Thursday, 31 January 2008

Copyright - Can anyone advise me?

Can anyone give me some advice on copyright? I am going to submit a short story I have written to a Children's story competition as mentioned in Cally's blog (thanks Cally) and I want to copyright my work. I have read up a little on this and there seems to be many different ways to do this such as marking my work or registering it. Can anyone advise me on what I should do as I am more than a little confused?


  1. Hi Lily. I really wouldn't worry about copyright if I were you. I've submitted hundred of stories to competitions and I've never had a story or idea stolen (as far as I know). There are, of course, tales of writers having their stories copied or translated into different languages once they've been published (on the web or in print) but, even then, you don't have to worry about copyright because you've got proof that you wrote it first.

    Everything I've ever read said you shouldn't put copyright statements or symbols on your work (even novels) as it suggests you're an inexperienced writer.

    So, basically, don't worry.

    If you're still worried you should put your work in a letter addressed to yourself and seal it. When it arrives don't open it, just keep it. The theory behind this is that, if you ever got involved in a case that went to court to prove copyright, the envelope containing your work would have a date stamped on it.

  2. Thanks Cally, You are so helpful I really dont know what I'd do without your help (seriously you should write a book about this stuff!). Id googled and read up on it but I just wanted some simple and to the point advice, which I've now got. I had just read in a book that if they decide to use your work in anthologies or publications in the future then they can do that without any payment having to be made to the author. (look at me getting ideas above my station)
    I did however read in the competition rules that the copyright stays with the writer so Im sure I dont have anything to worry about anyway. So in the post it goes. Thanks again