Womanishy is so excited to publish your article, “There Is a Disease That Is Going to Scare the Crap Out of You, and Only We Can Save You and Everything Wrong with Your Marriage Is Your Fault Because You’re Fat.”
RIGHTS: Anything good that happens is for us. Even if Nora Ephron comes back from the dead to direct a movie version, the writer (hereto afterwards referred to as SHMUCK) gets zero, zip, nada, nibbley bits; anything bad that happens, SHMUCK agrees to be marched through the streets like the harlot that she is and pay for the parade permits and Cronuts.
PAYMENT: $50 for 300 words (Actual article will be 2000 words once PUBLISHER staff stops arguing about what the article is actually about and the top editor insists that she has friends who know people somewhere who still use wet nurses so it has to be in the article. This is non-negotiable.) (And don’t even think of bitching about it. Arianna only pays her writers with exposure. SHMUCK knows what exposure is, right? SHMUCK could die from it. SHMUCK has been warned.)
PAYMENT will not be made until SHMUCK has been denied three times or Ira in Accounting comes back from his colon resection, whichever takes the longest.
SHMUCK will surrender firstborn CHILD to PUBLISHER to act as indentured servant. CHILD must be good-looking. If CHILD is ugly and/or otherwise annoying, two grass-fed free-range cows (must be heirloom) may be substituted.
If SHMUCK desires galley approval, SHMUCK must first sing “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” while imitating guitar riffs (Prince version only). Annotated notes on what “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday” means will be required at PUBLISHER’s request. (Factchecker to determine if she really used bathroom window or did she just say she did but she really squeezed in a side door. Only original studies will be accepted as backup.)
If PUBLISHER decides not to publish work, even if it’s because EDITOR was going through a bad breakup when assignment was made and forgot that exact same topic was assigned last week, SHMUCK will get 1% of agreed upon fee only if SHMUCK takes EDITOR’s 3am calls, in which she sobs for 45 minutes, “He called me needy! I am the least needy person ever! Do you think I’m needy? I am not needy!”
All disagreements will skip arbitration and end when the PUBLISHER shouts, “Said the actress to the bishop!”
Beth Levine is a veteran, award-winning writer who has been published in McSweeney’s, Oprah, and a bunch of other places. Even though her mother has told her time and again that she is not as funny as she thinks she is, little missy, still she strives against all odds. Follow her on Twitter.