Question regarding Dragon applications

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Greetings. I am considering sending in some work to Dragon magazine, and have a question in that regard.

I know that I of course will have to give up the rights to my work if it is bought. What i wonder is what happens if my application is rejected. Is the work then mine, and applicable to be used as I please (examples being to sell it to another company, put it up in forums etc.)?

Thank you for your kind reply.

-Unundindur

Magic Rafiq Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][multiplayer] [] Inferno Beatdown [EDH][multiplayer][1vs1][] Gwendlyn Combo/Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][] Merieke Casual Deck [EDH][multiplayer][] Roleplaying Magician class [D&D 3.5]

I didn't know that was being done for the new Dragon or Dungeon....
I didn't know that was being done for the new Dragon or Dungeon....

For the old Dragon and Dungeon, too. Submissions to WotC have always had the "by submitting, you give us the rights to your work" bit. Which only makes sense, otherwise you could submit and then sue them if they tried to publish it.
I think that is pretty common amongst most magazines, that once you submit it, if they publish it, they own the rights to it.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
No I was meaning I didn't know the new forms of Dragon and Dungeon were even taking submissions.

I knew the bit about what you send them beocmes theirs, and if you want it back if they don't use it, you have to make arrangements to get it back IF they have time to return it to you.
I think that is pretty common amongst most magazines, that once you submit it, if they publish it, they own the rights to it.

No, it depends on the magazine really. Kobold Quarterly, for example, only purchases first publication rights. I've seen several other magazines that do the same thing.
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
I stand corrected.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Dragon "gets away"* with it because they're so large. As the premiere magazine for Dungeons and Dragons (and the only official one), they have a lot of clout in the marketplace. They also pay significantly more than other magazines. I believe the current rate with Dragon (and Dungeon) is 6 cents per word. The best I've received from other publishers is 3 cents per word. So WotC does compensate for the extra rights they acquire for the piece.

* I don't mean "gets away" in a negative way. I just want to make that clear. Chris Youngs is spectacular to work with. And the mags are still the only place where anybody off the streets with a good enough idea can write official content for this game.
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
Here is the link in regards to submissions: http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submissions . I seem to recall seeing another page where it said submissions were on hold due to the 4E launch and all, but can;t find it now.

The thing you'll be sending Wizards is a proposal. If they want the article, they will purchase it and require you to sign the rights over.

So, if you're rejected, the material is still yours. If it's rejected, you'll never even send them the article.
Here is the link in regards to submissions: http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submissions . I seem to recall seeing another page where it said submissions were on hold due to the 4E launch and all, but can;t find it now.

The thing you'll be sending Wizards is a proposal. If they want the article, they will purchase it and require you to sign the rights over.

So, if you're rejected, the material is still yours. If it's rejected, you'll never even send them the article.

They could still reject the article after you wrote it; you don't actually sign the contract until the actual article is submitted and accepted.
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
Thank you everyone! To make sure I get this right, I will try to type my interpretation:

You send in an idea, Wizards hopefully say "interesting". You write them the article, they say yes. You get money, they get the total rights.

If they say no, at any stage, you don't get money, but you keep the rights.

Is this interpretation correct? I want to try my hands at a couple of specific articles, but if they don't want it and at the same time prevent me from doing something with it, the situation changes quite dramatically.

Again, thanks to everyone, even though this may be the wrong forum

Magic Rafiq Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][multiplayer] [] Inferno Beatdown [EDH][multiplayer][1vs1][] Gwendlyn Combo/Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][] Merieke Casual Deck [EDH][multiplayer][] Roleplaying Magician class [D&D 3.5]

This is something that you should really be asking WotC. I would highly recommend going to http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submissions and contacting soemone through that page.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Yep, you got it. They don't own it until you sign a contract.

Good luck!
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
They could still reject the article after you wrote it; you don't actually sign the contract until the actual article is submitted and accepted.

Thanks for that, Z. Seemed kinda weird that they would ask of purchase an article based solely on the pitch (have seen weirder, though).
Thanks for that, Z. Seemed kinda weird that they would ask of purchase an article based solely on the pitch (have seen weirder, though).

That happens all of the time in the publishing business. Probably more often for novels then magazine articles but it's not out of the question. Of course if you don't complete, any advance you got would obviously be forfeit.

I believe that's all irrelevant here though.
That happens all of the time in the publishing business. Probably more often for novels then magazine articles but it's not out of the question. Of course if you don't complete, any advance you got would obviously be forfeit.

I believe that's all irrelevant here though.

Yes, it happens with novels often, particularly if you've got a name or a good agent. Magazines, not so much without a good track record. Open call for submissions for a magazine and buy on spec? That I haven't run into very often out there, but there's a lot more magazines I haven't dealt with than I have.
I've submitted to Dragon, 4 times, got rejected on all four.

I've submitted to SJG one time, got my check in less than a week.
Wow, people who play Magical Teaparty Make-Believe Time bashing people who play Magical Live-Action Make-Believe Time? It's like I'm really on the Internet! - Rustmonster, commenting on RPGers vs. LARPers
I've submitted to Dragon and Dungeon at least 100 queries. It's probably more than that. Out of those, I was asked to write about 25. Out of those, 13 saw print.

Note that this was under Paizo. Under WotC, I've sent in about 25 ideas, and I've been asked to submit one of those; then I was asked to resubmit it later this year using 4e rules instead of 3.5. So my ratio is even worse now.
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
Note that this was under Paizo. Under WotC, I've sent in about 25 ideas, and I've been asked to submit one of those; then I was asked to resubmit it later this year using 4e rules instead of 3.5. So my ratio is even worse now.

Consider yourself lucky, you got a response. IMAGE(http://arcanofox.foxpaws.net/shemmysmile.gif)

I'd love to do some planar themed articles for Dragon or Dungeon, but I've probably shot myself in the foot by being rather critical of 4e. Dunno if they'd be receptive to any proposals I make at this point (though I haven't sent in any more after getting the assumed rejections on a dozen pitches months ago since I never heard back on them).

If they have the manpower available, a form rejection letter is something they really truly need to add, otherwise writers are going to remain in limbo on queries, and ultimately they risk the freelancer pool drying up if those folks get jaded by the open ended waiting game.
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
I've submitted to Dragon and Dungeon at least 100 queries. It's probably more than that. Out of those, I was asked to write about 25. Out of those, 13 saw print.

Note that this was under Paizo. Under WotC, I've sent in about 25 ideas, and I've been asked to submit one of those; then I was asked to resubmit it later this year using 4e rules instead of 3.5. So my ratio is even worse now.

Thanks for putting that - I was really wondering what kind of acceptance rate was normal.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Thanks for putting that - I was really wondering what kind of acceptance rate was normal.

I've been told by some folks that my acceptance rate is high, at least under Paizo.

I don't know that any conclusions can be drawn about WotC's rule of the mags. A lot of the stuff I sent was a copy of queries I had sent to Paizo that went without a response (because they already had enough articles, knew the end was neigh, but couldn't say anything). And during the lead-up to 4e, WotC had very specific things they wanted for the mags, and most of my stuff didn't hit that mark.
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
Not a stab at WotC, but just business in general... I would be surprised if WotC wanted that many articles. If you have writers on salary then you can have them write anything with no additional cost, but freelance submisions still costs 6 cents per word that they accept, and then they still need to take the time to edit it and such. So in-house article costing less may be a reason for lower accepted submission form WotC.

I always heard and read about sending in submission, but never even tried as the thing presented were never like anything I would do and always seemed a bit out of left field.

What would be interesting would be a gamers column for one of them. Sort of like a contest. You send in small submisions as part of like a contest, and the prize is getting it published. The writer gets the byline, but WotC owns the article IF it is submitted to them.
I've submitted to Dragon and Dungeon at least 100 queries. It's probably more than that. Out of those, I was asked to write about 25. Out of those, 13 saw print.
Piker...
Getting into print is difficult (to say the least). The ability to write interesting and exciting material is a talent that I appreciate more than the ability to get into print. I'd love to get a glimpse of the stuff that doesn't quite make it ;).

100's of ideas submitted. 25 articles written, only 13 see print. What becomes of material that is never printed but is in otherwise workable form? Given a talent for writing, such material has value. I'm curious ;).
/\ Art
100's of ideas submitted. 25 articles written, only 13 see print. What becomes of material that is never printed but is in otherwise workable form? Given a talent for writing, such material has value. I'm curious ;).

Some ideas get recycled and sent to other places; some vanish into the nether, never to be seen again.

Some written but not accepted articles get recycled. For example, one of the articles I had in Kobold Quarterly ("A Kingdom for my Horse") falls into that category. Some sit and collect cyber-dust on my flash drive. Some get cut up into pieces that I can salvage for other projects.
John Ling Freelance Writer/Editor PM for availability VCL for General Gaming and play-by-post groups
Hmm... This makes me want to create a web-page which pays something, but not much to writers, but take pretty much anything that isn't entirely rubbish. I have a feeling such a site could h ave quite a lot of hits when the authors are otherwise Dragon/Dungeon applicants... To bad I am no man for internett-modding anymore...

Magic Rafiq Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][multiplayer] [] Inferno Beatdown [EDH][multiplayer][1vs1][] Gwendlyn Combo/Control Deck [EDH][1vs1][] Merieke Casual Deck [EDH][multiplayer][] Roleplaying Magician class [D&D 3.5]