steeped in the publishing industry would ever confuse with literary publication). But of course, there are grey areas. If postings go viral on Facebook, and are seen by millions of people, that’s a wider sort of “publication” than having a decent publisher print a thousand copies of your poetry book. Again, it all boils down to what I kept saying – any publisher is free to make whatever policy it wishes.

    Finally, you say “good faith and good will are essential to the contract between poet & publisher, and imo, anyone who seeks to undermine that by propaganda is not serving the general interest very well at all.” I’m not sure what propaganda you’re referring to, but I’m not undermining anything, and have repeatedly underscored the opposite, that any publication can have whatever policy it likes. The bottom line is that I believe there’s a difference between legal and literary definitions of publication. Whenever I see a “publication credit” to Facebook, that always strikes me as naïve. The truth is, though, that I’ve practically never seen it, because I think most people recognize that it’s not something one should claim as “publication,” certainly not in the literary sense.

  3. Many interesting and helpful responses. New information too.

    I understand that some journals wish to think of a poem appearing in their pages first. But as others have said, that’s really not a policy that’s possible anymore – if we want to be consistent. A small blog of mine may average five views a day, yet a poet may share with many people through the mail, as has been said. And it’s really not about the numbers (or should not be). ‘”The stats” mostly speak to me in terms of the stability of the numbers over time, with slow growth, along with comments and conversations with family and many other people. Blogs can be private too. They are a lot of work as well.

    When I began with haiku in 1993, I enjoyed hearing from many poets through the mail and sometimes it was simply a poem on an index card, or a book announcement. My sense is that the mail helped some wonderful literary careers begin, along with genuine friendship. The “social media” options are really only a logical extension, made possible by the technology.

    Lorin – I wanted to mention that it took me awhile to write my second comment in the afternoon here yesterday. So when I posted my comment, your recent comment was there, but not there yet when I was writing.

    When I began my main blog in 2009, one of my goals was to reprint poems from print journals to say thank you and to help the print journals find new readers. People were wondering if print would suffer from online options, and I wanted to say “this is collaboration not competition.”

    Ellen

  4. “Think of it this way. Only the most inexperienced poets, it would seem to me, would ever list “Facebook” as a publication credit. That’s because it isn’t.” – Michael

    No, that’s not because it isn’t. It’s that people feel silly about giving publication credit to Facebook, Twitter or ‘My Blog’. Why? If we are really to embrace the reality of the internet, people should not feel silly about stating where their poems have been first published, whether self-published or otherwise. Some of my haiku were first published on Melbourne trains, in the form of posters. Later, I found one such in a European educational journal, which cited the source and date that the author of the piece read it. No problem as far as I’m concerned. Before I attempted haiku, some of my poems were first published on ABC radio (and one was recently re-published by the same) I don’t have a problem giving those sources.

    “The point is that certain journals enjoy being the FIRST source of public sharing for the poems in its pages. That’s their choice, if that’s what they want—and it’s a reasonable expectation for the journal’s readers to have, too, if that’s what the journal advertises. ” – Michael

    Thank you for acknowledging that. Not all journals wish to be (what might be indistinguishable from) anthologies. Each has their place, each has their readers.

    “Beyond that, journals are potentially muddying the notion of literary publication by equating online sharing with such publication. Again, any journal can set a policy however it likes, but calling online appearances “publication” doesn’t necessarily make it so. It certainly doesn’t in the literary sense, at least not in my opinion.” – Michael

    I don’t think so. Publication is not defined by any form of editorial intervention, and calling self-publication “appearance” rather than publication is to my mind an evasive equivocation. Public “sharing” is publication.

    “Sharing a poem with friends by email isn’t publication. Sharing a poem at a haiku meeting or workshop isn’t publication. ” – Michael

    I agree. And also sending Xmas cards to few friends is a private communication, as is sharing a haiku in a classroom, a haiku group that meets physically or meets online isn’t publication (it comes under ‘peer review’)…unless such meetings are available to the general public, as they demonstratively are with Facebook or Twitter.

    “I applaud journals such as Frogpond and others that have recognized the typical workshopping nature of online sharing and the fact that such sharing is “publication” in a legal sense, not a literary sense.” – Michael

    Hmmm, Michael, of course,/I> you applaud Frogpond’s decision. You can’t deny that it was at your own strong urging & due to your influence within HSA that Frogpond adopted that policy. I do think that you’re muddying the waters by making a distinction between the legal and a “literary sense” of publication. I also find your opinion that any journal that doesn’t agree with your policy is evidence that the publishers of such have their “heads in the sand” or have “low self-esteem” to be irrelevant. I enjoy much of your writing/ essays, and you always give me food for thought, but I don’t agree with you on every particular.

    As I said in an earlier post, good faith and good will are essential to the contract between poet & publisher, and imo, anyone who seeks to undermine that by propaganda is not serving the general interest very well at all.

    – Lorin

  5. For what it’s worth, in the Occasionally Asked Questions section of the http://www.nahaiwrimo.com website, I make the point that sharing poems on NaHaiWriMo on Facebook is considered “publication” by some journals, and that poets should take care to read the submission guidelines so they don’t submit ineligible poems. I remind people of this occasionally on the Facebook site, too.

    I don’t think anyone is being misled into thinking that posting on Facebook isn’t publication (it certainly is in a legal sense). Rather I think some publications have potentially been misleading poets into confusing the legal and literary senses of publication. When a journal has a clause saying that submissions must contain “work that is previously unpublished,” it immediately begs the question of whether they mean publication in a legal or literary sense. Maybe “publication” is no longer even the best word to use at all. It’s helpful if a journal clarifies its “previously unpublished” preference to say whether that includes social media sharing or not. But you can still split hairs after that, of course. What about making handmade Christmas cards with a haiku on it and sharing them with friends? What about that noticeboard in a college dorm? Or any of a hundred other ways of sharing? What about email sharing with a friend, even? It’s time for all journals to recognize that “publication” is a grey area in terms of social media, and embrace the difference between legal and literary “publication.”

  6. A publisher can make whatever rules it likes for what it prefers to publish, relative to whether the poem has appeared online or not. It seems that some journals try to justify their policies based on how they define “publication,” and assume that means only one thing. Thus the real issue here is the definition of “publication.” In the broadest LEGAL sense, the term means that something has been “made public.” But many journals mean it in the LITERARY sense—going through an independent editorial/selection process and appearing in a formally produced “publication” (online or in print). A key word here is “independent”—to have someone other than the author “bless” the poem by accepting it for publication, whether with or without suggested improvements. One could self-publish, of course, so independent assessment isn’t the only definition of literary publication, but in the case of self-publishing a book, everyone realizes that the intent is indeed publication. Yet if I pin a poem to a noticeboard in a laundromat, that’s public, yet no one would consider that “published” in the literary sense. Legally, of course, a poem shared online—and at a laundromat—has indeed been made public, but that strikes me as a narrow way to think of publication. Which of their readers will be hurt if a journal publishes an excellent poem that happened to have been shared on Facebook? The point is not to confuse a LEGAL definition of publication with a LITERARY definition. I should hope that haiku journals should focus on the literary definition. But again, any journal can make whatever rules it likes.

    Think of it this way. Only the most inexperienced poets, it would seem to me, would ever list “Facebook” as a publication credit. That’s because it isn’t. That’s different from saying in a book that “some of these poems were posted to Facebook,” which is explanatory, but making no lofty claim to independent assessment and publication the way a list of publication credits does. So if editors really want to call a spade a spade, then they should not refer to online appearances as anything like “publication” in the literary sense.

    The point is that certain journals enjoy being the FIRST source of public sharing for the poems in its pages. That’s their choice, if that’s what they want—and it’s a reasonable expectation for the journal’s readers to have, too, if that’s what the journal advertises. Beyond that, journals are potentially muddying the notion of literary publication by equating online sharing with such publication. Again, any journal can set a policy however it likes, but calling online appearances “publication” doesn’t necessarily make it so. It certainly doesn’t in the literary sense, at least not in my opinion.

    Here’s a little story for you. In 1995 I won second prize in the Haiku Society of America’s Henderson contest with “toll booth lit for Christmas— / from my hand to hers / warm change,” which has since been anthologized numerous times. I later heard that, when the results were first announced in New York City, someone spoke up saying that they recognized the poem and thought it must have been previously published, and thus ineligible. What had happened is that I had made some handmade Christmas cards featuring the poem, and had sent one to that particular person the Christmas before (1994). You can see a photo of this card at https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2wbTx4KiQSSyQw1n__psHtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink. That was private sharing, although I can imagine some people thinking of it as “publication” (by the broadest of legal definitions). I didn’t for a second consider my poem to be “published” at all, certainly not in the literary sense. I’m glad I submitted it, and would do so again with any similar poem if the same circumstances arose. Now if the judges had recognized it, and felt that their objectivity as judges was compromised, they could have chosen to disqualify the poem, and for that reason I might not submit a poem to a contest that I’d printed on a Christmas card—but not because it was someone “published.”

    Sharing a poem with friends by email isn’t publication. Sharing a poem at a haiku meeting or workshop isn’t publication. With social media, the issue is that our “friends” and “haiku meetings” and “workshops” have changed in scope. Poems are often shared in social media venues for feedback and communication, just as they are by email or at haiku meetings. Remember, too, that sharing on social media is seldom searchable—it’s almost impossible to find any poems posted to Facebook after a short period of time, even if you’re the author and know what you’re looking for and especially where to look for it. Moreover, it’s impossible for people who aren’t your Facebook friends to ever read any posts that you have posted just to your friends. So how is that “publication”?

    Meanwhile, this is hardly a new issue. I have an essay, “Defining ‘Publication’ on the Internet,” online at https://sites.google.com/site/graceguts/essays/defining-publication-on-the-internet. I originally posted it to the Shiki haiku discussion list on 28 September 1996. Much of it is still true today, although a few aspects are dated. It was all pre-Facebook, yet much of the same commentary applies. I applaud journals such as Frogpond and others that have recognized the typical workshopping nature of online sharing and the fact that such sharing is “publication” in a legal sense, not a literary sense. I applaud them for not lessening the potential quality of their pages by banishing any poem first shared on social media.

    Of course, it’s dishonest or disingenuous for someone to knowingly submit a poem that first appeared on Facebook to a journal that specifically says it considers such poems to be ineligible for submission. But I defy any such journals prove that all of the poems they publish have never already appeared on Facebook, even if they’d been told that it had been. If 1,000 poems were sent to them that first appeared on Facebook, in 999 out of those 1,000 cases I would wager that they would not be able to prove that they’d ever appeared on Facebook. The poems are virtually undiscoverable. That doesn’t mean people wouldn’t have read the poems and remembered them, so a journal might fear being perceived as playing second fiddle if readers encounter a poem in its pages that they remember from Facebook. They need not have what would appear to be a low self-esteem. But again, any journal can make up whatever rules and submission guidelines it likes. Even if it’s dishonest, maybe what they don’t know won’t hurt them. No, I’m not encouraging dishonesty with such journals. Rather, I’m trying to suggest that they could relax a bit and recognize that the “rules” of most journals regarding the notion of “publication” have been changed by the Internet, changed by online discussion groups, and changed once again by social media. I think it’s a good thing when we embrace these changes, and not keep our heads in the sand.

  7. I’ve spoken to editors over the years and there isn’t a
    standard. Some editors will not publish a poem that
    they have read previously posted anywhere other than
    within a submission, of course an anthology is typically
    different. Which, includes myself, but, while i am editing
    a publication, i will avoid online forums, workshops, etc.,
    depending upon the genre, and if it happens to be a multimedia
    then, i will avoid that board all together.

    I post on closed forums too, but at this time, i am not editing
    a publication. At the same time, i will NOT post a poem on my
    Facebook homepage, news feed, personal Blog, etc., that
    isn’t previously published.

    Any editor that will not publish a poem that they have read
    in a closed form or workshop should avoid them, period.

    It’s awkward helping someone in a workshop to hone their
    poetry, then return the same poems back to a poet within a
    rejection slip.

    Set strict rules, but i would keep them the same from publication
    to publiction. Why not, many contest do.

    Let me know, i do not have a problem not sharing my work.

  8. I agree with Ellen Grace Olinger that if we are open to change, however slowly, then we will be engaging the sensability of younger poets and continually refreshing content and faces. Obviously, it is still each editor’s call, and I respect this choice. For what it’s worth, I stopped submitting to journals that do not accept poems “previously published” on any social media/blogging sites. I prefer to publish on my own blog, Twitter and Facebook. When this policy changes, I will probably start submitting some of my better poems once again to many of the journals mentioned. Everything has a trade-off. For now, I am happy to just write and share without a large audience or a long time waiting for publication in a journal. What I do miss is the relationship that ensues between an editor and a poet. I am lucky in that I have a foundation based on this mutually enriching rapport amd respect.

  9. “I tend to think of a published poem as a one that has been through an external editorial process. ” – John

    I understand that there can be a sense of validation when a poem is accepted by an editor and published thereafter, but I think we need to be careful about distinguishing that sense of validation from the fact of publishing: self-publishing is publishing, and to say otherwise can be misleading, whether deliberately so or not.

    Peer reviews are also supportive, but if we want to send our work to journals that want to publish work not previously published, we need to ensure that peer reviews (on any level) take place away from the public gaze.

    You are not not the only one who considers that a work isn’t ‘really’ published until it’s been through an editorial process. This idea is wrong, but has been spreading in recent years, and is being actively promoted from within the upper admin. of the HSA, from whence, I believe, the term “appeared” used in place of “published” has its origins (not with Gene Myers, who has merely adopted the usage). Frogpond, of course, is the HSA journal, and has adopted the policy of treating haiku posted on Facebook (and Twitter? I’m not sure) as ‘unpublished’.

    But each journal that’s independent of the HSA has the right to make its own policies. Some of the extant journals I know of that deem on-line “appearance of a poem as a previous publication” are:

    Acorn; A Hundred Gourds; Bottlerockets; Modern Haiku; Presence; The Heron’s Nest

    One problem is that if haiku poets consider or are misled into believing that publishing their own work on Facebook, Twitter, blogs isn’t publishing it, then (unlike yourself) many will (& already do!) consider that a clause in any journal’s submission policy that submissions must contain “work that is previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere” does not apply to them, nor a clause that states something along the lines of “previously published work will be considered if accompanied by details of first publication”.

    The journal/poet-sending-submissions interface only works well when good faith exists between the two parties, and each knows what to expect from the other, based on that good faith.

    – Lorin

  10. Lorin, I tend to think of a published poem as a one that has been through an external editorial process. Getting that acceptance email is as thrilling to me as it is to see my work in a journal. It lets me know that I am not the only one who believes in the poem before it is shared with a large, public audience and is open to criticism.

    That was all I meant. It is an opinion and probably a one that doesn’t hold a lot of water for most folks, but isn’t that always the way with opinions!

    warmest,
    John

  11. I can’t speak to Facebook or Twitter, but to use Peter’s words, I have found “such honesty and care” through blogs. Also at THF. My sense is that there are online writing groups that are very serious about helping one another grow their art.

    I don’t see all “likes” as being the same. It’s not really possible to evaluate completely. But when a blog and its readers find one another, and you’re still in touch 3 – 4 years later, you know the friendships are sincere. Good to be careful always.

    I’ve been thinking also about two levels of discussion: The options of individual poets as others have mentioned; and also what’s best for haiku in the future.

    I have to believe it is best for haiku in the big picture to allow reprinting of good haiku from any source, especially since the new generation is online so much. A journal could limit reprinting to 10% of the poems per issue, at first, as another idea. Change could happen slowly. When I spoke of how social media may increase the circulation of journals, I am thinking of the big picture of haiku. Certainly there are no obligations, just a friendly community. I learned of some journals cited here from blogs.

    Also when I suggested there could be a feature called “The Best Haiku From Social Media Sites,” I’d rather say, “Selected Haiku” than “best.” I would not presume to know best!

    I only speak for myself . . . and change is not always easy. If a journal does not consider blogs now, but does include Twitter and Facebook, and that change goes well, then maybe blogs will be included too – referencing Gene’s post now. I am fine personally, at this time in my life, but think of new and young poets growing their art and resumes. Where and how will they publish?

    These questions help me clarify my own thoughts, as I read the responses and write.

    Thanks again, Ellen

  12. “Personally, I don’t consider poems posted on Facebook or Twitter to be published poems, but I do understand why a journal would treat them as such, since they are available for public consumption. ” – John

    Hi John, I’m curious to know why. Is there a difference between “made available to the public” and “published”, to you?

    To me, what you’ve written can be compared to the logic in saying, “Personally, I don’t consider children born out of wedlock to be really born, but I can understand why the Registrar of Births would treat them as such, since it can be demonstrated that they exist.”

    It has always been that poets can publish our own work however and whenever we choose and the ‘internet age’ makes this easier than ever before.

    Self-publishing is nothing new. Back in the day, circa late 60s, when the only poetry magazines/journals in Australia were university based and selected from a rather exclusive range of poem types , young poets began publishing their own work in small journals and chapbooks which were run off on old Gestetner machines. Back in Shakespeare’s day, poets published their work by hiring a typesetter & printer to produce their chapbooks, and hawked them around. (The potential readership in all cases was of course far smaller than it is for publishing via the internet.)

    In whose interest is it that self-publishing should be considered non-publishing, with the equivocal term “appeared” replacing “published”? I think that the publishing of poems in all the ways they can be published is a good thing: self-published or other-published, in various journals, print & on-line (with their varying criteria), on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, on radio and YouTube, on tram and trains and bus stops and other public places.

    I noted in last year’s Red Moon Press anthology that a haiku first published on the author’s blog was included among the selections. Michael Dylan Welch has produced an online anthology of haiku selected from haiku first published on his NaHaiWriMo Facebook page. Both cases demonstrate that self-published poems may be picked up for anthologies and the sources cited.

    In the internet age, everyone can be a publisher, and many are. Every publisher has the right to choose their own terms of contract in relation to publishing the work of others. Clouding the issue of what “published” means by using terms like “appeared” for self-published poems is sheer equivocation as far as I can tell, but I can’t work out who it could possibly serve.

    – Lorin

  13. For me, the best publication comes through the best editor or a trusted critic of my work– the one who is willing if necessary, to say as Blake did: “Opposition is true friendship”, and to say, “I know you can do better than this”, or, “You’re repeating yourself”, or “This is formulaic, dull, unalive, straining for approval, lazy”.

    Is such honesty and care available on FaceBook and Twitter? Is it a question of being “liked”?

  14. I would guess that the quality of the journal would not be affected either way. Surely the quality of the journal rests on the ability of the editors to select content which will be stimulating and memorable, to produce a final product which is attractive and accessible, and to promote that product to the public.

    I would also guess that the problem Gene is referring to is that if poets are using social media as a part of their creative process then they have a smaller pool of places where they can submit that work.

    This to my mind this leaves the poet with two obvious options.

    Option 1. Don’t post your unpublished work on social network sites or blogs and find a more discreet way to gather feedback on your unpublished poems. There are plenty of forums you can use and poets who are willing to engage in email critiques if you are willing to reciprocate.

    Option 2. Keep on posting your unpublished work on social network sites/blogs and only submit to the journals which have made it clear thay are willing to publish poems which can be found on those sites.

    Every journal has the right to draw up and revise its own terms and conditions. It is up to every poet to read, understand and respect those terms and conditions if they wish to showcase their work in that particular publication.

    Personally, I don’t consider poems posted on Facebook or Twitter to be published poems, but I do understand why a journal would treat them as such, since they are available for public consumption.

    warmest,
    John

  15. I certainly agree that it is the responsibility of the poet to read the rules for a journal and then decide whether or not to offer their work for review.

    Yesterday I mentioned the blogs that have a large number of followers. Some seem to also be connecting their blogs to Facebook, and Twitter accounts – and other social media options. I don’t know about this much connection myself. But I can say that I have seen countless bloggers link back to journals and also to The Haiku Foundation, The Haiku Society of America, and many other sites. They reprint poems after the journal has published them, and help grow their circulation – as a thank you note, as they share their work with more people.

    I don’t see how one social media outlet can be included, and not all. Should a blog with three followers be treated the same as a blog with three thousand, in terms of saying work is previously published?

    My feeling is that it’s best to be more open to social media sites, and then select the best poems. If someone already knows many readers have loved a poem, that means we are sending editors work that has already received feedback. Then if or when the haiku is published, we can send the readers back to the journal. Everything grows beautifully . . . all benefit. I know I linked to the Haiku Society of America on one of my sites because of a poem in the latest Members’ Anthology (and for other reasons).

    I recently included a link to tinywords, for their recent photo prompt, and then saw that a reader of my blog sent it to many more readers through her Twitter account. Happens in a few minutes.

    Also, I reach a limit with how much new content I can read. So I really love the mix of finding both “old” and new content on a page. And a poem can change when it’s on the page with many other poems/poets, as opposed to in a blog post by itself.

    Another idea would be for a journal to begin a new section called something like “The Best Haiku From Social Media Sites.” Probably this already exists, and editors can send more information, if they wish.

    Good question!

    Thanks, Ellen

  16. ” I publish all my poems first on Twitter, then if a journal accepts them later, that’s icing on the cake-an indication of what I already know, that some of my haiku resonate and are worth publication.” – Garry

    At least you’re calling a spade a spade, Garry, in saying that you publish all your poems first on Twitter, rather than something like “I cause my poems to appear first on Twitter”, but I venture to suggest that your concluding statement isn’t quite true.

    Check out the contractual statement on the AHG submissions guidelines page:

    http://www.ahundredgourds.com/ahg24/index_submissions24.html

    It’s stated as plain as day, under

    Publication Rights and Definition of “Unpublished” Work:

    3. All works that have appeared on Facebook or similar internet social networks, websites, blogs or any other online source that may be accessed by an internet search engine are deemed published and not eligible for submission as unpublished. Works that have been shared with a limited peer group on ‘membership only’ forums not accessible by an internet search engine are deemed unpublished.

    4. Previously published works may be considered for AHG, at the discretion of each editor, provided that they are submitted with full accreditation of prior publication.

    5. When you submit your work, the contractual assumption is that you have agreed to all of the above conditions.

    – Lorin

  17. “While many artists see social media (Facebook and Twitter) as part of their creative process, as part of their conversation while considering their poems, some editors see any digital appearance of a poem as a previous publication. This creates a problem for poets.”

    – Gene Myers

    Gene, can you state just what exactly is the problem you consider is created for poets if “some editors” see poems published on the internet (whether via online journals, blogs, Twitter or Facebook) as publication?

    Your use of the term “appearance” is interesting. Can you tell me how the “appearance” of a poem (presumably in a form that’s readable, & in addition may be copied down by readers, whether by a handy pen & notebook or by copy & paste) differs from the publication of a poem?

    – Lorin

    – Lorin

  18. I think the new outlets present a challenge to the journals. I can publish instantly. No need to wait two months for an acceptance, or to send out rejects to other journals. Plus, I get feedback and momentum that helps me and keeps me going day to day. I publish all my poems first on Twitter, then if a journal accepts them later, that’s icing on the cake-an indication of what I already know, that some of my haiku resonate and are worth publication. If a journal doesn’t want to consider poems already posted on Twitter I don’t submit to them.

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