Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Back home, older, wiser, jet-lagged.

Staggered in through the front door an hour back, 3 or something here, 7 a.m. in my brain. The first thing I saw was a box from the USA. My copies of the Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction, in which I have a chapter alongside such luminaries as Julio Ortega, Robert Shapard, Randall Brown and Rusty Barnes the editor of Night Train. Ordered 20, 10 sold before they got here. Nice book.

I have had two weeks away, in the most beautiful place: California. Lots of happy and lovely pics to come.


1) I have decided I will be working in a different way from now on. That includes not working online. And alongside that, no more hand holding, mentoring, or being used as a scratching post.

2) I have decided that competitions need support from the writing community and not the other thing, which I read on some blogs over the last coupla weeks. Meant kindly, and in support of T and I, I am sure.

But be that as it may, these comps are run for the love of writing for the most part. There are hardly great riches to be had, and plenty of hard graft is needed from the good people who organise these things.

So thanks from me to the comp who took down the original plagiarised story.

And thanks are due to the organisers of another short story and flash fiction competition for their patience and consideration backstage recently. It was greatly appreciated. In case there is any doubt, I both understand and support their decisions.

And so, my last word on the subject is this -(thank the Lord) I'd like to encourage writers to support these comps.


Jane Smith said...

Very well said, Vanessa. And I agree: the literary competitions involved are excellent and need the support of writers, not criticism (I am particularly fond of Brian Lister and Biscuit Publishing, as you know).

Meanwhile: the book about flash fiction sounds very interesting. If you can find someone to send me an impartial review of it I'd love to feature it on my blog.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Sorry you're feeling so weary both physically and mentally. Glad your trip was lovely. Hope you get a good sleep and everything gets shined up a bit; sleep is good that way.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Thanks Jane.

Re the review - thanks x 2. I will pass your kind offer on to the publishers, I think. V

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi Lauri... a bit of sunshine this morning. And I was up at 3 am eating cereal because I was so hungry!

Sally Zigmond said...

I'm so glad, Vanessa, that this nasty ugly pimple on the usually beautiful and supportive world of writing has been sorted out on one level at least. I shall be keeping a wary eye on things from now on.

And I agree that Biscuit Publishing is a fantastic supporter of both poetry and short fiction and I would recommend every writer to enter their competitions. I have gained enormously from doing so and not just financially, I might add!!Brian Lister works indefatigably on behalf of writers and supports them to the hilt.

To see such blatant and unrepentant plagiarism is gut-wrenching but fortunately it's rare and most fellow writers bend over backwards to support each other. It's the few bad apples who sour the atmosphere--and what does it gain them in the long run?

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi Sally. Lovely to hear from you!

Yes, a sad episode. And the saddest bloody thing? I think he is a great writer in his own right. Has NO NEED to take the work of others. And from what others tell me, I don't think he really re alises to what extent this may damage his reputation. Seems more interested in whether some subs are going to be published! Trouble is, everyone is now wondering... are they his at all?


(I feel better now.)

Sara said...

Gosh I'm sad to hear you say that you won't be working online anymore. What a very crappy outcome. And no more hand-holding/mentoring. Sigh. You have been such a generous giver of knowledge Vanessa, and I am sure many other writers truly appreciate the time, energy and wisdom you have given. I feel very glum that you have had your trust shaken so terribly.

You also say "I have had SO many emails from writers telling me that I ought to name and shame. I won't do that."

I just wonder though, by not naming this person s/he is free to join other online writing groups and do the same again. It seems sad that more people could end up hurt.

I just stumbled upon this site which is quite interesting:

Anyway, I am glad that the holiday was good, and delighted to hear that your collection is available in paperback. I know just the place for a small display!

Vanessa Gebbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

I understand Vanessa. However my concerns are for those who do not read this blog - unsuspecting writers whose work he will feed off in the future, the groups he will join. Though I suppose all he really has to do is read stories anywhere, printed or online, riff off them and trust that they aren't recognised.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I share your concerns, Sara. The name will already have been passed round quietly in far more influential places than this!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

The writer concerned has been in touch with me today. I think enough has been said here, and I think/hope he is coming to see what his actions have done both to himself and others.

I won't be posting any more comments here.