Photo by Rhonda Felice Photography

Freelance science writer and editor, Kendall Powell covers the realm of biology, from molecules to maternity. She jumped from the lab bench to laptop via the UC, Santa Cruz Science Communication program in 2002. She has written news stories, features and scientist profiles for a variety of publications including the Los Angeles Times, Nature (including Nature Careers), PLoS Biology, Journal of Cell Biology, Science Careers and the HHMI Bulletin. In 2005, Kendall founded SciLance as a way to stay connected to a vibrant community of writers who are as much word nerds as science geeks. She lives near Denver, Colorado with her scientist husband, daughter, son, and two Labradors.

3 responses to “Contract Pushback”

  1. Adrienne Scieditor

    Unacceptable. Thank you for pushing back, I will keep doing so too.

    I was just asked to sign an indemnification clause for content I have *no control over,* since I’m just the copy editor. I neither create the content nor control what appears.

    I struck the clause. Publishers cannot absolve themselves of responsibility, placing it on the most bit player on the team. Complete bullying.

  2. Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

    I’ve lost a couple of projects because I wouldn’t accept insane clauses in a prospective contract, including one ongoing magazine project that I really wanted to do and the editor really wanted me for, but the publisher wouldn’t budget on a liability clause. I offered alternative language, I pointed out (tactfully) why it wasn’t appropriate, I even said that I was willing to work for less than usual because it would be so perfect a match-up. Nothing. Someone else took it on, and I just hope she doesn’t get screwed.

    I also have had success in striking indemnity and liability clauses with other clients. It’s always worth trying, as long as we’re willing to risk not getting the gig.

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