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Your Judging Contract

Scott Murkin says that a good contract lets you focus on the job at hand, and that’s true whether you are judging or teaching. Here’s an excerpt from Scott’s On Judging column in the Winter issue of The Professional Quilter.

The quilting world is by and large a friendly place, where most of us know each other, at least by reputation. Traditionally, much business was conducted with a simple handshake agreement, and that still sometimes works to this day, even if the handshake is done over the Internet (an e-shake?).

As the quilting world has grown exponentially the last few years, a contract or letter of agreement laying out the terms that were discussed in that handshake agreement becomes more and more important to protect both parties. A contract can range from a formal document to a simple letter of agreement that lays out the terms that were discussed. At the very least, the contract should be reviewed, signed and dated by both parties. It is a good idea to have a boilerplate template ready on your computer to fill in the blanks and send out. [See Scott’s sample judging contract in PQ and feel free to adapt to your specific needs.]

The basic components of the contract are: the details of what, where and when; the responsibilities of the hiring organization; the responsibilities of the judge; contact information for all parties; and terms of cancellation. The contract begins with the defining of the parties and the basics of what is being agreed to between them. This should include the date, time and location of the judging, the judging system being used (for example elimination vs. point system), any other judges with whom you will be working, the approximate number of entries to be judged and any expectations for feedback or evaluation to the entrants. It also covers handling of fees and expenses. Once the terms are acceptable to all, identical copies of the contract should be signed and dated and kept on file by both parties. With the peace of mind provided by a written agreement, you will be better able to focus on the task at hand – judging the quilts.

You can read all of Scott’s column including his discussion of judging fees in the Winter issue of The Professional Quilter. This is a benefit of membership in the International Association of Professional Quilter. Read about all our benefits here and join today.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.

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