Monday, May 11, 2009

Freelance Writer Contracts, Continued

Here is the aforementioned post on contracts, as per Daisy:

Here's a question that I have been kicking around for a while and I would like
to hear some opinions from the other writers here.

Do you peeps have a
favorite contract template? I haven't found one I like yet. The versions on
Elance are too wordy (4-11 pages) and are skewed toward the buyer's interests.
For projects under $1,000 a contract of more than 1-2 pages is simply not a
feasible option.

I have a lot of experience negotiating contracts in my
Purchasing job so I figure I will put together my own eventually. Maybe we can
put our heads together and brainstorm a simple freelance writer contract that
everyone can customize to their own needs.

Let me know who wants in on
this and we can start kicking around requirements and suggestions for a sample
contract in the comments section.


And the contract later posted:

Daisy said...
OK, sorry for being so late. Here is a sample of the work
terms I created for my Guru profile. This is the short version since I ran way
over the character limit with my original version. I guess shorter is better
anyway. Here goes:

We accept payment via ________. Buyers can pay upon
completion for projects under $_____.

Communication - We will
communicate with you regularly and respond to your inquiries via email within 1
business day (CST).

Delivery Schedule - For escrow projects, work begins
when the appropriate milestone has been funded. Please fund promptly to avoid

Revision - We consider a revision to be alteration of up to 20%
of content. 1 revision is offered free of charge for each of the first two
articles we write for you. Ebooks often include additional revisions in the bid

Rewrite - This is an extensive revision (such as 50% of content).
In the unlikely event that you require us to rewrite the content we submit to
you, this will incur a surcharge. You can avoid the need for rewrites by
providing clear and accurate instructions at the outset of each project.

Attribution/Byline - We offer discounted pricing to buyers who allow us
to publish work under our own names. This builds our web presence and makes it
easy to point future clients to online examples of our writing.

Copyright - If you are purchasing all rights to the work we submit, we
will not create a sample from the end product to post in our portfolio without
your specific permission.

Feedback - Your satisfaction is our highest
priority. The final feedback you leave on ____ has a huge impact on our
potential for growth. We also appreciate your endorsement since it helps us
build our business.

More thoughts and input? let us know how you worded your last project, and why!


  1. Most of my work is in print and this is a typical simple contract that I use if the publisher does not provide one.

    This contract is the confirmation between_________________and _________________




    Subject of article(s):

    Assigned Length:
    Agreed Payment:
    Due Date:
    Anticipated Publication Date:
    Expenses Paid:
    Kill Fee:

    A. Writer’s Obligation

    1. Freelance writer will provide a complete, error-free manuscript and submitted no later than 5 p.m. on the assigned date due.

    2. As part of this agreement, writer will retain the name, address and telephone number of each source named in the article, and this information must accompany the article when presented to _____________ This is to be presented at the same time the story is delivered.

    3. Freelance writer will submit edited story for approval to all sources interviewed or quoted in the article. The approval, written or emailed, shall be forwarded to publisher immediately.

    4. Rights

    a. Writer grants to publisher First North American Rights for publication in the English language anywhere in North America. These are the only rights granted by author to publisher. Writer retains all other rights not expressly granted herein.

    b). Publisher retains the rights to use the writer’s name, biography provided by the writer, and story in promotion and publicity of article and advertising of publication.

    c) Publisher retains the rights to publish the article on internet site as well as print.

    5. Writer agrees to fully cooperate with the publisher in the event that legal action arises out of publishing the article. Writer warrants that the article is original and that the writer is the true author of the article. Writer also expressly warrants that the article has not been previously published and that publication will not violate any copyright or other rights of any third party whatsoever.

    B. Publisher’s Obligation

    1. Publisher agrees to submit edited version of article to the writer to review and correct if necessary. Writer shall have 24 hours in which to make corrections or object to corrections. Writer may withdraw article upon receipt of edited version. Writer must approve final copy prior to printing.

    2. Publisher pays on publication, date publication is released for general distribution.

    3. Should the article not appear in print in the publication within 4 months, all rights return to the writer and kill fee will apply.

    Please sign and return to:
    Agreed and accepted:

    Writer’s Signature:

    __________________________ Date:

    Publisher’s Signature:

    __________________________ Date:

  2. Thanks Veronica!

    Some different concerns when writing for print as opposed to the web, but there are a couple of things that would be applicable to both.


  3. OH I likey these. Sheesh seriously what am I doing trying to be a write. Sigh. I need a crash course in contracts 101.