1. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    The unthinkable has happened...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by whiskeyjameson, Dec 2, 2009.

    I sent off an old story of mine for consideration as a reprint. The reply I got back? That I was a plagiarizing SOB. I can prove the story is mine but I feel as if I am being tarnished. I don't know what to do or what steps to take. I sent a reply back saying I could prove I am the creator of the work. Ugh. I am distraught over this.

    Can anyone offer any advice, comfort, ideas, anything? I really at a loss.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Wait, let me get this straight. Are they accusing you of plagiarizing your own story?
     
  3. Bongo Mongo
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    Bongo Mongo Member

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    I'm really sorry to hear that. I don't quite get what they qualify plagiarism is, considering that practically every story has been done multiple times in some way shape or form.
     
  4. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    This is really weird. Perhaps you can just ignore it and send it off somewhere else?
     
  5. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    Maybe run a google search with a quote from your story and see what you can find. Were you clear that you were sending them a reprint? Also, are you using a different name now?
     
  6. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suspect there is more to this story. Did you post this story online anywhere? And did they say outright that you're a plagiarist, or just that they'd found a duplicate of your submission via a search engine?

    Posting your work anywhere online = first publication rights gone.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I was under the impression it had something to do with the reprint.

    Anyways, there's really not much you can do in this case. I would suggest you move on and submit elsewhere. I have to admit, though, that if the editor outright called you a plagiarist, then that's unprofessional.
     
  8. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are a lot of unanswered questions here and more than one issue at point.
    Did they actually say you had plagiarized a story or simply that they had already read it, or that it was not original? If the latter, that's a pretty hard shot to take to be told your work is hackneyed and 'old news'. You believe you are producing a clever bit of writing only to discover you are re-hashing a story you read somewhere else! OUCH!
    If, however, they actually said you had taken someone else's work, there are certain steps you need to take - especially if the "original" author's work is being prepared for marketing!
    Contact the publisher immediately and try to determine who the "other author" is. Obviously, you will need this information should the story get published under someone else's name and you decide to pursue legal action against the 'author' and/or the publisher.

    Now, the last question here regards the issue of republication. Did you publish the piece under a different name, possibly? If so, there could be a matter of 'mistaken identity' of sorts. Did you clarify to the publisher that you are, indeed, the original author of the piece and are submitting for re-pub? In the final analysis, it may, after all, boil down to nothing more sinister than a bad case of miscommunication.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as noted above, wj, we can't offer any valid advice till you fill in the blanks...

    first, what did they actually say, verbatim?
     
  10. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Well...I seem to have gotten to the bottom of this. As many of you suspected it was a big miscommunication error. The story had appeared somewhere else under a pen name I used so long ago that I forgot completely about it. I feel stupid.
    Bringing up a different name led me to checking old emails and such and eventually I found it and cleared everything up. I'll uh..go cry wolf somewhere else now. Thank you for the replies and for leading to me pen name analysis!
     
  11. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    Glad you got it sorted, but be careful to sort out any other messes that could potentially arise from your old pen name...
     

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