Collaboration Guidelines

This page summarizes FAWM community guidelines for collabing (co-writing) with other fawmers.

BOTTOM LINE: Communication and consent!

  • Get permission before starting a collaboration
  • Your work belongs to you
  • Discuss collaboration roles
  • Express any expectations regarding editing
  • Agree on how and when to post your collab on the FAWM site
  • Agree on future plans, if any, for the song

Starting a collab (co-write)

Don’t offer to co-write unless you actually have the time. If there's a particular fawmer you want to work with, you can make a request on their profile page. Understand they may say no.

If you have lyrics you want set to music, or a composition you want words for: post in the Collaboration Classifieds forum, or use tags like #needs_collab, #needs_music or #needs_lyrics. Once you've found a collaborator and need any more, edit the song post to delete the tag!

Similarly, if you’re looking for lyrics/music to add to, peruse the Collaboration Classifieds or "needed" tags.

There are often "Random Collaborations" forum topics that pair lyricists and composers to write together from scratch.

Although the emphasis in FAWM is on writing songs, fawmers may also choose to collaborate on production elements, e.g. having a singer or instrumentalist add a layer to a completed composition.


Be clear from the outset about how much or little editing you want. This has to do with time commitment as well as working style. When posting a #needs_music lyric you may specify things you don’t want changed. For example: open to all changes, don’t change anything, don’t change any gender pronouns, etc.

Check with each other as you make changes!


Discuss with your collaborator(s) about who will post. If you’re adding music to a #needs_lyrics post, discuss whether you’ll add the demo to the existing post or will create a new song post.

Future Plans

If you want to release a FAWM collaboration outside/after FAWM, check with your collaborator before you start to set expectations:

  • Is your collab going to be used post FAWM and be out in the general music world for sale or streaming?
  • Is it going to be released for distribution (Spotify, etc.)?
  • If so, you need a co-writer's agreement signed agreeing the copyright splits. There may be mechanical, writer's, publisher's, or other copyright/royalties attached to the song. Managing this is outside the scope of this document, and FAWM is not liable for any damages incurred by mishandled collaborations, so be aware of the considerations.
  • Who owns the 'Master'?
  • You cannot 'Pitch' the track anywhere without your co-writer's written consent. Unless otherwise agreed, each party in a collaboration on FAWM remains the owner of their individual part (i.e., lyrics or music). A lyricist can use their lyric outside of FAWM with a different co-writer/composer/singer, and you cannot use their/that same lyric outside of FAWM, even with your music. And vice versa.

No Posthumous Collaborations

Fawmers have made life-long friends and songwriting partners through FAWM. The bittersweet thing about this is that sometimes we lose a "fawmily" member, and it leaves us reeling with how to process our grief. One natural response is to write a tribute song in memory of our dear friend.

However, FAWM strongly discourages any attempts to posthumously "collaborate" with the account of a deceased fawmer. This includes remixing, sampling, crediting, or any other effort to write songs on their behalf — for example, to give them a posthumous "win" — without express written permission from the fawmer (prior to death) or their estate. While this may be well-intentioned and feel like a way of honoring our friend, their family or estate may not see it that way, and it is important to respect that.

If you attempt this, you indemnify FAWM of any losses or damages you might incur, as per the terms, and we will remove any disputed material if a representative contacts us and asks us to do so, as per the copyright policy.