Atheist Writers

A place for all of us godless writers to discuss writing, language, and literature. Feel free to post your poetry, short stories, or anything else you'd like to share with the community.

Members: 157
Latest Activity: Jun 7

Discussion Forum


Started by Shine. Last reply by James Cox May 21, 2014. 58 Replies

Anyone dabble in poetry? Although I began writing a bit of verse last spring, I have rarely worked up the nerve to show the results to anyone. I guess I am wondering if anyone would be interested in…Continue


Started by Don. Last reply by Susan K. Perry Mar 21, 2014. 6 Replies

I am very pleased to announce that my new novel, a young adult fantasy set in a future America in the oppressive grip of Christian fundamentalists (who are the story's villains), will be brought out…Continue

my first, somewhat "spontaneous" output (but with added thought)

Started by Pope Beanie. Last reply by Pope Beanie Mar 14, 2014. 5 Replies

Big Pictures of Small OnesThere's that bad boy persona/attraction; he's just being himself, embedded in a ginormous crystal with flaws and visible but blurry histories.Mindfulness and mindfullness…Continue

Tags: fate, liberty, purpose, consciousness, humanity

Do Writers Write? Not As Much As Most People Think.

Started by Don. Last reply by a spears Aug 13, 2012. 9 Replies

Most people who don't write themselves or who don't know any full-time writers imagine that when writers spend five or six (or eight or ten) hours in their attics or garages or studies every day they…Continue

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Comment by Shine on December 30, 2009 at 12:31pm
I'm very bad at the "finishing" bit.

I feel your pain! I actually did manage to complete NaNoWriMo this year, but the resultant novel is so desperatly in need of editing that I can hardly call it complete. I think I am finding myself to be utterly clueless at revision.
Comment by Joshua McGee on December 30, 2009 at 12:19pm
I write science fiction, and I'm working on a(n overly?) ambitious novel set in the universe in which many of my stories reside -- ambitious relative to my skill level, I mean. I also have several unfinished short stories set elsewhere. "Unfinished" -- I'm very bad at the "finishing" bit. :-)
Comment by Shine on December 30, 2009 at 11:55am
A recent case of plagiarism in fiction was that of Kaavya Viswanathan, a student who published a chick-lit novel initially to wide acclaim.

Wow, what a weird story. The similarities between various passages are so blatant that it seems beyond incredulous for the second author to somehow claim innocent mimicry.
Comment by Don on December 28, 2009 at 6:48pm
Thanks for the endorsement, Adriana!
Comment by Don on December 28, 2009 at 1:26pm
I'm a novelist. (My most recent novel, THE ERRAND BOY, the third in my Hector Bellevance literary suspense series, was released this fall and is available everywhere. Please see my Author's Page at Amazon, if you are curious about my work.) For some 30 years or so, I have also taught creative writing in the U. of Calif. system and in the Vermont State Colleges. Nowadays I teach online for the U. of Maryland (UMUC).

As a student and teacher, having participated in hundreds of college writing workshops and writers' conferences, I have to say that I have never encountered anyone who has had his or her workshop-submitted writing stolen by someone else. In my experience, it isn't worth worrying about because it so seldom happens. Most unpublished student work really isn't worth plagiarizing, frankly. Some student writers do sometimes (rarely) steal from another's published work, but such dishonesty is usually easy to detect.

A recent case of plagiarism in fiction was that of Kaavya Viswanathan, a student who published a chick-lit novel initially to wide acclaim. It was a story about an Indian girl from New Jersey getting into Harvard. In it she included passages she had taken from another published novelist's books. The story is both embarrassing and fascinating.

Below is a link to the Wikipedia account of the whole sad scandal. (Viswanathan has denied that she did what she did deliberately.)

Take a look and see what you think.
Comment by S S Tragus on December 17, 2009 at 1:51pm
I have heard and read about that too, but the problem is that I still don't consider any of my work final... it's that damn perfectionism. I'm sure it would work with any creative offering that can fit in an envelope, including poetry and visual art.
Comment by Stu Rees on December 17, 2009 at 1:06pm
SS, I met a writer once who told me that he sends a final draft of any of his scripts to himself in the post, so that he has a sealed and dated copy of his work as proof should he ever suffer plagerism. He said that he does this for his plays, so I don't know if it would work with poems, but I just thought I'd put it out there.
Comment by S S Tragus on December 13, 2009 at 4:11pm
Richard, that's where live, in-the-flesh writers' groups come in, I suppose. Theft of ideas and fragments could still occur, but at least non of the material work-shopped would be considered published. And people can't as easily hide behind anonymity either, as is the case on the net.
Comment by Richard Paez on December 13, 2009 at 12:44pm
S.S., you have several valid concerns:

1. publishers of poems don't like publishing poems which have been published (seen) elsewhere, and they do consider publicly posting poems on the internet as "publishing." There is at least one website, (I am a member), which allows you to post your poems in a library and mark them as "members only" -- thus allowing you to get feedback from like-minded individuals without "publishing" them publicly on the net. Just use a pseudonym when you set up your account and title your poems (at least in the library) differently (you can always post the real title with the poem). That way your poems are "unsearchable."

As far as losing them to theft: it's been known to happen; it happened twice on Pathetic, as a matter of fact (in both cases, the plagiarist was unmasked to their duped audience and kicked off the site). That is a risk you take no matter where or how you publish, however. All we can really do, besides being vigilant and reporting any suspected cases to the people in a position to do something about it, is to ensure that our voices are as unique as possible.

My poetry probably isn't very good, but it is undeniably mine :D
Comment by S S Tragus on December 13, 2009 at 11:42am
My fear, always, regarding the submission of my writing to fora for critique is that my works are then out there before being published and that I could somehow lose them. Anyone else have that kind of fear? I am sitting on a few poems, some of which I work-shopped in a creative writing class for my B.A. (Hon.) English. Some, I think, are pretty good, but have never had the nerve to actually submit them to publishers.... Aargh!

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