Issues facing freelance writers in 2021: Contract standards - Deepstash
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Freelance writing challenges

Freelance writing challenges

Freelancers face some universal issues such as getting paid on time, navigating taxes and managing a career.

One of the biggest challenges for freelance writers are contracts and terms of work. One missing piece for many freelancers is what a standard contract can and should look like.


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Vital contract considerations

Freelance writers should pay attention to three main terms:

  • Indemnity: Most contracts state that you will indemnify the publication. However, it should be the other way around. The publication should agree to indemnify you, especially if your reporting can ruffle some feathers.
  • Graduated payment: Don't settle for only being paid when your writing is published. It could take up to a year before it is published.
  • Copyright and intellectual copyright: Ensure the agreement hand over the copyright to the contributor instead of a publication keeping it for themselves.


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Contract red flags

Freelance writers should be aware of the following red flags when reviewing agreements:

  • "Work for hire": It means that the copyright and publishing rights belong to the publication, not to the author. It means the author may miss out on the opportunity to option their work for something else, or even report about the same thing again. 
  • No kill fee: If a publication decides not to publish your work, you will be paid an amount for the work you've already done. Without a kill fee in place, you will be paid nothing.


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