Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Submitting a reworked story to a competition


Liz from Montrose in Scotland wants to submit a reworked story to a competition.

I was thinking about recycling a story of 700 words which was published in an anthology of my short stories I had published two years ago (all proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support).

The new story is for a competition and will be more than twice as long, have a different title, but will have much the same characters and theme as the original.

Could I therefore say that this version has not been previously published as the rules demand?

If you double the word count and change the title, you’re most probably already talking about a new story. But once you get going on the redraft, you’ll find the story will evolve into something completely different anyway, as tends to happen with major rewrites. The theme might remain the same, but I bet your characters change their actions when you have more words to play with. However, I would advise changing the character names as well, just to be on the safe side.

If, having done all that, you feel the story is too close to the original, why not drop the competition organisers a line and ask them if they would accept such a rewrite?

Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition
Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition


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