Friday, January 7, 2011

Can I Say My Thesis Was Not Previously Published?

Kate Sutherland, in a tweet today @LawandLit, brought my attention to this article about how the mandatory digital deposit of theses and dissertations could threaten the prospects of creative writing students to find commercial print publishers for their novels and short story collections.  It is a subspecies on the problem discussed in one of my earlier posts:  "Can I Say My Story Was Not Previously Published"?  Oronte Churm quotes the director of the University of Michigan's MFA in writing program as saying:
If all publishing ends up online, [and] there's only one medium, then archiving anything online means that it’s been published. A student who put a story in his thesis could not then sell it to an online magazine because what would be the point?

10 comments:

  1. I can see how this might be a problem for contests where there are strict eligibility rules, but when querying a publisher (or agent) it seems to me if you just say, this book was my grad school thesis, and is in their archives, then there just shouldn't be a problem.

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  9. If I write a story for my uni coyrse, then re write it later (changing a lot so its quite different) does it count as previously published?

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