D4) The Devil’s in the Contract

Saturday, October 27th, 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Room 302A
Caroline Leopold
Ivan Semeniuk
Kendall Powell
Kevin M. Goldberg
Katharine Gammon
Christine Hoekenga
Katharine Gammon

Science writers are skilled at cutting through jargon to understand complex topics, but the technical language of a freelance contract presents its own special headaches. What makes a good contract, or a bad one? How should you approach an editor when you need to negotiate the terms of a contract? Who is liable when a publication gets sued for something you have written? Will forming an LLC help protect you?

Using real-world examples and sample of contracts, we’ll untangle the mysteries of sticky contract language and offer advice for how to handle this crucial—but often neglected—aspect of freelancing. Four panelists—a lawyer, two writers who have formed LLC’s, and an editor on staff at a publication—will offer their unique perspectives and advice for reviewing, understanding, and negotiating freelance contracts. We will examine several real-world examples of contract language that present potential issues for freelancers allowing each panelist to weigh in and the audience to discuss.