Tuesday, September 04, 2012



I couldn’t believe my eyes.  The winning submission was only a few words off from mine.  How can changing a few words make it a winner over mine?  I sat there reading and rereading the submissions with a complete absence of thought due to disgust.  Or should anger be the appropriate emotion?  How could the judges not notice that it was a copy? 

My inner child wants to act on the anger and file a complaint.  The adult in me says to let it go.  Chalk it up to a life lesson that not everyone plays fair. 

I wanted to go with my adult side.  It’s not as if it really matters.  It’s a silly competition for fun. 

But then again, being passive-aggressive can be just as fun.

For more Trifecta submissions, click on the link above. There are some great writers over there so read a few and leave your comments.  Writers just love feedback.

PS. I only titled this so that the song would get stuck in your head :)

PSS.  Woah, woah, woah, feelings!


lumdog2012 said...

Ok, now I've got to go back and see which submission you're talking about. Funny take on the prompt. And I'm really pissed you put "Feelings" in my head.

Anonymous said...

Did someone really plagiarise your work or was that premise for effect?

Trifecta said...

You can be assured that both editors read each and every entry and noticed the similarity between the two pieces. But when you only have four words to work with, each word and their order makes a significant difference. The other piece was a simple, direct truism that spoke to us.
Accusing someone of plagiarism is serious and something that we believe should be handled privately until a determination has been made. We have no doubt that; in this case, it has not occurred. We often have similarities in short pieces as everyone is writing to the same prompt. With only four words that chance increases.
While we don’t have a formal complaint system at Trifecta, anyone is welcome at any time to ask questions in the comments or email us. Please feel free to take us up on that in the future.

Anonymous said...

I did read both entries, I think the other one was a couple links after yours. It could've been unintentionally similar (for instance, I don't read entries before posting mine) or not...who knows.

That being put out there, I took your post as a humorous reaction to the results.

Gina said...

For the short prompts, I don't read anyone else's before I come up with mine unless I have no intention of participating (too much opportunity to get a notion stuck in my head). I wonder if that was the case...the other person didn't read any prior? I gave serious thought about using the word "sex" too. But that would have been too dangerous for me. I hope you're feeling better about it.

MOV said...

I noticed that too right away. I felt bad for you, because I personally feel that if they were going to choose that theme as the winner, then it should have been your submission. Yours was two or three ahead of the one that was selected.

I do think it was an unitentional coincidence, not an act of copying (as a writer, I also do not always read the other submissions before entering as it can cloud my own words....... I do, however, read all the submissions AFTER).

Anyway, great piece. You are an excellent writer.


Anonymous said...

your passive-aggressive inner child seems to have gotten its word out! haha

Anonymous said...

I'm ... having a hard time answering. I think I'll say this. Sex is an awesome topic for the prompt, and it's one I think would come easily to mind. I expected mine to be one of several that said approximately the same thing about writing (and it was). More than that, though, I think that Mark Twain (who isn't normally one of my muses) has a point to add: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." I think that's an important factor.

TMW Hickman said...

I always give the other person the benefit of the doubt. At least until proven otherwise. I don't read anyone else's prompt before I hit publish on my own, and there is always the possibility that there is some sort of collective unconscious whereby a spark of genius can hit more than one person with the same idea. I like how you 'vented'--clever!