Example of a Basic Contract for Freelance Writers

[Disclaimer: The sample contract posted here is provided for information purposes only and is not meant to take the place of legal advice from a qualified attorney.]

by Jodee Redmond

Contracts don’t have to be very long or complicated; here is an example of a simple one that you may want to use for your business.


Contract dated [insert date here] between [Name of Client and Address of the Client] and [Name of Freelancer].

The Client/Company requests the following:

[A detailed description of the work to be performed is written here. Include the following information:

  • Number of Pages
  • Number of Words Per Page
  • Whether the Client Will Provide an Outline or Guidelines to be Followed
  • Any Other Instructions]


[When is the work due? Is the freelancer expected to submit the work in installments or in one batch?]


[How much will the client pay per word, per page, or for the entire project? How will payment be made? Paypal or check?]


[Is the client buying all rights to the work, first serial rights, electronic rights, etc?]

The contract may also include something about the freelancer stating that he or she will provide original work only and that the client will have the right to verify that the work has not been copied from any other source before making payment.

Both parties should sign the contract. If the freelancer’s address was not listed above, there may be a space left for this information to be inserted at the bottom of the contract near the signature lines.


  1. Renee Simao says

    I would advise writers to get a contract before you spend any money. For example, I applied for a gig (either this list or Craig’s) to a Mark Julius at exciting promotions.I received an email from him promising me work for one month on a trial basis and continuing work if he was satisfied with my production. But I had to download EFAX first. This is $16.95 per month. The first month is a free trial and according to him, they would not bill me. If we were compatible, I would then pay the monthly sub fee but I would have more than enough work to cover it. I downloaded the program. I haven’t heard from him. They charged my credit card. Now their site does say “Free Trial” so I think I can get my money back but it will take time. If I had emailed him and requested a contract prior to downloading, I would have saved the time as he would have never replied and I would have known it was a scam. Renee Simao


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