SFWA Releases a New Model Magazine Contract

Logo SFWA-Web squareAs part of its mission to serve professional genre writers, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is pleased to announce that their Contracts Committee has released an updated Model Magazine Contract. The Model Contract not only contains a sample contract that magazines can use, but also glosses each clause so writers can understand what rights are affected and why they matter.

Michael Capobianco says, “The Model Magazine Contract is our attempt to draw up a fair agreement that respects the concerns of both authors and publishers. It should not only be helpful to SFWA members and others in evaluating the terms of their short fiction agreements, but sets a standard for all short fiction licenses into the future, strongly supporting the idea that short story rights, even non-exclusive rights, are only licensed for a limited period of time after which they revert to their authors, who then become free to sell exclusive rights once again. Drawing this line has become crucial for digital publication, where it is rapidly becoming the standard that publishers retain non-exclusive rights of the length of the copyright with no additional payments due the author.”

SFWA President Cat Rambo notes, “Such a contract has been a frequent request, and it’s a subtle but powerful way to influence the industry. Within ten minutes of tweeting about it, I already had a request for a copy of it from a publisher who wanted to make sure they were ‘doing it right’.”

SFWA thanks the Contract Committee, particularly Michael Capobianco, Jim Fiscus and Ken Liu for doing the primary work on the contract, and John Joseph Adams, Michael Armstrong, Charles Coleman Finlay, Jeffrey Liss, and Jonathan Wall for their feedback.

For more information please email pr@sfwa.org.

Copies of the contract are available for download:

Model Magazine Contract (Word Doc)

Model Magazine Contract (PDF)

One Response

  1. John Johnston III

    Griefcom urges that *every* writing member of SFWA pay particular attention to this, to compare any contracts that they are offered to the model contract, and to ask that any clauses that are not beneficial to the writer be changed to those of the model contract.

    John Johnston III
    Griefcom Chair