On Author Rights, Ours and Theirs…

Greetings folks! So we wanted to take a moment to discuss San Cicaro for now and future submissions.

Our recently closed call for stories differs from the last in that there’s an actual release out that people have been reading for inspiration. And we’ve received several great tales, some truly original, and some reusing locations, characters and elements. It is exceptionally cool, and many prior authors feel flattered.

That being said, we have to be careful.

“San Cicaro” itself, and terms like “Lucia Bella Hospital” and “SCPD” (when the context is San Cicaro) belong to Thunderbird Studios. When we publish stories set in our city, we give authors permission to use them. We try to be generous too, giving authors license to reuse the terms in reprints of the story. The locations that get created tend to be a gray area; we happily check with prior authors to ensure that they’re fine with references and reuse of settings for new submissions. They’re quite proud that people are fond of their contributions. And whenever not, it’s often not a big deal to swap out a different locale. Cities are always changing, institutions can be renamed, and business establishments come and go.



Characters are a big exception.

Although cast members like Xiomara, Manny Cargille and Tamar Gold are unique and memorable, they do not belong to Thunderbird. Authors hold the rights and are right to control how their creations are portrayed, and to protect their reputations. Just like actual human beings. Barring one minor (and already fixed) exception, we have not received any stories that try to reuse a character they shouldn’t. However, we intend to continue San Cicaro after this release, and it’s only a matter of time before someone’s hopes and efforts get shut down.

Going forth, we want to nip this problem in the bud. Other than a passing (and easily removed) reference, please avoid reusing characters established in earlier volumes. In future releases, we may come to agreements that allow shared characters. But until then, it is our job to protect our authors’ rights as publishers. And if we choose your story, that will include protecting yours as well.

Thank you all for submitting, and know we look forward to reading your work!

Special thanks to Luke Michael for the banner photo, available on Unsplash.