1. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    Is it legal...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by fantasy girl, Jan 5, 2010.

    to be paid to write an article when you are under the age of 16?

    I need some money and I am thinking of finding somewhere to sell an article somewhere. My aunt is at Uni and for an assignment had to write an essay about how Fantasy Novels effect children and why they are good for them to read. When she was asking me about what I think about Fantasy Novels.

    Okay my second question is, does any one know of any online magazines that pay you for writing articles?

    Fantasy Girl xx
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    You should do your own homework on finding magazines that pay. As for being paid to be published, why would it be illegal to pay someone under 16 for something they wrote?
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    There are no age restrictions that I know of with writing. However I would not mention your age when communicating with the editor, aside from it being useless information they do not need to know, it just might lead them not take you seriously if you are young. But that's more their fault then yours.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. It is not legal in the US to pay or enter any contract with legal minors...anyone under 18 years old do not have legal status as adults unless a court has declared the minor to be an "emancipated minor". You CAN still receive money by assigning your parents as your legal guardians for financial matters. If for some reason you do not trust your folks, you can select an attorney or similar person to represent you and manage your millions. Make sure this other person is trustworthy and competent to manage your bucks. Fiduciary responsibility is no guarantee of correct performance.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If there are any legal issues to closing the contract, you may need a parent or guardian to cosign it. Other than that, do not bring it up. It is not relevant.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's true that you can't sign a contract or legal document in the UK without your parents' or guardian's consent if you are under the school-leaving age (16). But then we don't need contracts anyway to work in the UK. We just give the employer our NI number. Some companies want you to sign a contract, some don't, and written permission isn't always compulsory for work like babysitting or freelancing if you are over 14. I sold several stories and poems to magazines between the ages of 13-15 in the 1970s. It wasn't necessary to sign anything, and a cheque was sent, payable to my name (I had a bank account).


    Extract from just one UK government source:
    No one under school leaving age can be employed in work other than light work. You are not allowed to do work which is likely to be harmful to your safety, health, development, or work that will affect your attendance at school or participation in work experience...

    Employers who want to employ children or young people under school leaving age are required to get a permit from their local authority. The permit must be signed by both the employer and one of your parents...


    So, check this out with something like the Citizen's Advice Bureaux (they're free).
     
  7. thePenDragon
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    thePenDragon New Member

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    I don't think it's illegal, but it's harder than you would think to find paying markets for your writing, especially when you're young and a no-name (like me!) I've been trying to find paying outlets for short stories and articles since I was about your age, and I haven't had much luck yet.

    Keep trying, though! I'm confident that someday it'll work out. As a young writer also, my advice would be just keep writing, anything that comes to mind, even if it's not finished or it's not very good. Those ideas aren't worth anything to you if they're not written down.
     
  8. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    When I was 15-16 I wrote for Gamershell as a staff reviewer. The pay was what you'd expect, a new game every week in box that you get to keep, and access to E3 and all the other expo's as a press agent.

    It's not illegal to work, just don't expect to make enough money to have to worry about filing your W-2.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course it's legal, as all above explain... for proof, my poet mentee in scotland just sold a piece of her work to an american magazine and she's barely 16...

    for venues to submit stories to: www.duotrope.com

    for magazine articles, you'll have to check your local newstand, or library...
     
  10. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm in the UK (Scotland - the laws are different, but probably not in regards to publishing) and I know someone my age who's been paid for her articles. She had a parent sign the contract, though - she sent the money to her bank account, but I don't know whether or not the publishing laws had anything to do with that.

    It shouldn't be too hard to find out on the Internet, or even ask a legal adviser if you think that you can get the money from articles.
     
  11. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    99.9% of all freelance gigs will accept you no matter what age if you are a good writer. However, as a teenage writer, you are more limited, and I don't think you can write anything with adult content. Be careful. Some freelance writing gigs are scams. Watch your wallet and don't pay for ANYTHING up front. :D
     
  12. Fatherof5
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    Fatherof5 Member

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    I'm her (writewizzard's) dad, and I can tell you she's had a few interesting offers to write some interesting stuff...stuff a teenaged girl might not really want to write.

    On the other hand, she's got a really nice gig right now writing a 10,000 word essay on Model Trains. Since I was into model trains as a kid, this should be a perfect father daughter project...I'll be only too happy to help.

    The biggest problem IMHO is that a lot of people have wanted a lot of writing done dirt cheap because she's a teen. Charge a fair amount for your work and you'll both be happy. It's a pain to work for pennies, and people don't appreciate things they don't have to pay for.

    Good luck!

    Chris
     
  13. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep, you raised a good point. It's like if someone asks you to make the coffee.

    Two options:

    A) Go and make them a drink, although you're the only person in the office who won't be paid for doing it, even if everyone else is.
    B) Spit in it and hand it back.

    I always prefer the latter. If someone wants to pay you almost nothing for your work, then there's no reason for you to let them publish it. To you, they are simply one option. You are an opportunity for them to write an article that is relevant to their audience. You can even help them engage with a different audience. It's their loss.

    Of course, they know that. Ask them for more money before you abandon them, but if they won't offer you what you think is acceptable (the lower end of what adults are paid is usually what the people I know ask for, although they've pushed it into the normal amount of money if they have established themselves as regular writers for the magazine). I can't tell you what that is; I'd wager that Gaelic magazines offer more money than English ones, as there are less writers, so you'll need to find out for yourself.
     
  14. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    If a parent or guardian signs the contract, then there won't be any legal problems.

    Ideally, do some research into this. I remember a story a few years ago about a 14-year-old girl in Scotland who had published two relatively successful fantasy novels. Now, I can't remember either her name or the name of the publisher (other than it too was Scottish), but if I were you I'd look into that.
     

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