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Writing articles for MEW

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Neil Wyatt03/08/2022 15:29:06
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We have some great well-established contributors to MEW, but are always pleased to see articles from new faces.

Looking at what material I have lined up for future issues, I notice that there isn't as much that will come out as 1-3 pages long.

These shorter articles are really valuable as without them, it is much more difficult to get a good page layout and achieve a balance of different content in each issue.

Writing a shorter article is an ideal way to get started with contributing to the magazine. For a single page, around 4-500 words and 2 to 4 good photos is plenty. That's a good-sized post here on the forum, not a massive essay! A 3-page article with a good balance of pictures and text might be 1,500 words and 9 photos.

So don't think writing for the magazine is a mammoth task. Nearly all our contributors are hobbyists and readers, just like you. If you have made, repaired or altered something for your workshop, or have some tips, skills or advice to pass on, why not have a go at writing a short article?

In the next week or so I will have completed revision of the new Author Pack, with simplified advice for contributors. Drop me an email at meweditor@mortons.co.uk and I will reply with one when they are ready.

Thanks,

Neil

geoff walker 104/08/2022 18:12:36
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We have some great well-established contributors to MEW, but are always pleased to see articles from new faces.

Looking at what material I have lined up for future issues, I notice that there isn't as much that will come out as 1-3 pages long.

Neil

I would say a good short article around 3 pages long could be about fitting a collet chuck to mini lathewink.

Geoff

Neil Wyatt05/08/2022 13:45:24
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Thanks Geoff,

Yes, that sort of 'how to' guide is another good choice for a short article. Also, short articles can explore less 'core' issues, such as one we had recently on replacing mother-of-pearl in a chair (nothing's new though, looking through a 1920s issue of Model Engineer I found a very similar article but on ivory rather than mother-of-pearl).

Neil

Bob Worsley05/08/2022 16:40:33
121 forum posts

Yes, but who owns the copyright, not only for any articles but also any forum postings?

Reading the small print on some magazines and you pass all rights to the publisher, irrespective of your copyright, and this is forever, all around the world, in any media.

Having spent a lot of time and effort writing some threads on boilers, I can't see why it is then stolen from me.

Perhaps I am too fussy, but several weeks work is several weeks work, plus the cost of the books.

Bit like the drawings, somehow they are still copyright decades later.

JasonB05/08/2022 16:58:04
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If it is still the same as the previous publisher then the author retains copyright of the submitted text and photos etc. Publisher just has the rights to it in the way in which they present it eg you can't then go giving copies of the article as it appears in the mag to others but you could use your text in a book or submit to another magazine.

This is what I did with the Milling for beginners series of articles, first sent to the mag for them to publish with any slight changes they wanted. Then also gave the original to ARC to publish in the book.

Edited By JasonB on 05/08/2022 17:00:45

Fowlers Fury05/08/2022 17:11:36
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Anyone who has written, or is contemplating writing, article(s) for magazines or full-length books is an author and as such (if not already a member), should join ALCS - Authors Licensing & Collecting Society.
Their website:- ALCS.

....includes :-

alcs.jpg

Howard Lewis05/08/2022 22:46:10
6314 forum posts
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Neil has assured me that for MEW articles, the copyright remains the author's.

The only problem may arise if the publisher has had to modify / redraw any drawings, and the author wanted to use them elsewhere.

Mortons, currently is not quite as straightforward as it was with My Time Media, but probably teething troubles which will be sorted out before too long.

Howard.

Hopper06/08/2022 03:56:38
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Posted by Fowlers Fury on 05/08/2022 17:11:36:

Anyone who has written, or is contemplating writing, article(s) for magazines or full-length books is an author and as such (if not already a member), should join ALCS - Authors Licensing & Collecting Society.
Their website:- ALCS.

....includes :-

alcs.jpg

 

Not worth it for the sake of writing a few articles for ME or MEW. The publisher has their own contributors agreement you sign (or at least the old publisher did and it seems to have carried on with the new). They pay you for use of your words and pictures etc in their mag and on their website and you retain the copyright while they retain the right to continue to use the material within the scope of the agreement. The actual page layouts and design copyright belongs to the publisher, who did the layout/graphic design work. I've written quite a few articles for MEW and never a problem.

As for forum threads (re Bob Worlsey above) and material posted there-in, it's in the terms and conditions when you join most forums that anything you post, the copyright is handed over to the site's owners. They run the site to make money, at least enough to cover costs.  If you don't agree with that stipulation, don't post it. Find a commercial publisher and get it published, eg send it to ME or MEW for commercial publication.

 

 

Edited By Hopper on 06/08/2022 04:10:22

Edited By Hopper on 06/08/2022 04:11:09

Fowlers Fury06/08/2022 11:36:28
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¯\_()_/¯

Depends how you define "worth it" Hopper.

You wrote " I've written quite a few articles for MEW .........." Have you joined ALCS (at no initial cost) to discover what might accrue to you?
I was - and continue to be - surprised how much ALCS send me annually for my past, trivial efforts at writing relatively few published articles for different publishers.
That HMRC demand their slice of the little cake is another issue !!

Howard Lewis06/08/2022 13:07:28
6314 forum posts
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I avoid HMRC wherever possible.

MTM used to rotate fees my articles between three charities chosen by me.

The good news is that I avoid HMRC, the bad news is that the fee cannot be Gift Aided.

How things will work out with Mortons remains to be seen.

Howard

Hopper06/08/2022 15:09:52
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Posted by Fowlers Fury on 06/08/2022 11:36:28:

¯\_()_/¯

Depends how you define "worth it" Hopper.

You wrote " I've written quite a few articles for MEW .........." Have you joined ALCS (at no initial cost) to discover what might accrue to you?
I was - and continue to be - surprised how much ALCS send me annually for my past, trivial efforts at writing relatively few published articles for different publishers.
That HMRC demand their slice of the little cake is another issue !!

I went to the link you posted and typed my name in the search field they offer. But it came up with nothing, not even the articles published in MEW over the past few years. So if they don't have a record of that, how could they track down if someone republished the material elsewhere without my permission? And what if they republished my material without attaching my name to it? How would ALCS know it was mine?

Fowlers Fury07/08/2022 15:14:22
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FAO: Hopper
True....I wrote "Have you joined ALCS (at no initial cost) to discover what might accrue to you?"

Without joining it seems reasonable that any casual enquirer should not be permitted to search and see payments to any other author. My 2 articles for MEW, under a published pseudonym, show up as part of my annual royalties.
I don't really concern myself with ALCS' procedures, yet I receive from them money I would not otherwise receive or even be aware that it was "due" to me. It's sufficient for me to be aware of ALCS' clear role viz:-

"The contract you hold with your publisher, or the producer of your work, is an agreement that sets out how your work can be distributed to the public (for example, in print or e-book format) and how you’ll be paid for this. These are your ‘primary rights’.

‘Secondary rights’ (or ‘secondary users' involve situations where a third party uses a work that’s already been distributed to the public – such as when schools photocopy books they own, or libraries lend books, or overseas TV companies retransmit UK TV signals.

Your publisher or producer will pay you the royalties collected from ‘primary rights’ – either directly, or through an agent. Royalties from ‘secondary rights’ are paid to writers through ALCS – unless the royalties come from UK library lending, when the Public Lending Right (PLR) pays them.

The money you receive from us is your share of any payments collected. If they’re collected in the UK through the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), your publisher will receive their own share through the Publishers’ Licensing Services (PLS).

Your publisher will deal with your ‘Primary rights’ – ALCS only pays ‘Secondary rights’.

Edit to remove unwanted, stupid emoticon inserted after pressing <Send>

Edited By Fowlers Fury on 07/08/2022 15:17:24

Fowlers Fury07/08/2022 15:18:39
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Give up....a different stupid emoticon has appeared after 1st edit.

Nigel Graham 207/08/2022 15:44:35
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I separate with single space, the two punctuation marks that have conspired to create the blasted symbol.

If you receive payments for regular, or frequent, articles published by any commercial magazine presumably HMRC might come round pleading poverty, but would they expect you to notify them of very occasional, one-off work?

Fowlers Fury07/08/2022 16:15:08
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Thanks Nigel, I'll remember your suggestion (or try to remember as the brain cells atrophy fast these days).

As for HMRC and their outstretched hand ........ I'm unaware of any magnanimity* from that organisation. In fact I am sure they expect one to notify them of any earned or unearned income during any tax year. I do so with a heavy heart
since I'm told virtue has its own reward.

* "Magnanimity is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty .... and actions for noble purposes. "

Roderick Jenkins07/08/2022 16:17:49
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Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 07/08/2022 15:44:35:

If you receive payments for regular, or frequent, articles published by any commercial magazine presumably HMRC might come round pleading poverty, but would they expect you to notify them of very occasional, one-off work?

A few years ago HMRC introduced a £1000 annual "Trading Allowance". As I understand it this means that you can earn an additional £1000 a year outside of your normal income without having to declare it.

Rod

Nick Clarke 307/08/2022 16:18:03
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Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 07/08/2022 15:44:35:

I separate with single space, the two punctuation marks that have conspired to create the blasted symbol.

If you receive payments for regular, or frequent, articles published by any commercial magazine presumably HMRC might come round pleading poverty, but would they expect you to notify them of very occasional, one-off work?

If it was a one off they might not consider it worth bothering about but the decision is theirs to make, not yours to ignore the payment/tax due - this advice came from daughter (accountant) and she also says that the case for employing a professional is to argue such cases on your behalf (but thinking about it she would say that, wouldn't she!)

JasonB07/08/2022 16:21:39
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I just put the total from MTM on my tax return, it's income so it's taxable. That would apply for a one off article just as much as a long running one.

Roderick Jenkins07/08/2022 17:56:05
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Many of us on PAYE, either in regular employment or in receipt of pensions, do not have to fill out annual tax returns since the various bodies that pay us inform HMRC of their payments to us. The trading allowance allows the government to avoid the expense of administering a tax form for a non cost effective amount of extra revenue (and therefore regularises any decision an author may have made in the past about declaring a small payment from the magazines surprise)

Rod

Howard Lewis07/08/2022 21:06:35
6314 forum posts
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A few years ago, I declared a fee, from another magazine, of about £130 to HMRC, but never heard anything more.

Would probably cost them more than £6.50 to collect it!

MTM used to rotate my fees among three charities for me, so that I had no income from the articles.

Hopefully Mortons will be able to do the same, once the present cumbersome Notification >; Invoice; > Direct Payment system has been simplified.. Neil Wyatt is working on it, and I believe that Martin Evans is also trying to simplify matters. (This assumes that any of my articles will be worth publishing in the future! )

Howard

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