I go to the website for one particular beer-centric publication (name withheld for now--let's just say it has the word "beer" in the name). They happen to have a "Submit a Story" page on their website.
Here's what the directions say:
- To submit the story or an idea, send an e-mail to [e-mail address].
- Then this:
"Terms of Acceptance: By posting or submitting any materials (including but not limited to any remarks, ideas, graphics, photos, comments, product concepts, advertising concepts or ideas, and suggestions for improving or changing existing content) to this Site, you automatically grant (or warrant that the owner of such rights has expressly granted) to [publishing house] a royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual and irrevocable worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, modify, publish and distribute such materials or incorporate such materials into any form or technology now known or later developed, and you waive any moral rights you may have in having the material altered or changed in a manner not agreeable to you. You further grant [publishing house] a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use your name in connection with the Submitted Content, and to use the Submitted Content for editorial, advertising and promotional purposes."The translation of this legalese: If you send it to them, they own it. Note that there's nothing about paying a writer or photographer.
- Required in the e-mail: Your name, address, contact information, anything they may need to know about who you work for, etc.; "1. Detailed description of story; 2. Story itself copied and pasted to the body of your email plus 72 dpi supporting images in the following file formats: jpg, tiff, gif, png, pdf, eps, ai, PSD. No files in excess of 8mb."
Now, there exists the possibility that this is just a VERY sloppily written submission page, which preemptively covers every possible contingency, including press releases and letters to the editor, but inadvertently lays claim to anything submitted to them. Maybe what they meant was you should send them either the story outline OR the story itself. But if this is how competently they assemble what is effectively a legal notice, how well will they assemble the content of their magazine?