A Minor FAQ
Recently, our followers on social media informed us that they want to know more about the section of our website which publishes writers under 18. We are hoping to change some aspects of this feature, and therefore wanted to give a quick guide to our current protocols for the sake of transparency and clarification.
Can I be published in The Maul Magazine if I’m under 18?
Not really. Anyone under 18 is free to submit to our “New Talent” section of themaulmag.com’s web page. (We’re thinking of changing the name “New Talent,” because admittedly, it does make it sound like they’re a part of our main issues) None of those stories appear in any issues of The Maul. The stories for “New Talent” are under completely separate guidelines. There is also no competition for those publications. Anyone who meets the guidelines gets published providing they accept our edits.
As someone on Twitter pointed out, this is more like an open mic. It’s a chance for kids to get excited about horror, practice their hand at the craft, and talk to an editor a little bit about the process of submitting to a magazine.
We do not accept submissions from those under 18 for any issues of The Maul.
What do authors in the “New Talent” Section get paid?
Currently, we do not pay them. But we are willing to hear out ideas, as we cannot pay them directly, and they do not compete for publication.
How do I submit to this section of the website? How does my child submit to it?
See our submissions page on themaulmag.com
Why won’t you just let them submit to the magazine?
The short answer is that minors can’t sign contracts. Now, does it get more complicated than that? Yes. But if you want to get technical (which I assume you do if you’re still reading) I physically cannot pay a minor. I have to give the money to their parents.
You might think, and I would understand if you did: “Aren’t you kind of being a dick? Surely their parents will give them the money!” Perhaps. I concede that. As a schoolteacher, however, I often tell my younger counterparts that you can only control what you can control. Which is why I worry about this. Because the thing I do have a hand in as an editor and owner of the small business that runs this mag (REIT Media LLC) would be contract negotiation and contract disputes. I haven’t had any contract disputes yet, but I have had to negotiate small matters in the contracts for various authors. I don’t want to do that through a parent.
Would be I willing to reconsider?
Yes. See below
Did you get flack for not paying minors or something?
Wouldn’t the easiest solution be to just not accept any submissions from minors at all?
Of course. But that would be hypocritical. We tell people in our submission guidelines to speak truth to power. And we wanted “New Talent” to be a chance for young people to do that. We also wanted “New Talent” to be a place where kids could get excited about reading and writing. So we will throw out some form of New Talent (or whatever we end up calling it) for as long as the magazine exists.
Why do your adult authors care about this?
First, because people are caring, thoughtful human beings. Everybody who’s given us feedback on this are people who want everyone to be paid a fair wage. We want that too. That’s why we pay SFWA rates for all issues. And it’s why we’re going to revamp this section of our site at some point. We want everyone who contributes to feel valued and appreciated, and compensated when possible and appropriate.
Second, some tracking sites (Submission Grinder specifically) list us as non-paying. Which, I’m not complaining about. That’s their policy – to list the lowest pay rate as the rate. And I can’t blame them. Everything is housed in the same site. So we, as a magazine, need to address this issue so authors can more easily find our paying market.
You keep saying you’re going to make changes. What changes do you plan on making?
We’ve taken advice from one of our followers and contacted the Horror Writers’ Association. We’ll see what they say and go from there. I really am hesitant to have kids’ parents sign contracts with us, so it may end up looking more like sending every kid in the “New Talent” a free copy of our latest issue. I don’t know currently.
We’re probably going to change the name from “New Talent” to something less confusing.
We also contacted Submission Grinder to see what they say. But one thing that might happen is we have to set up a separate website to house this endeavor so Submission Grinder and other services don’t get confused.
You mad bro?
This is how social media is supposed to work. You make something, it gets feedback, and your final product comes out better. I’m also new to this, as opposed to true to this (although in a couple years I won’t be able to use that excuse anymore).
I will say though, that if you give me feedback and haven’t actually read our magazine, I’ll respond to you on Twitter and tell you why you’re wrong.
But I’m in agreement with everyone generally that people should be paid a fair wage. Especially younger people.
Thanks for your time and feedback.