A new writer asked me today what I do in the way of a contract. Here is his question:
I’m entering the technical writing field and have been asked to prepare a contract detailing the agreed-upon details; however, although I’m happy with the rate, hours, etc., I’m not entirely confident that all relevant items were discussed. For, say, a 6-month contract, what items should be detailed in said contract?
Is there a contract template available for tech writers to use when entering a job? At the very least, is there a list of items that should be discussed when entering a new contract situation?
Example - Pay rate, job expectations, availability of office space, job duration….there were all discussed. But what if, for example, it’s not a good fit and they decide to terminate the contract? I’d imagine I should have details on, say, a 4-week notice for dismissal, or a buyout?
Not being a contract expert myself, I hesitate to give specific advice. But I am attaching a copy of my own “typical” contract, which I use for engagements of all lengths. I reviewed this with a lawyer soon after I started my business (probably about 1997-98) and have found it satisfactory.
If you have a contract that you use and like, or if you can help Chris out with his question, please chip in. Any questions about what you see in mine are also welcome, and I will try to expand as necessary.
This is a great topic to share information on, since there is no one “right” way.