Writing Books/Real Setting


My question is relatively simple I am sure, but it is one for which I can not find an answer. Does an author have to get permission to use a real setting? For ex: If the author uses Yale University in his or her novel, does that author need permission from Yale to do so?

Thank you for your time.


Hello David,

It has been my experience that it is always wise to check for potential problematic issues,such as slander, prior to using a setting such as Yale University. Depending on the content of the story being told, you will need to decide if you will be setting this university in a bad light... If the story is purely fiction, you may want to write a disclaimer clause in the front, depicting that all the content is fictional and should not be considered fact. If necessary, you may want to seek out the help of a lawyer to ensure that nothing will come back on you, should the book go to publication. Many stories have been written about various locations all over the world based on freedom to the public for use. I highly recommend meeting with a lawyer to discuss any ramifications that may come out of using "actual" facts, not truly based on "factual" information. If you are writing non-fiction, this is a whole other ball of wax and yes, you will have to seek out permission from the university's solicitors.


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J.L. Slipak


Novel writing is my specialty but I've several articles advocating for human rights and the rights of special needs. I've also written children stories, historical romance, fantasy, trilogies, and non-fiction. I have editorial experience and have worked with literary agents, self-publishing, publishing companies in both the United States and Canada. I imagine I can answer any questions asked about this field, and if not, can direct the question to someone who could.


six articles, two novels, three children's books, two triologies and currently working on an auto-biography

BFA, working towards my masters

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