I do part-time copywriting work and over the weekend I wrote a ~1500 word paid article for an online publication. It was a lot of research and toil, I had half a day to do it and I finally submitted the thing at 2am on Sunday. It was a very tricky piece.

Now I notice the article has been published, with some minor edits, but under a different name. The client has used one of their own employees as the author. I wasn't aware that I was ghostwriting. Should I raise this with the publisher? Should credit not be given where it is due - or should I remain quiet unless I irritate them? I'm quite new to this but should they not at least have said it would be credited to someone else?

  • 9
    A quick look through your terms and conditions of employment should resolve that for you.
    – robertcday
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 12:28
  • This is more of a legal question and there is a law stack. I think no matter what, if you want to raise your concerns, you should go to the client first and ask them about it. Unless you'd rather not continue to work for that client. Going to the publisher behind the client's back is almost certainly going to damage your relationship with the client. Commented May 31, 2018 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


I write almost exclusively for corporations and it's rare that the work is attributed to me. It's almost always attributed to an employee from the company. Sometimes they ask but most of the time it's accepted that I'll be ghostwriting. For instance, I'm working with a company now that this was not said outright but because I've been doing this a while I was not surprised when I saw the article go up with someone else's name. It's ok to ask but it would probably surprise them to learn that this was not what you expected so keep that in mind if you want to continue to receive work from them.

In my contract though, I specify that I retain portfolio rights so I still use links to that content as samples of my work - and I've never had a potential client ask why someone else's byline was there. Of course, this is just my experience so it may be different with others.

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    I'm going to accept this answer since even though I haven't had a chance to look at my contract yet, I think your advice is good practice regardless for future expriences with copywriting firms. I'm really glad I didn't say anything now since I agree: they'd probably be a little surprised that I mentioned it, and I do want to continue working for them.
    – C26
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 9:47

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