This is a contract for a freelance editor working with a client on a project basis.


This agreement is between ___________ (“Editor”) and ________ (“Client”) and concerns the following manuscript:


Working title:

Length and description of manuscript:


The Editor agrees to do the following:

(Terms are defined in Schedule A, attached, unless otherwise specified.)

If there are major changes to the project midway, the fee will be renegotiated.


As your editor, I affirm:

I have the experience and ability to perform the services you need from me.

I will carry out this service in a professional manner.

I will respect the confidentiality of any information you give me.


As my client, you agree:

You have the power to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself or your organization.

To provide me with what I need to complete the project, when I need it.

To review my work, provide feedback and sign off within agreed timescales.

To stick to the payment schedule described.


If this agreement is signed and I have received your down payment by [date], I will deliver the first draft by [date] in the following format: ___________.

The projected schedule for completion of my work (specify number of iterations, if applicable) is as follows:_____________________________.

I can’t be responsible for deadlines missed due to circumstances completely beyond my control, such as dire family emergencies, floods, war and acts of god.

My editing your work isn't a guarantee that it will be accepted for publication.


The agreed-upon fee of $ is to be paid by you in the following manner: .

Payment is to be made within 30 days of invoice. Any payment after the due date is subject to _ % interest per month (_% per annum) plus a monthly $25 rebilling fee.

Please note that until I receive payment in full for having edited your work, I retain copyright ownership of the work I have done on the manuscript. This means that no journal (or book publisher) can legally publish your work if you have not paid me in full for editing.

When I receive full payment from you, I automatically relinquish any copyright claims on your work.


This agreement may be terminated by either party in the event of material change of circumstance, with __ days’ notice. If I terminate the agreement, I will be paid by you for work done up to the date of termination. If you terminate the agreement, you will pay me for work done until termination.


Editing is intrinsically a process of offering advice and suggestions to the client. While I will make every effort to bring questionable material to your attention, you agree to indemnify and save me harmless from any and all claims or demands, including legal fees, arising out of any alleged libel or copyright infringement committed by you in creating the work.

I can't be liable to you or any third party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings, complaints, claims, litigation or other incidental, consequential or special damages that arise from this work.

If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

This contract may be changed only by written agreement between you and me.

Signed by the parties to this agreement on (date)


Editor’s printed name:



Client’s printed name:


Schedule A

Definitions of Terms

Rewriting. Creating a new manuscript or parts of a manuscript on the basis of content and research supplied by author. Does not include the following unless specified:

• research

• writing original material

Structural Editing. Clarifying or reorganizing a manuscript for content and structure. Does not include the following unless specified:

• research

• writing original material

Note: The agreement should specify whether changes are to be suggested or drafted; if the latter, it should specify whether changes are to be made to hard copy or to the electronic manuscript.

Copy Editing. Editing for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style; checking for consistency; clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon, polishing language.Includes incorporating author’s responses to queries and checking the input thereof. Does not include the following unless specified:

• providing or changing system of citations

• formatting

Fact Checking/Citation Checking/Reference Checking. Checking accuracy of facts and quotes by reference to original sources used by author or to other reference sources.

Proofreading. Checking proofs of formatted, edited material for adherence to design and for minor, mechanical errors in copy (such as spelling mistakes or small deviations from style sheet). Does not include the following unless specified:

• incorporating or exercising discretion on author’s alterations

• copyfitting

• checking accuracy of running heads, folios

• inserting or checking page numbers to contents and page references

• checking page breaks

Notes: The agreement should specify whether proofs are to be read in isolation or “to copy” and whether a style sheet will be provided. It should also specify whether proofs are first, second (or subsequent), or final pages.

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