Writing Books/Contracts


Hi Jamie,

I'm writing a fantasy series; my friend is co-authoring. We'd like to make our partnership "official". I've googled "creative writing contracts", etc, but the results are confusing me (I'm no lawyer).

Can we use some kind of "standard" downloadable contract, or should we seek a lawyer's help? We're a little concerned about spending money on legal fees. We believe an agent or publisher may want a fresh contract if--when!--our work is accepted. We'd like to save that money unless absolutely necessary.

PS - my friend lives in the UK. I'm guessing the UK's contract laws differ from US laws. Is this a problem? If so, how can we solve it?

Thanks for your help!


Hi Julie,

Don't hire a lawyer! In fact, don't do anything but write the story! There's no need to do anything else. When the time comes to publish, both of you will sign the publishing contract (provided by the publisher). Once you both sign, the work legally and equally belongs to both of you. I hope this makes sense.


Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jamie Darrach


I can answer just about any question regarding the composition, editing, and publishing procedures for all forms of literature. I will give aspiring authors ample tips on how to strengthen plot, how make story-lines and characters credible, how to improve visual description and dialogue, and how to make works flow easily and naturally. In addition, I can give writers advice on how to adequately edit and revise their works. I have knowledge of the literary market, and can advise writers in which route would be best for their piece, including offer examples of presses and agents who work with manuscripts in the author's category.


I have been writing for eleven years, having completed fourteen novels, several short stories, and countless pieces of poetry. I am experienced in multiple genres. I have worked as a copy-editor and critic for aspiring authors. I have researched the literary market from inside-out, and can provide much information to writers who are seeking advice.

College for BA in English

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.