Wednesday, 11 July 2018

(A little bit of) good news from Woman's Weekly.

Several writers (myself included) have been told by Woman's Weekly that the 'old' contract terms, of first use plus extensions, will still apply to any stories which were accepted prior to the announcement that they now intend to take all rights.

This in no way changes my feelings or position regarding the all rights issue, but I'm extremely glad I'd misunderstood the situation slightly in thinking that these new terms were to apply to stories which had been accepted half a year ago.

They still state that any stories accepted from now on will be under the new terms – and that seems to be the case no matter when they were accepted. We will of course have the right to decline any such offer, should we wish.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is the management of this company has mishandled this issue right from the start. They didn’t consider ALCS; they didn’t consider work already held. They’ve proved time and time again they have no experience of dealing with fiction writers. We were promised a clarification email last week yet only now has it arrived. Mark Winterton is currently not responding to any inquiries even though he offered to speak to writers in the first place. I fail to see anything I have ‘misunderstood’ so far.

AAW

Anonymous said...

'I'm extremely glad I'd misunderstood the situation slightly in thinking that these new terms were to apply to stories which had been accepted half a year ago.'

I don't think I'd misunderstood that, Patsy. Nor had anyone else I speak to. You seem to be accepting that now we've cleared that bit up we can all sign up to the new contract.

BUT what about the stories sent in not yet accepted before this All Rights stuff kicked in? If WW want them shouldn't they get accepted under the old conditions given that people subbed them believing they'd get First Rights with extensions?

You seem very happy and to have caved in easily over this which is very sad.

Anonymous said...

I have another concern. If they pay an experienced writer £200 and an inexperienced one £100, which one do we think they're going to publish?

SS

Anonymous said...

I'm glad WW have decided to honour their contract with writers that had stories accepted with them before the 'All Rights' email. Despite the fact that I was under the impression I would be losing a fair bit of money, I declined to agree to 'All Rights', as did many other writers, including Patsy. As it was Patsy and Tara who made the call to other writers to stand with them I'd like to say 'Thank You' to both of them and all the other writers who have shown, and will continue to show, solidarity in not agreeing to 'All Rights' contracts. Good wishes, Kate.

Janice Sadler said...

I also would like to sat a big thank you to Patsy and Tara for all the work they have done regarding this issue.

Bernadette said...

Very unfair to say Patsy has now caved in. That is not what she has said at all - quite the opposite in fact. We should all be very grateful to her for keeping us informed of what is going on and in standing strong.

It wasn't a misunderstanding regarding the already accepted stories. They were definitely insisting on All Rights for these in the first instance and in subsequent conversations I had and had sent out some All Rights commission forms for some of these stories already. They have changed their mind about it. Which of course is a good thing, but the main issue of future stories and not-yet-accepted outstanding submissions being all rights still stands.

I also expected the 'clarification email' to be an email to all of their writers explaining the new situation in detail, not just a few lines to those of us who had accepted stories outstanding. Some writers will still know nothing of this except via social media.

Anonymous said...

There's an article on the subject in Writers' Forum magazine, though I'm not sure if the latest issue is on sale yet.

carrie said...

I don't think Patsy misunderstood at all and I'm grateful to her and Tara for all their hard work in bringing this matter to our attention. It really does seem that the 'powers that be' are handling all this very badly, and putting money ahead of quality.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard yet Bernadette about outstanding stories, so it hasn't even gone to all writers. I still have five accepted since Christmas I have heard nothing about. But I agree heartily with those thanking Patsy and Tara for bringing the situation to our attention. It's not caving at all. That is most unjust.
Fran

Anonymous said...

Caving? That's harsh. Patsy was one of the first to take a stand. She withdrew more stories than most of us sell in a year, so stood to lose a lot of money. I don't think using such divisive language will help our cause at all. Having said that, I don't see that there was any mis-understanding. People were sent contracts with the new terms. And some will have signed them. Will they be sent 'correct' contracts due to having mis-understood the terms? Doubt it. I too have stories outstanding with them but haven't received any email clarifying anything.
Jacqui

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest that anybody wondering about their stories or what contract they are now on contact Jane Kemp. There is now also a post on Woman's Weekly's Facebook page that people are using to express their opinions on this matter. Just try to keep it polite.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 accepted stories with them which are awaiting publication - I haven't had any emails about these but it seems like they will be okay. And, yes, thanks to Patsy for keeping us up to date on the situation.

Anon 250

Anonymous said...

As a very regular contributor for many years, and having an accepted story outstanding, I too have not been informed about any changes, amended or otherwise. Not good enough. And does anyone have Jane Kemp's email? Can't get a response from Emma Shacklock.

Anonymous said...

Emma's on holiday. Use the same email but remove her name and put Jane.Kemp

Bernadette said...

Maybe they have only told those people where they are ready to send out the Desknet commission - that was how I first heard, but I didn't sign it, and a new one with the old terms has now been sent.

It is really rather poor to not let people know.

Anonymous said...

WOMAN'S WEEKLY HAVE DELETED THE FACEBOOK POST WE WERE CHATTING ON.

They don't want the truth to be seen by their readers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks

Niddy said...

'Caved in' not what Patsy said at all , perhaps her comments should be again again by Anon. I'm sure that Patsy is still the same mind as the rest of us that WW have treated their writers very badly by issuing this new contract - shame on them.

Celia said...

Why am I not surprised? Wish there were some way to make the readers widely aware

Chris said...

I've also been reassured by Jane Kemp that my already accepted story will be published and paid for on the old terms. But anything accepted from now on (and I have two still waiting for a verdict) will come under the terms of the new contract. I truly hate this situation.

I echo the appreciative comments made above, by the way... this forum is doing a great job. Thanks, ladies.

Patsy said...

No, I'm not saying we should sign the new contract. My feelings about all rights contract have not changed at all. Sorry if stating that in the post wasn't clear enough! I strongly disagree with such contracts and won't sign one.

Patsy said...

Assuming the quality is the same, very obviously it will be the ones they can pay the least to.

Patsy said...

Thanks, but it's not just us – many others have been doing what they can too. I don't think this is entirely over yet.

Patsy said...

Thanks, Bernadette. I'm glad not everyone feels I'd just crumble like that!

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that them changing terms six months after acceptance was a misunderstading somewhere along the line.

Patsy said...

Yes - do contact Jane or Emma with any queries. Or comments. The more people who ask, the more they'll come to realise they need to communicate with us.

Patsy said...

Thanks, Niddy. You're right – I haven't caved!

Anonymous said...

Sadly I don't trust them at all now, either to act with integrity or to have much of a clue what they should be doing. I haven't had any notification of anything bad or slightly less bad. So I think everyone should continue to check the contracts they're sent no matter what some writers have been told in emails. I'm suspicious that they're maybe only sending the latest emails to their most valuable writers or to those who they think will be most noisy if upset.

Bernadette said...

Yes, I suppose it might have been a misunderstanding on the editors' part of what the 'higher ups' were saying (although I think more likely to be a concern about getting the forthcoming mags out if they couldn't use the already scheduled stories!). It certainly wasn't a misunderstanding on our part - they couldn't have been clearer!

Patsy said...

Email?

Patsy said...

Everyone should always check any contract and be sure they understand it and agree to the terms before signing.