Simple Freelance Writing Contract

As a new freelance writer, you've probably heard that you need a freelance writing contract between you and your clients.  If you haven't heard that, I'm telling you now.

Don't ever write without a freelance writing contract.

You may have also heard things like, "My clients won't sign one - what am I supposed to do, tell them no?"

Yes, you are supposed to tell them no.  Emphatically.  Tell them you just don't work without a contract, and don't worry if they don't like it - people who balk at signing a professional contract may have been the worst kind of clients to work with.

Don't like the sound of freelance writing contract?  Call it an Author Agreement, then.  And never, ever, ever begin work without one.

Have I told you yet that you should never write without a freelance writing contract?  Good. 

Now here's what a freelance writing contract should look like (click the images to enlarge, and there's a more detailed post about the text in this post, Why you should never write without a freelance writing contract):

This is one of the freelance writing contracts I use - all you have to do is change the information in yellow to fit your project and the state (in #9) from Hawaii to yours and voila!  You have your own freelance writing contract.

You can also include terms of payment (I always add that in based upon what the client and I have agreed to - whether they're paying me in increments, hourly or half-down, half upon completion) and when they're supposed to pay you.  I usually now include "final payment is due within 5 business days.  After 5 business days, a 20% late charge will be assessed.  (They pay you with a quickness when that's in there!)

Is this similar to the freelance writing contract you use?  Have you ever had an issue getting a client to sign? 

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© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on, it's stolen.

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Freelance Writing Tips by Angie Papple Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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"Balance" image courtesy of Dark Taco at