Two Questions, after reading Ch 7
Hi, I just finished reading Chapter 7 and had a couple of quick question about the material:
1. Do you typically want to attach or avoid attaching your story in full to pitch letters?
2. “Copyright is retained by author” on written material… this may be a completely silly question, but how do you obtain a copyright on stories? Is this an actual process that the write must follow or does it become copyrighted when its actually published?
Hi, Kathryn. Both of your questions depend on the submission guidelines for various publications.
As an example, check out the submission guidelines for Vulture (here it’s on the “Contact Us” page and typically, you will find these by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of any page on a website): http://nymag.com/contactus/
Depending on the department or the specific article style, you might even encounter different guidelines/requirements.
You have the copyright on all your work. You retain this unless the publication you’re working with buys or retains your copyright when you publish with them. It’s a good question to ask if you don’t see guidelines posted anywhere.
For instance, with Matador, once 90 days has passed since your publication date, you can use the work at your discretion, but should credit Matador with having first published it within the piece. This (competing publication) may even apply to personal blogs, so it’s good to ask the editor you’re working with what the story is with that.
HI, can someone follow up with some clarification to this question regarding COPYRIGHT? Thanks so much!
Kate: You have the copyright on all your work. You retain this unless the publication you’re working with buys or retains your copyright when you publish with them. It’s a good question to ask if you don’t see guidelines posted anywhere.
Me: So just to clarify – if I, the writer, write a piece – it is deemed copyrighted (even if not published)… i.e. I don’t have to go through some process to have it “copyrighted” personally.