Contributor's guidelines

Note: Please inquire about up-to-date Copyright terms


Copyright information and terms of acceptance

When you file a story with us, it is assumed that the piece is original and will be exclusive to us for 90 days worldwide in all media from the date of publication. This includes the right to distribute the story via aggregation and syndication, including via The Christian Science Monitor News Service, which provides Monitor stories to client news organizations in the US and abroad, and to post it on the Monitor's Web site and social media platforms. Please ask to see the standard freelance contributor rights agreement, which sets out the specific rights we need to be able to publish your story. Once you have been given the go-ahead to write, your editor will send you the agreement via our online signature portal. We cannot publish your work without the signed agreement.
Except in unusual circumstances, we accept a new writer's work "on spec" only. That means you give us the opportunity to read your story before we decide whether to accept it; and our agreeing to look at something on spec implies no financial or other obligation on our part. We try to render verdicts on stories 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 commission you to write stories, there is a financial obligation on our part. If you file a commissioned story that fulfills what you pitched to us, we will pay you our basic rate for the story whether we run it or not. If the commissioned story 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 you and your editor clarify whether we are commissioning a story or asking to see a story on spec.

Payment and expenses

Our basic rate for a story is $250. 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.

Targeting your written work

Targeting your images