Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

But Will My Sister Sue Me? Ask a Lawyer! - Remote!

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

You've got to write what you've got to write. It's important to express yourself and stay true to the stories you want to share. But there are always those pesky little questions in the back of your mind. Will my sister sue me for an unflattering description of her in my memoir? Will my ex-college roommate notice that a character in my novel is suspiciously similar to them? Am I protected if I write under a pen name? What sorts of disclaimers are necessary to include at the beginning of my book? And not just that, but how do copyrights work? Can someone just steal my book idea? What is an agency agreement or a publishing agreement? How do I get paid for my work but also protect it?

Finally, a class that will answer all those questions and more! Instructor E.B. Bartels will facilitate a Q&A with Jonathan Lyons, Vice President of Curtis Brown, Ltd. and partner at Lyons & Salky Law, LLP. Jonathan is both a literary agent and a licensed publishing attorney. He is a member of The Authors Guild, and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Master of Science in Publishing Program, where he teaches a course on contract negotiation. Jonathan received his B.A. in history and political science from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Students will have the opportunity to submit questions for Jonathan ahead of time and also ask him questions directly during the session, as they arise throughout an open and candid conversation about legal issues in publishing. This class is for writers of all genres–nonfiction, fiction, poetry, playwrights–and hopefully will put a lot of your fears to rest, so you can continue on and write what you need to write!

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!