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Many authors dream of their work being adapted for the screen. It’s an exciting and potentially lucrative moment. Before you grant away the rights, it’s important to know what terms are fair and to negotiate if possible. Besides the payment amount, the author should consider how long producers will hold the rights, whether merchandise and sequel rights are included, and much more. 

In this Bootcamp, we’ll start with the Authors Guild’s Model Film and TV Option Contract, which provides commentary on the standard terms seen in the industry. Panelists will discuss common terms and rates and how authors might negotiate an agreement.


Cheryl Davis is the general counsel of the Authors Guild. Prior to joining the Guild, she was a partner at the firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP, where she specialized in intellectual property and wrote a number of articles and made presentations about how artists can protect their intellectual property.

Caitlin S. DiMotta began her career as an entertainment and business lawyer in 2006. She has worked with clients on matters including the acquisition and licensing of media properties; option, development, and publishing agreements in the television, literary, comic book/graphic novel and motion picture industries. She was a recipient of the Wall Street Journal Award for Excellence in Business and Corporate Law and has been named a Rising Star by SuperLawyers every year since 2013. Caitlin is a member of the bar in California, Washington, and New Mexico.

Special Thanks to Our Supporters and Partner Organizations

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Penguin Random House, and our donors, the Authors Guild Foundation is pleased to make Business Bootcamps for Writers free and open to the public.

Several writers organizations have partnered with the Authors Guild Foundation to help shape these programs. Our deepest appreciation to these organizations.