The Writing We Share Comes Back to Us


My horror poem "Inertia of the Noon Wraith" recently appeared on the Jersey Devil Press website.

An autumn poem "Shaking Leaves" was published in Sylvia Magazine two weeks ago.
Please note: The autumn painting is mine on this image. I inserted it to cover a haiku from another contributor as I don't have their permission to share.
A few years back, I entered a Halloween Haiku contest on a website (entry was by leaving the poem in a comment). I wrote it specifically for the contest, so I never sent it anywhere else. The site shut down before a winner was announced but started up again either this year or last.

I didn't think much of it one way or another (and barely remembered the piece). I've lost a lot of poetry and other writing to the voids of crashed computers and sunken publishers. One night last week, while Googling my name, I found a hit linked to a publication the site puts out. My haiku was in the newest edition of their magazine. 

It was a complete surprise to see. If I didn't check for my name online, I wouldn't know anything about it. The website, as far as I recall, didn't have the email addresses of the contestants to notify us our work was being used.
This got me thinking about all the times I post work online and where it can end up. How many comments have I left over the years, and do the companies own my words? I read comment policies, but they can be interpreted and amended in different ways. While finding my haiku was more of a pleasant experience, I wonder where my name and words will wind up next and the context they will be used in.

Have you ever found your writing in a place you didn't expect (not counting plagiarism)?


  1. I once found out my short story had been published in an anthology by a random google alert--the publisher hadn't ever announced a release date, so I learned it had been published a month after it happened. Publishing is a weird business.

    1. I recommend every writer I know search for themselves online just for this reason! Some publishers aren't great at giving updates.