1. J. Edmonds

    J. Edmonds New Member

    Mar 2, 2014
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    Using verbatum text excerpts from other writings in a short story

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by J. Edmonds, Mar 3, 2014.

    I am relatively new to creative writing, so please bear with me. The story I'm writing has text from a 17th century book inserted verbatim within the story. The inserted text has nothing to do with the story other than to visually illustrate it comes from a very old book. I have purposely changed the font of this passage throughout my story to one in keeping with the time it was written. The excerpts I'm using were reprinted/published by the Cambridge University Press in 1984.

    Am I obligated to cite this work or get permission of any kind to use this text for publishing purposes?
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    you still need to cite the source of the text, since it is not your own work... but not need permission to use it, since the author is long-dead, as long as you have not included any editorial comments from that edition, along with the original books verbatim text...

    as for using a different font, that's ok if you are going to self-publish, but if you will be submitting your ms to agents and/or traditional publishers, the entire ms must be in the same font...

    the quoted text should, in both cases, be inserted as a block indent...

    btw, i just noticed you posted this question in two different threads... you should ask a moderator to combine this thread with your duplicate you posted under a different title, since it is otherwise the same...
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Even the works of a long-dead offer may require permission. The estate of Arthur Conan Doyle will come after you if you "borrow" substantively from Sherlock Holmes without permission, for example.

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