Grow Contract Awareness for Magazine Work


Grow Contract Awareness for Magazine Work by Deborah Lyn Stanley

As we grow writing skills and expertise through magazine submittals for publication, we must be contract wise.

Magazine work is a great way to earn money and to promote various topics to gage readership response. The online world has made it possible for the rapid growth of digital magazine publications. So, be sure to research the magazines that catch your interest for the right fit for you and your audience. Plus, a topic focused specialty is attractive to a publisher.

Once you land a deal with a publisher, a contract will follow. If for some reason, no contract is sent to you, create your own. Don’t work without a contract describing all conditions.

Contracts cover all pertinent information and must be considered point by point. Take it slow and break it down item by item. Be thoroughly aware of the publisher’s expectations and your commitments. For example, the delivery date must be doable.

The Contract’s main and subsections include:
1.    Payment method and rate
       a.    Payment upon acceptance or on publication, but typically between 30-90 days
2.    Rights and responsibilities
       a.    First North American Serial Rights,
             1.    Provides the publisher exclusive rights to be the first to publish your article. Note the time   period for this exclusivity, commonly 90 days.
       b.    One Time Rights,
              1.    Gives the publisher the right to publish your article one time
       c.    Second Serial Rights or Reprint Rights,
              1.    Grants the publisher a nonexclusive right to publish, one time, a piece already published somewhere else.
       d.    All Rights
             1.    You are selling all the rights to your article to the publisher—this takes careful consideration. What if you want to publish the article somewhere else? And, what if they rework the piece so much that it’s not yours any longer?
       e.    Electronic Rights
             1.    This means all forms of electronic media: CE’s, DVD’s, games, apps, etc.
3.    Deadlines, format for delivery, and Word count
4.    Magazines often have their preferred contract format; However, I have included two links that might help you get acquainted with a couple.

Basics Tip: An essay is all about the writer; whereas, an article is all about the reader. An essay is an analytical or interpretative composition, and an article is informational non-fiction prose.

Helpful Resources:
Writing for Magazine - Is It the Perfect Job for You?  By Suzanne Lieurance

Contributor’s Agreement Sample  — 

Memorandum Agreement Sample —   

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at:   
Visit her caregiver’s website:

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:

Share on LinkedIn
And more via the icon bar below:


Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, these are such helpful tips on the types of contracts you may encounter when writing for magazines. I especially like that if you're not given a contract but your work is accepted, create your own. Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Love the reminder that writers are a whole lot more than our books! This is the stuff that bolsters careers!

Linda Wilson said...

Thank you for these terrific tips. It's been a while since I wrote for magazines, so they're very helpful in knowing what to do now.

deborah lyn said...

Thanks for your comments! Best always, deborah

Tips for Creating Subplots in Middle Grade Novels

by Suzanne Lieurance   If you’re writing a middle grade novel, you want to include at least one or two subplots. Subplots in fiction are sec...