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Freelance doesn't have to mean being paid late

by Lise Monty

You got the assignment and finished your article. Congratulations! But you are not done yet. Successful freelancers must keep complete, accurate records!

Any writer who meets a deadline deserves to be paid promptly. It's worth noting that if you don't make your editor's deadline, he or she will feel no obligation to make your deadline on the invoice.

Establish yourself as a person who submits on deadline or even before when possible. Also, establishing reasonable expectations and communications, along with building good rapport, understanding and personal relations, are vital bridge-building between the writer and the editor or publisher so that one is not considered a "non-entity" who cranks out quality work but doesn't have any particular needs or boundaries as far as payment limits.

It's been said that short of refusing future freelance work from a slow-paying publication, freelancers have little recourse. There are a number of strategies, however, that help to ensure payment.

Suggestions for getting paid in a timely fashion:

About the author:

Three years ago, freelance writer Lise Monty retired after 10 years as external affairs manager for the Delaware Art Museum. While at the helm of Delaware Today from 1987 to 1994, she won several national awards for the magazine's general excellence. Lise was the first female bureau chief for Fairchild Publications in its Boston bureau and worked as Tokyo correspondent for Women's Wear Daily.

She is the author of Images of Delaware and Wilmington: on the Move, coffee-table books featuring photographs by Mike Biggs.

Lise chaired the pre- and post-conference tours committee for the NFPW/DPA "Brave New Media World" conference held in Delaware in 2003 and was named Delaware Press Association's 2003 Communicator of Achievement.

Contact Lise Monty at montyleary@aol.com.

The fine print:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. -- First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States
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Updated November 2007