• Jumi Bello’s debut novel, The Leaving, was scheduled to come out on July 12, but was canceled by the publisher in December
  • Bello revealed in an essay on Monday that the book release was canceled after she confessed to plagiarizing parts of the novel
  • She wrote that she was struggling to meet the demands of the publisher, and, never having been pregnant herself, took information from online
  • Bello said she had figured she would ‘change the language’ afterward 
  • Shortly after the essay was published to Literary Hub, other writers noticed some similarities of her description of plagiarism to other articles
  • It was later taken down from Literary Hub because of a ‘further incident of plagiarism in the published piece’

By Melissa Koenig For Dailymail.Com

A writer’s essay explaining why she plagiarized parts of what would have been her debut novel has been deleted after it was revealed she copied that as well.

Jumi Bello’s book The Leaving was scheduled to come out on July 12 and had appeared on several ‘most anticipated’ lists, according to Publisher’s Market, when its publisher Riverhead Books suddenly scrapped it in December.

The 30-year-old has now revealed the reason the book was abruptly canceled when it was in its final stages was because she admitted to the New York City-based publishing company she had plagiarized parts of the novel.

It would have chronicled a young black woman’s unexpected pregnancy, but as Bello explained in an essay posted to Literary Hub on Monday, she had never been pregnant and had searched online for descriptions of what the process was like.

She wrote in a post entitled ‘I Plagiarized Parts of My Debut Novel. Here’s Why’ that she had intended to change these passages, but felt pressured to finish her book as she attended graduate school and struggled with her mental health.

But shortly after she published the 4,500-word essay to Literary Hub, other writers and publications noticed some similarities between Bello’s description of the origins of plagiarism and the work of others.

Within hours, Literary Hub took down the post, and said in a statement: ‘Because of inconsistencies in the story and, crucially, a further incident of plagiarism in the published piece, we decided to pull the essay.’

DailyMail.com has also reached out to Bello for comment. 

Jumi Bello, 30, admitted to plagiarizing parts of her debut novel in an essay posted online Monday - which was also found to have been plagiarized

Jumi Bello, 30, admitted to plagiarizing parts of her debut novel in an essay posted online Monday – which was also found to have been plagiarized

Her book, 'The Leaving,' was scheduled to come out on July 12 and had appeared on several 'most anticipated' lists before Riverhead Books canceled it in December

Her book, ‘The Leaving,’ was scheduled to come out on July 12 and had appeared on several ‘most anticipated’ lists before Riverhead Books canceled it in December

In her now-deleted essay, the  New York Times reports, Bello sought to explain why she resorted to plagiarism in her novel, as she explained that she had never actually been pregnant and had sought out good explanations online of what the experience is like.

‘I tell myself I’m just borrowing, and changing the language,’  she reportedly wrote. ‘I tell myself I will rewrite these parts later during the editorial phase. I will make this story mine again.’

Bello went on to say she felt pressure from the publishing company as she attended graduate school and struggled with her mental health.

‘I just wanted to get through it, to a place where I can sleep again,’ her essay read, according to Gawker.

‘Looking back at this moment, I ignored my instincts,’ she reportedly wrote. ‘I ignored the voice inside that said, quietly, this is wrong, wrong, wrong.’

But when she described the origins of plagiarism, many found examples of the very same literary sin she was describing, with fellow Riverhead Books author Kristen Arnett writing that she Googled parts ‘and it popped up online as something someone else wrote.’

In Bello’s article, for example, Gawker reports, she wrote: ‘Plagiarism has been with us since the birth of language and art.

‘For as long as there have been words to read, there has been someone copying the passages.

‘It goes as far back as 8 AD with the poet Martial, who caught another poet, Fidentinus reciting his work.

‘He called Fidentinus a ‘plagiarus,’ meaning a kidnapper.’

That is very similar to a 2011 article from Plagiarism Today written by Jonathan Bailey in which he writes: ‘Plagiarism, the act of taking another’s work and passing it off as your own, has almost certainly been with us since the dawn of artwork and the written language.

‘For as long as there has been art and artists, there have been people who have put their name to it incorrectly.’

Several eagle-eyed users, like fellow Riverhead Books author Kristen Arnett, noticed that Bello's now deleted essay used passages from other articles about plagiarism

Several eagle-eyed users, like fellow Riverhead Books author Kristen Arnett, noticed that Bello’s now deleted essay used passages from other articles about plagiarism.

Wannabe writer who plagiarized TWICE… Who is Jumi Bello

Jumi Bello grew up in the Washington DC suburbs and started writing spoken word poetry at age 16, according to her website.

She graduated from a liberal arts college in the Midwest through the luck of a Posse Foundation scholarship and spent the majority of her twenties teaching high school in Taiwan and mainland China.

She then returned to the US to study fiction with the support of fellowship at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She claims on her website she is is ‘not your traditional black writer’.

Last week, before her latest book was shelved, she shared a tweet showing an iceberg with ‘published work’ written above the water and ‘works in progress’, ‘weird ideas’ and others comments below the water.

It appeared to be a post showing how much work goes into what the reader views as the finished product.

She consistently shared posts on social media hinting at how hard she was working on her books and essays despite now being found out for plagiarism.

Bello is currently at the University of Nevada Las Vegas as a Black Mountain Institute PhD candidate in nonfiction. 

Her website says she is now working on a nonfiction book about mental illness, race and police brutality. In her free time, Bello also helps students apply to college, according to her LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.