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Contributor's guidelines

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

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Copyright information and terms of acceptance

Generally, The Christian Science Monitor (“Monitor”) accepts work from new writers "on spec." That means you give us the opportunity to read your story before we decide whether to accept it. Our agreeing to look at something on spec implies no financial or other obligation on our part, unless we decide to accept the story for publication. 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 review the specific guidelines posted by the editor of the section to which you are pitching a story (for editor contacts and guidelines, see below on Targeting Your Written Work). And please be sure that you are able to accept the terms outlined below before you submit a story.

When you file a story with the Monitor, it is assumed that the piece is your original work and that you will retain ownership of the copyright. However, we need you to license exclusive rights to us for 90 days worldwide in all media from the date of first publication. This includes, among other things, the right to distribute the story via aggregation and syndication, including The Christian Science Monitor News Service and The New York Times Syndicate, which provide Monitor stories in English and other languages to client news organizations in the United States and abroad. This also includes publishing the story in all the editions of the Monitor, as well as posting the story on the Monitor's website and social media platforms.

To see the full rights we need to be able to publish your story, please ask the editor to see our standard freelance contributor rights agreement template. Once your story has been accepted, we will send you the agreement for signature via our online signature portal. We cannot publish your work without the signed agreement. We also need to know if you have submitted the story to other news outlets, in order to avoid conflicting publication elsewhere.

If we commission you to write stories (usually after we have published several of your submissions), 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.

Targeting your written work