When the hurricane blew away and my power finally returned, I fired a quick question to my agent: "The contract mentions something regarding whether the work has been published before. As you may recall from my query letter, a small portion was published as a short story a few years back (the chapter titled, Happiness of the Garden Variety, in a slightly different form in Long Island University's literary mag, Confrontation).
Does this count? What's the deal?"
My editor said:
"We won't need to amend the contract unless you or the author feels it's necessary to.
I imagine the chapter is quite different from where the novel currently is, and Crissa will still be doing some further editorial work, so I think we're fine with the contract as is.
Let me know if you think otherwise."
Just to be safe, I emailed the literary mag editor. He said:
"Yes, you are right. We assumed all rights but relinquish all rights EXCEPT for the first North American serial publication and the right to reprint said work in any anthology of CONFRONTATION material."
So whenever you publish a short story, make sure to ask for First Rights or First North American serial rights. They should revert back to you after publication. Then you're free to do whatever you wish!