I sold a piece to a magazine and am a little confused by the contract. I don't want to ask them, and look like a neophyte. I've been published before, but never by a paying market.

The contract is a Word document, through Submittable, and asks for my signature. First printed, then another line where it says "signed." How do I sign it? I don't have a touch screen and I know it isn't meant to be mailed to them through snail mail.

2 Answers 2


There really is nothing wrong with asking your publisher about technical aspects of a cutting edge technology they expect you to use.

As I understand Submittable, you do need a touch screen to sign a document (e.g. with the help of Adobe Acrobat Reader). Some documents also allow you to add an image of your signature to it.

  • This answer sounds right. I have seen a number of services recently which allow you to "sign" documents electronically (docusign ...) I haven't used any of them and don't know how widely accepted they are yet. And, my inner geek notes that GPG signatures on emails and other documents are quite useful and reliable - although not in this case.
    – Joe
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:37
  • If you have a webmail account, you could login to it from anybody's tablet or smartphone, bring up the document and sign it. You'd have to look into erasing the record of your account password from the device or simply change the password immediately after using it for this. (I'd still just ask them first.) A private browsing window might do it.
    – Joe
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:44

Some places said that you could just type it in a different font, one different from the above line where it says to type your name. I tried this, but when it converted to an email, it went back to a standard font. Since I wanted to do this right, as it was my first time, I went to a computer with a touch screen, signed my name with a stylus, and sent it that way. They accepted it.

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