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Your Rights

Here at YWO, we want to make sure you understand that even though you are not a published author, you still have rights. Any and all work that you write is yours, provided that it does not already break the copyright of someone else. If you did steal somebody else's work, it is not protected and is in violation of copyright.

That being said, here is some information you should know about your rights:

Your Property

All of your work, published or not, online or in a binder someplace, is legally yours, and yours only. Nobody may reproduce that work without your permission provided that you take steps to make sure it is copyrighted.

This only applies to you if you take steps to secure your work. If you simply place your work on the Internet without anything stating that you have taken steps to copyright it, it becomes very difficult for you to protect your work. This is why things like Creative Commons are so important. Make sure to take steps to secure your work.

Your Property on YWO

Anything you place on YWO is yours provided it was yours to begin with. It is not yours if it was stolen. So, even if you place work in the public literary sections, which are viewable to everyone, it is yours. By posting your work here, you are only giving YWO the right to display your writing - not to reproduce or distribute it.

Your Property on Other Websites

If you post your work on another website, meaning it is no longer protected under the Creative Commons here, please make sure to go to and secure a CC license. While your work is still protected without, this adds another layer of protection.


If someone plagiarizes your work on YWO, whether you are a member here or not, please contact any of the Admins or a Super Mod immediately with a link to the post and anything you think will help prove your claim.

General Contact Link

We will respond as quickly as possible. Alternately, if you know someone who has had their work on YWO plagiarized here or elsewhere, please take the same action. Plagiarism is serious, and wrong for a reason.

How to Protect Your Writing
  1. Always keep a copy of your work that has your full name and contact information on it. This is also standard practice for this information to be on a manuscript when you submit to a publisher.
  2. If you put your work online in a blog or on a website, make sure that your work is protected. On blogs you can use Creative Commons to protect anything that is originally yours. Usually websites have rules about material and plagiarism. Check for that information before posting there.
  3. Occasionally do a Google search for yourself and the titles of your work. If you find your work has been plagiarized, report it.
  4. DO NOT EVER, unless someone is paying you an ungodly amount of money in advance, give up more than first publication rights when submitting to a magazine. There is some flexibility to this, such as in e-zines which often ask for first electronic publication and serial rights, or if you submit to a magazine or anthology that serves and international community in which case they may ask for foreign language rights. If someone asks for all the rights to your work, it is a scam, and your work will no longer be yours. Look at some legit magazines and their guidelines and you’ll see what is standard practice.


This guide should explain things for the time being. If you have any questions, feel free to contact an Administrator.

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