WHAT TO PAY A WRITER

"What should I charge for my work" or "How much do I pay a writer?"

For both freelance writers and those that hire them, that frequently asked question lacks a simple answer. Fees charged by professional writers vary according to the work involved.  Many factors affect payment including:

  • the type of assignment (e.g., magazine article, speech, marketing report)
  • the writer's skill, background and experience
  • rights licensed to the client
  • the number of words and/or time the project requires
  • the number of interviews and research needed
  • the types of rights being purchased

PWAC's rate guidelines are based on fee information we have collected from PWAC members across Canada and from various industries that regularly hire writers on a freelance/contract basis.

PWAC's information reveals large pay variations between markets and locations. For instance, writers tend to earn more in large cities than in other areas of the country. There are also large variations between writers: a very experienced, established writer can charge more for her work than someone just starting out. Therefore, the rates below are general guidelines only. You'll need to negotiate the exact fee depending on the particulars of the assignment.

Advertising Material

Copy/Scripts/News Releases
$350 to $500 per page
$750 to $1,000 per project for brochures
$75 to $150 per hour

Advertorials (articles commissioned by advertisers)
$0.40 to $2 per word
$100 to $3,000 per article
$40 to $100 per hour

Corporate/Business Writing

Reports/ Marketing Plans/ Technical Writing
$1 to $2 per word
$300 to $12,000 per project
$50 to $125 per hour

Editing

Varies according to publication/project
$30 to $60 per hour
$500 to $20,000 per project

Ghost Writing

Articles
Generally 2-3 times the usual rate

Books
$10,000 to $50,000 flat fee
Entire advance + 50% of royalties

Government Writing

News Releases/Studies/Reports
$1 to $3 per word
$500 to $100,000 per project
$50 to $125 per hour

Newsletters

Writing only; layout extra
$0.30 to $1.50 per word
$400 to $6,000 per issue
$50 to $80 per hour

Newspaper Writing

Large Daily Newspapers
$0.30 to $1.00 per word
$250 to $2,500 per article
$330 to $1,250 per column

Smaller Community Newspapers
$0.10 to $0.50 per word
$75 to $1,000 per article
$75 to $500 per column

Online/Web Site Writing

Varies widely; "business" sites pay higher
$1 to $3 per word
$60 to $100 per hour


Periodical Writing

General Interest/Consumer Magazines
$1.00 to $2 per word
$500 to $10,000 per article
$400 to $1,500 per column

Trade/Special Interest Magazines
$0.30 to $2 per word
$500 to $4,000 per article
$300 to $1,000 per column

Scripts

Radio (highly variable)
$40 to $80 per minute of script

Television (highly variable)
$60 to $130 per minute of script

Speech Writing

$500 to $8,000 per speech
$60 to $130 per hour


Teaching/Instruction

$25 to $80 per hour
$200 to $800 per day


Translation/Adaptation

Literary
$0.10 to $0.20 per word

Other
$0.25 to $0.60 per word
$40 to $80 per hour