Ethics

Can I Resell an Article That's Already Been Published?

Q: When submitting an already published article—which carried one-time rights—what information do I owe the new editor?—Jack C. A: You need to tell the new editor the name of the publication and the issue date in which your article first appeared. Also, make it clear that you sold them only first...

Can You Use Your Spouse as a Source?

Q: I have a feature idea that includes interviewing an interesting, successful TV/film art director for an architecture or home design magazine. My problem is, he’s my husband. Ethically, does this prevent me from writing and submitting this story?—Corrie A. A: While this feels Dear Abby-esque, it’s legitimate to question your...

Getting Out of Book Blurbs

Q: How do I get out of writing a blurb for a friend’s not-so-good self-published book?—Anonymous A: Friends are always asking for favors—May I borrow your leaf blower? Will you watch my dog? Do you mind if I tell the police that we were together last Thursday just past midnight? As...

Conflict of Interest

Q: I volunteer for several organizations that have newsworthy projects. I’d like to write news articles (not press releases) about them for our town’s independent newspaper. Can I sell an article that has to do with a group I’m involved in, even if the organization isn’t paying me?—Lisa Angle A: Conflict...

Multiple Submissions Etiquette

Q: Is it proper to send out the same article to multiple publishers at the same time? What happens if several magazines accept the article?—Casey Magan A: Hmm, did you send this same question to other magazines, too? Sending out the same query to separate publications (simultaneous submissions) gives you more...