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Crosswords
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For update information see below and for latest version http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/print.php?section=Crosswords

If you do not believe that crossword compilers do something close to journalism, try solving one of the more imaginative cryptic crosswords when the setter is in a topical mood...

Those who commission crosswords need to know that there is an enormous difference between the cryptic and the quick variety. Consider these two clues:

Setting clues of the first - cryptic - kind so that they are entertaining, challenging but (just) doable by the target audience takes much longer than simple definitions. Rates should be at least twice those for a quick crossword grid of the same size.

Compiling a themed crossword - for example one in which a significant proportion of the answers relate to a client's business or to a special occasion - takes considerably longer again.

Though software is now available to help create the grids and fill in the "lights" or solutions, it cannot help with clue-writing and is not much assistance with creative theming.

Notes on negotiating rates for Crosswords

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for crosswords. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

We would much appreciate hearing from compilers of more rates actually paid. Two tow a Yukon hod (3, 4, 4, 2, 2).

The suggested rates: Crosswords

Cryptic clues using anagrams, abbreviations, hidden words and so on take much longer to create than simple definition-type clues.

Add at least a 50 per cent surcharge for themed crosswords.

Magazines - category: A: large-circulation and glossy mags
15x15 squares and underGBP240.00
Over 15x15 squaresGBP300.00
 
 
Magazines - category: B: smaller consumer mags
Over 15x15 squaresGBP210.00
15x15 squares and underGBP130.00
 
 
Magazines - category: C: larger trade and trade union mags
15x15 squares and underGBP134.00
Over 15x15 squaresGBP214.00
 
 
Magazines - category: D: smaller mags
Over 15x15 squaresGBP140.00
15x15 squares and underGBP125.00
 
 
National newspapers -
Extra large (eg 21x21 squares)GBP500.00
15x15 squares and underGBP160.00
Over 15x15 squaresGBP210.00
 
Public relations - category: High budget
15x15 squares and underGBP215.00
 
 
Public relations - category: Low budget
15x15 squares and underGBP140.00
 
 
Regional newspapers -
15x15 squares and underGBP100.00

Notes: Crosswords / / All

  • Compilers should charge more if they are commissioned by a group of papers and the crossword will be used by several titles.
  • Negotiate a higher fee for crosswords that will be exclusive to one client.
  • Clients who want compilers to provide explanations for readers should negotiate an additional fee, probably by the hour.

Notes: Crosswords / All / All

  • Compilers should charge more if they are commissioned by a group of papers and the crossword will be used by several titles.
  • Negotiate a higher fee for crosswords that will be exclusive to one client.
  • Clients who want compilers to provide explanations for readers should negotiate an additional fee, probably by the hour.
This is updated to 2020-10-31 14:00:00; if you have a printout, check the current version at http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/print.php?section=Crosswords.

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to ffg@londonfreelance.org please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.