Note: Please inquire about up-to-date Copyright terms
When you file a story with us, it is assumed that the piece is original and exclusive to us for 90 days from the date of publication. We have the right to distribute the story via The Christian Science Monitor News Service, which provides Monitor stories to about 122 client newspapers in the US, and to post it on the Monitor's Web site. Please ask to see the standard contract, which asks you to grant us worldwide rights to your story for the 90-day period. Once you have been given the go-ahead to write, please sign the contract and return it to your assigning editor by fax or mail. We cannot publish your work without it.
Except in unusual circumstances, we accept a new writer's work "on spec" only. That means you give us the opportunity to read your piece before we decide whether to accept it; and our agreeing to look at something on spec implies no financial obligation on our part. We try to render verdicts on pieces quickly, but we are often inundated, and you should feel free to pester us for an answer on a perishable story. Please check the policy set by the editor of the section to which you are pitching a story.
If we ask you for stories, there is a financial obligation on our part. If you file a commissioned piece that fulfills what you pitched to us, we will pay you our basic rate for the piece whether we run it or not. If the commissioned piece you deliver is unsatisfactory, we will ask you to rework it or we will pay a kill fee, usually half the basic rate. We may not pay a fee, however, if the story arrives too late for avoidable reasons.
It's important that freelancer and editor clarify whether we are commissioning a piece or asking to see a story on spec.
Our basic rate for a story is $200 to $225. But please be in touch with individual news and section editors (see entries below) about any variation from this rate. Longer stories can pay appreciably more. Short stories or sidebars often pay half the basic rate.