Professional writers are key suppliers of quality editorial content. Magazine and newspaper editors are, in turn, key players in the relationship between their publication and freelance writers.
For many years, EPA Associate Members who work as freelance writers have repeatedly encountered several challenges when writing for EPA and other publications.
To work toward improving the relationship between publications and freelancers, they remind and recommend publishers to:
- Provide clear assignments regarding the scope and purpose of the article so the writer is aware of the desired outcome.
- Give reasonable deadlines or notice on assignments, especially when multiple interviews or much research is required. Writers cannot control when interviewees will be available and there may be reasonable delays. Factor in the time for setting up interviews, conducting them, transcribing notes and doing research—not only the time needed for writing. Also, communicate in advance if a quick turnaround on revisions will be required. This helps writers avoid being overbooked when they need to do some more work on an article.
- Provide a contract for assignments and honor the stated terms.
- Raise pay rates on a reasonably regular basis. Many magazines and newspapers have not increased their pay rates in two or three decades. Increased costs in other areas (printing, postage, etc.) should not be reflected in the underpayment of the writers who provide content for the publication.
- Pay upon acceptance instead of upon publication. The work has been done in good faith; if a publication later decides against using an article, that should have no bearing on paying the writer for his or her work. In the same vein, offer timely and honest communication regarding any payment issues.
- Adjust the pay accordingly when an article requires multiple interviews, photos, captions, sidebars, etc., especially when the word count is low.
- Acknowledge the receipt of articles and express appreciation for a job well done.
EPA freelancers would like to thank those publications who have affirmed their work by demonstrating the above courtesies.
To learn about the dozens of professional freelance writers, editors, photographers, and more who are Associate Members of EPA and who desire to work for Christian publications, scroll through the Associate Member Online Directory and see their qualifications and areas of specialty.
Posted Aug. 16, 2017