Lately, I have felt a bit disenchanted with poetry sites. Being so absorbed in writing daily, I found this site to be very stimulating BUT I was unaware that everything I posted is counted as self published and not acceptable as an entry for publications which PAY. Below you will find the article which I just read that explains this clearly. The site is called
Writer's Reliefhttp://www.writers relief.com/blog/2009/12/after-self-publishing-how-to-find-an-agent-and-a-publisher-for-your-self-published-book/
The definition of previously published:
Back when print publishing was the sole option for sharing work, previously published was a black-and-white term. If your poems, stories, or essays appeared in a book, journal, anthology, textbook, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, or any other publication, your work was considered published. If it didn’t, it wasn’t. Simple. But now, more complicated questions arise.
Previously published poems, stories, and essays:
Literary journals don’t want previously published writing because editors want to ensure that their publications are fresh, new, and unique. In other words, editors want to be first to discover your writing. Also, editors would prefer to stay away from any rights entanglements.
Is work considered previously published if I post it on a blog, Web site, large social-networking site, or online literary journal?
If you’ve posted your writing on any of the above sites, it is generally considered previously published.
Is my work considered previously published if I post it in a writing forum or Web board?
If the forum or Web board is private and intended for the purposes of encouraging feedback or community support, then most editors and literary agents will consider the work unpublished. But just in case, you may want to take it down once you’ve received feedback so it doesn’t appear online.
If the forum in question is public (that is, if nonmembers can see what you’ve written), then your work will likely be considered previously published.
What if I published my work on my blog or other Web site, but then I take it down before submitting it—is that considered previously published?
This can be tricky. Try not to publish your work online if you plan to submit it elsewhere (like print journals). If you did post online, no one can stop you from taking your work down and then submitting it, but be warned: Editors may not like this tactic.
Once your work is removed from the Internet, do a search of random lines from the work to make sure it is not appearing anywhere. (Warning: Google and other search engines will often archive old Web pages, so simply deleting something from the Web doesn’t mean it’s gone!) If an editor finds your “unpublished” work online, you might look irresponsible or, worse, devious.
If I publish an excerpt online, does that mean the whole work or part of the work is considered previously published?
Generally speaking, excerpts are okay to publish online, as long as they are on the short side (relative to the work in question).
Previously published novels and books:
The rules for determining what is previously published change when you move into the book-publishing business. Literary agents and publishers at traditional publishing houses have different expectations and goals than editors of literary magazines, so the concept of what it means to be previously published can shift.
It’s no secret that literary agents are keen marketing experts. The success of their business relies almost entirely on their ability to find and represent books that are not only well-written but also potentially lucrative. Because of this, work that is available online can sometimes be unappealing for a number of reasons. First, if the book is already being published and the writer is making money, the agent is cut out of those profits. Second, if a book is posted online as a free download, why would readers pay to read it?
The laws (and the industry jargon) are still trying to catch up to the technology. Keep in mind that the following points are general guidelines: Each literary agent or editor may have his or her own definition of what is considered previously published.