reminder, Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE) funding application deadline is Feb 10

Get money for your investigative stories! FIRE – Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors provides freelancers with stipends for investigative work. Applications are due Feb 10. More info below.

Independent reporters are encouraged to apply to a new program, Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE), for support with investigative stories.

FIRE, a collaboration between Project Word and Investigative Reporters and Editors, offers stipends of $2,500 to $5,000, plus a suite of reporting tools. 

Application deadline is Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

To apply, reporters should read the program's Guidelines page before they access the online application.

Project Word
PO Box 311
Great Barrington, MA  01230
(413) 528-6592

A project of Investigative Reporters and Editors

Northern Short Course on visual journalism, February 25-27, NJ

The Northern Short Course is new to me (thanks Will Coley!) but features two workshops with the inimitable Alison McAdam. Definitely worth checking out! (Pay per day or get a discount for all three days.)

The 35th Annual Northern Short Course (NSC) will be held February
25-27, 2016, at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, NJ.

This three-day event is packed with more than two dozen workshops on a
variety of topics relevant to professionals and students in the field
of visual journalism [and 2 audio sessions, see below].

Learn from and network with industry leaders, as they share their work
and discuss what makes them successful.  Choose from a variety of
workshops and lectures on topics such as business practices,
multimedia, lighting, video storytelling and more.  Sign up for
one-on-one portfolio reviews from top photo editors and photographers.
Meet manufacturers and suppliers of photographic equipment, presenting
the latest technology available.  You won’t find a more diverse
conference – there’s something for everyone!


Good video demands good audio. In this session, we’ll listen to a
range of audio and explore – together – how audio storytellers think.
What are the different kinds of sounds you can use in a story? What
are the different ways you can employ narration, interviews, and
natural sound? And ultimately, what kind of sound makes your story
worth listening to (or watching)? Come to this session ready to listen
and talk.

Even when we’re reporting the latest news on NPR, the best audio
stories share qualities of great fiction: There’s suspense, an
unanswered question, or a captivating character. How do you take
information and give it a narrative, using sound? In this session,
we’ll take some raw ideas (hopefully, yours!) and workshop them –
going in search of the possible story structures. You’ll leave this
session with a set of tools to help yourself develop structure in your
own stories.

the Fund for Investigative Journalism is accepting grant applications until Feb 1

More grants! This time from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Details here and below. Deadline Feb 1.


The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is accepting applications for its Monday deadline: February 1, 2016 (5pm Eastern time).

Read the application instructions with care; some have changed. Instructions are available here:

The FIJ Board of Directors looks for stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or abuse of power – in the public and private sectors.

FIJ encourages proposals written for ethnic media and submitted by journalists of color. Grants average $5,000 and cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. FIJ also considers requests for small stipends.


Apply for a Grant


Please read with care; some instructions have changed.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism’s Board of Directors meets three to four times each year to consider grant applications for investigative projects and books.

The deadlines for 2016 are Monday February 1, Monday May 16, and Monday September 26 – all at 5pm Eastern Time.

Be advised: save a back-up copy of all your application materials and send a message to requesting an email confirmation even if a confirmation message appears on screen.

The Board of Directors looks for:  stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or misuse of power – in the public and private sectors.

The Fund encourages proposals written for ethnic media and submitted by journalists of color. Grants average $5,000 and cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends.

It is Fund policy to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants, with the second half of the grant paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. Second half grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion.

The Fund accepts applications for projects on domestic and international issues. All application documents must be written in English and budgets expressed in U.S. dollars.

International reporting: The Fund gives a very strong preference to US based reporters or to stories with a strong US angle, either involving US citizens, government, or businesses. All stories must be published in English – either by an English language publication or outlet, or by an outlet that has an affiliation with an English language site.

Disclaimer of Liability: The Fund for Investigative Journalism’s role in assisting journalists is limited to making grants. The Fund assumes no liability for the legal and/or safety risks undertaken by journalists in the course of their reporting.

Mentors: In partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists, mentors are recruited for successful grantees, upon request. Mentors act as sounding boards, and work with grantees over the length of their projects. Mentoring grantees is an important part of the Fund’s program to support independent journalists.

Application Process: The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) accepts online applications, using the form to the right. Before uploading name each attachment: Proposal, Budget, Resume, Writing Sample-1, Writing Sample-2, Letter-of-Commitment.

Attachment size limit: Maximum combined size for the six attachments is 10 MB. If you try to upload larger files, your application may disappear. If you need to send large attachments, email to make other arrangements.

Proposal: For the first page of the proposal, provide answers to the questions below.  Applications without complete answers will not be reviewed.





In 125 words or less, summarize your idea for the story, project, or book, explaining the point of the investigation and/or what you are trying to prove:

News outlet or book publisher:

If writing for a news outlet, are you a freelancer or are you on staff?

Name of person signing letter of commitment or book contract:

Contact information for person signing letter of commitment or book contract:

Size of audience or readership (circulation or web traffic):

(Book authors can leave the audience/readership question blank.)

Grant Amount Requested:

Anticipated completion date (within one year).

If more time is needed, please explain:

Has the applicant received a grant from the Fund previously? If so, was it successfully completed?

Is the applicant an advocate for this topic?

How did you hear of the Fund?

List three references with contact information.

Has the applicant or his/her reporting partners for this project been found guilty or liable in any court proceedings, lost any professional license, or been expelled from any professional organization? If so, explain:

Will the news outlet acknowledge the Fund for Investigative Journalism?

Proposal narrative: Follow the above question and answer section with a proposal narrative of no more than three pages. The body of the proposal should explain why you consider the story to be investigative in nature, what is new, how you plan to go about conducting the investigation, and the potential for impact.

If the subject matter has been covered previously, be sure to explain how the proposed investigation would significantly advance the story.

Resume (CV): Three pages maximum.

Budget: Provide an itemized budget of expenses, other revenue sources, and the amount being requested. Refer to this sample budget when formatting the request.

Writing Samples: One or two examples of previously published (or aired) work. For book authors, a sample chapter may be submitted. Writing samples may be in any medium (print, audio, video.)

Letter of commitment: The applicant needs to provide a letter signed by a news executive committing to publish the story, as long as it is completed as proposed and meets the news outlet’s journalistic standards. The letter must make specific reference to the story proposed. A general reference letter or expression of interest in publishing the reporter’s work does not suffice. For book authors, a signed book contract serves as the letter of commitment. A letter of commitment is a non-negotiable requirement.

The Online Form: If you do not fill in a required field, you will be taken to an error page and may need to start over. Press the back button on your browser to go back to the form with your field values remembered; note however some browsers do not support this function. Pressing the “go back to form” link will take you to an empty form.

Questions: Executive Director Sandy Bergo welcomes questions about the application process and requirements by email,, or phone, 202-662-7564.

Review: The Board of Directors reviews and votes on all eligible proposals. Approximately six weeks after the application deadline has passed, applicants will be notified by email of the board’s decision.

CONFIRMATION: Once you have submitted the application, send an email requesting confirmation. Do not rely on the popup message. If you have trouble using the online form, email

Between grant cycles: Potential alternative funding sources are The George Polk Grants for Investigative Reporting,, The Investigative Fund,, the Pulitzer Center, The Society of Environmental Journalists, Contact each organization directly.

Sandy Bergo
Executive Director
Fund for Investigative Journalism
529 14th Street NW – 13th floor
Washington DC 20045
Selected for the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington

Latino USA Call for Pitches

Here's the latest call for pitches from the fine folks at Latino USA.

Latino USA is looking for story ideas for the show themes listed below. You can submit pitches to this link:
If you’re pitching for the first time, please include some information about your background and links to a couple of samples of your audio work.
Pitch meetings take place on Friday afternoons, and we try to reply to reporters early the following week.
Thank you!
Leda Hartman
Editor, NPR’s Latino USA

THE TRUMP EFFECT – 2/19/2016
The rise of leading Republican candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has coincided with an increase in anti-immigrant and anti “other” rhetoric across the country. We’d like to look at local or statewide political races where that rhetoric and/or xenophobia might be at play. These stories can include not just Latinos, but people from groups being targeted by this kind rhetoric, including Muslims. We’re also seeking stories about Latinos who have become more motivated to vote because a Trump candidacy scares them. And Latinos who are not just Trump supporters, but are working to get people to vote for him.

Stories from the bloody history of the Southwestern US, from Texas to New Mexico to California. After the Mexican-American war ended in 1848, the Southwest went through a process of conversion from Mexican to US territory. We're interested in stories of lynchings, discrimination, segregation, ethnic cleansing and rebellion from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

We want to tell the (mostly untold) stories of Latino contributions to rock 'n' roll. The history is generally seen in terms of white and black, but Latinos have been there throughout, as stars, sidemen, label execs and fans. Looking specifically for offbeat, surprising stories about Latinos in rock with a strong arc, rather than artist profiles.

Latino USA often focuses on immigration to the US from Latin America, but this is just a piece of a larger global phenomenon. We’re looking for stories that help explain how and why people are moving from one part of planet Earth to another—with a particular emphasis on how issues like war, climate change and the economy are all factors.

MARIJUANA – 4/15/2016
As the nation inches slowly toward marijuana legalization, this show will look at the ways in which the drug itself, the drug market, and enforcement approaches like harsh sentencing and stop-and-frisk are affecting Latino communities. But we also want to explore how legalizing the drug can both help and hurt communities of color. Who really stands to benefit from marijuana legalization, and who stands to lose? And what will happen to the people locked up for crimes that might no longer be crimes in the near future?

CRYING – 4/22/2016
From Soap Opera memes to La Llorona, tears play an interesting role in Latino culture. Latino USA will dive into the cultural history and science of crying and try to answer the question: Do Latinos cry more? We are looking for personal stories about crying and other ideas the topic may spark.

BOYS, MEN, MACHISMO – 6/17/2016
From how young boys are doing in school, to how ideas of masculinity affect dating and job prospects.

SOCCER/FUTBOL – 6/24/2016
With the U.S. hosting the Copa América Centenario this summer, we’re focusing on “the beautiful game” and the hold it has on the American continent—let alone the world. We’re looking for stories of rabid fandom, split allegiance, and the ways in which a love of soccer has changed people’s lives for better or worse. Of interest to us is also soccer’s growing popularity in the US and what contributions our country’s growing Latino community has brought to the sport, and vice versa.

CARS – 7/22/2016
We’re looking at the history of low riders, the consequences of being undocumented and ineligible for a driver's license, and life at a car dealership in New York. Bring us cool stories about cars!

BRAZIL – 8/12/2016
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and one of the world's biggest economies. But for nearly 400,000 Brazilian-Americans, there's a nagging question: Do we count as Latinos? For this episode, we’re seeking stories about Brazil and how Brazilians fit into the American tapestry. Personal narratives and pieces about identity, culture, politics and family histories are welcome. We're open to all kinds of pitches for this one, surprise us!

COLLEGE – 9/9/2016
Stories that show the experience of Latinos on college campuses.

For much of the latter 20th century, the US Central Intelligence Agency played an active role in Latin American politics, toppling governments and installing others at it saw fit. In this history show, we visit some of the most outlandish chapters in the CIA's Latin America histories, from explosive cigars to covert infiltration of the Cuban hip-hop scene. Pitch us one we haven't heard about yet, or a fresh angle about a famous one.

POLITICS (ongoing throughout the year)
We’re looking for many stories in the lead-up to the election, including pieces about first-time voters, demographic shifts, and places where voting laws could have a big impact on Latino turnout. We’d also like stories about local races that highlight issues at play in the larger election. We do NOT want stories that are just about the horse race or simply tell us that a non-profit group is trying to get out the vote. We’re looking for pieces that show the human side of the election, with interesting characters that reflect why people vote the way they do and what various campaign positions could mean for ordinary people. We’re especially looking for under-reported stories from the Midwest and the South.

Apply Now for IRP’s Next Trip – Southern Africa – deadline Feb 16

IRP's next reporting trip is to South Africa! Details HERE and below. Application deadline Feb 16. -Mia


Apply for Reporting Trip to Southern Africa by February 16!

The International Reporting Project (IRP) is pleased to announce a group reporting trip focusing on health and development issues in southern Africa from May 7-21, 2016.

Southern Africa 2016


January 21, 2016

South Africa, one of the continent’s largest nations, with a population of 55 million, and its less populous neighbors face challenges both similar and diverging in their health systems. The region grapples with extraordinarily high rates of HIV, often exacerbated by co-infections of tuberculosis or malaria. Neglected tropical disease response is jeopardized by lagging funding. Water and sanitation shortcomings continue to play an important role, especially in light of the drought and effects of El Niño expected to worsen in coming months.

In this context, IRP fellows to southern Africa will explore emerging research to develop new health and development tools, and the challenges of bringing them to scale. How does promising research in these fields lead to on-the-ground delivery that improves people’s lives? This is a particularly relevant question in South Africa, home to numerous globally recognized research institutions.

In July 2016 in Durban, a two-day TB conference followed by the world HIV/AIDS conference will put the spotlight once again on the continued challenges presented by efforts to stem these diseases.

Fellows on the two-week reporting trip will look at these issues and many more in South Africa, with a few days spent in one of its neighboring countries. We will meet with key government leaders, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, members of the scientific and business communities, religious and media leaders, and others.

How to Apply

For this trip, we are accepting applications only from citizens or residents of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The southern Africa trip is open to innovative journalists, bloggers, influential social media practitioners, and other media professionals. This trip is not open to students.

All candidates must complete an application form and provide a detailed essay of at least 800 words describing the types of stories they might pursue and which outlets will publish their work.

This is a working trip, and participants will produce stories such as articles, slideshows, video, audio, blog posts, infographics, social media posts and more.

More Details

The IRP will purchase the fellows’ round-trip air tickets to southern Africa and will pay for visas, hotel costs, local transportation and several meals. Fellows who wish to extend their stay after the fellowship will have the option to arrange that at their own expense.

All fellows on the trip are required to participate in the sessions arranged for the group program. Much of the value of a group reporting trip comes from both meetings that IRP arranges and the interactions the fellows have with each other. Some independent reporting time will be included in the schedule. However, if you prefer to have more flexibility in your reporting schedule, we strongly encourage you to extend your trip or to apply for our individual reporting fellowships.

All of the stories will be republished on the IRP site and co-owned by the fellow (or his/her distribution partners, depending on arrangements) and the IRP. In addition, the work produced as a result of the trip may be posted, with permission of the fellow, on the social media channels of the IRP funders. This trip is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read our frequently asked questions and apply for the trip by midnight (EST) on February 16, 2016!

the amazing Snap Judgment is hiring a FT producer

Hey fine freelancers. I don't normally post full-time gigs, but Snap has been a friend of Freelance Cafe for a good long time and they need YOU! They're hiring a producer. Go work with some amazing people on an amazing show in an amazing city. Details here: and below.


Snap Judgment is a nationally broadcast radio / podcast distributed by NPR and WNYC. Snap Judgment's intimate, first-person storytelling explores human experience on the cutting edge of culture, race, gender, and sexuality.

Applicants must be comfortable working with people from a variety of backgrounds that may not have traditionally had voice on public media.

Job Description

The Snap Judgment producer will create stories from start to finish on a tight deadline, beginning with finding stories, pitching them to the team, and then interviewing, gathering sound, editing, scoring and providing sound design. 

Producers are expected to produce two amazing stories a month. The producer will also provide extensive editing and assistance for other producers on the team, attend regular meetings, develop episode themes, assist with live stage shows, and help to meet various ongoing demands around the office.

This position is located beautiful downtown Oakland, California. No telecommuting.


Quite simply, we are looking for an amazing someone:

Be able to work with Team Snap to create compelling cinematic radio.

Story first. Story first. Story first. We will test applicants on their ability to tell a story. Quickly.

Public Radio experience is highly desirable.

Technically proficient in Pro Tools / Logic.

Skilled in field recording.

Able to effortlessly juggle many conflicting duties with rigorous deadlines.

Skilled in interviewing both regular people and irregular artists and construct their stories into compelling narratives under a deadline. Project management skills an absolute must.

Able to proactively find / create / develop / write compelling stories.

Able to work in a group editing process where every aspect of the story is placed under scrutiny and then be able to incorporate those edits in your stories.

Supportive of your fellow producers.

Strong writing style with good grammar and spelling.

A sense of humor and the ability to deal well with others.

Ready to help out with anything and everything that needs to get done.

Further qualifications include:

Rigorous storytelling background. This could mean an MFA program, independent filmmaker, radio producer, several years writing for a children's show, audio artist, speechwriter, novelist, animator, theater producer, newspaper reporter, fiction editor, etc . . .

Used to working in a Mac environment. Familiarity with Logic, ProTools, Audacity, etc. You need to be able to build broadcast-quality stories.

Resourceful. Used to making the magic happen routinely with minimal resources, and little oversight. 


To Apply

Before applying, please go to and listen to a show (or two or three).

If you absolutely LOVE this type of storytelling, please email a cover letter, resume, salary requirements in PDF format, and links to 2 – 3 projects for which you had primary responsibility to "Jobs at" with the subject line PRODUCER APPLICATION. E-mail ONLY please!

Tell us about a story you liked, and also let us know about one you think we could have done a better job on.

The deadline for applications is February 1st, 2016. 

Women and minorities strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary commensurate with experience.

Peace and soul! We can't WAIT to hear from you . . .

Announcing the Missouri Review’s 9th Annual Miller Audio Prize, deadline March 15

The Missouri Review wants your submissions for their annual audio competition. CASH prizes! Details below. Deadline March 15. -Mia

We at The Missouri Review, a multi-media literary journal, are excited to announce that our 2016 Miller Audio Competition is underway, and we would love to receive work from the members of your organization. We will accept entries both via mail and online. Prizes will be awarded for high-quality recordings of poets and writers reading their work for Poetry, Prose, Audio Documentary, and Humor categories.

More than slick production or fancy bells and whistles, we are looking for good, exciting, and compelling writing for all four of our categories.

The winner of each of the four categories receives $1,000. Winning entries and runners-up will be featured on our podcast. All entrants receive a one-year, digital subscription to The Missouri Review.

Our guest contest judge this year is Andrea Silenzi, who is the Senior Producer of The Gist with Mike Pesca, a daily news show from Slate. She also hosts the podcast Why Oh Why, a show about relationships. Her work has aired on Serendipity, The Organist from the Believer Magazine, BBC4, StoryCorps, PRI's Studio 360, WNYC News, Re:Sound, APM's Performance Today, Saltcast, and on Too Much Information with Benjamen Walker. She holds the world record for most guests booked for an hour-long radio show, and that's 67.

We are also excited to once again offer pay-by-donation entry fees! Now you decide what you will pay to enter the competition. (Previously, entry to the Miller Audio Contest cost $20). All contributions go directly towards supporting the continued production of The Missouri Review, its awards, and related programs.

Deadline: March 15th, 2016

For full details and to download an entry form, please see our website:

Please pass this along to anyone you know who may be interested!

Thanks very much in advance for helping to get the word out, and we hope to listen to your work soon!

Best regards,

Anne Barngrover

Contest Editor
The Missouri Review
357 McReynolds Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

new online tax guide for freelancers

Hey folks. It's tax time and someone brought my attention to this online resource. Check it out for what it's worth! -Mia
The Freelancer's Essential Guide to Business and Taxes

Who Should Use
This Guide?

Because the Gig Economy now occupies up to 40% of the workforce, anyone can utilize it if they either want to know more about the changing economic dynamics of freelancing or how to become a more successful freelancer. Whether you are an Uber driver, a newly minted PhD, a career consultant, a salaried professional, or simply between full-time jobs, this guide will serve as a helping hand while you navigate or start your career in the freelance world.

Why Use
This Guide?

The inexorable headwind that all freelancers face is instability. Working as an independent contractor on part-time projects or as a full-time freelancer for a Gig Economy startup will always carry a consistent level of risk of your next paycheck being smaller than the previous one. Therefore, this guide is here to provide a concise, yet comprehensive reality check, so that you are fully prepared to protect, build upon and succeed in this new freelance-centric economy.

This guide is educational, inspirational and practical. It will teach you why the freelance economy is growing and how, as a freelancer, you can take advantage of that growth. Additionally, it provides multiple examples of freelance success stories, ranging from the world of journalism to startups. Most importantly, the guide concludes with a step-by-step tutorial to tax season for freelancers, helping you protect what you have earned over the course of a year.

How To Use
This Guide?

We formulated this guide to work for all categories of workers and freelancers.

For new freelancers, we propose you read the guide from beginning to end, in order to completely understand the framework of the Gig Economy and how you can carve out a workable space for yourself as a freelancer.

For seasoned freelancers, while we think it is certainly beneficial to be familiar with the macroeconomic, business and organizational architecture of the freelance economy, feel free to scroll down to the sections on which you need more information, maybe sections specific to your type of freelance work (e.g. academia). Maybe you just want to check out our tax tips and tax templates. We encourage you to jump around as you wish!

Call for Entries for Rough Cuts in March, San Francisco, deadline Feb 12

Announcing a Call for Entries for Rough Cuts in March!


Deadline is Friday, February 12th

Rough Cuts is currently seeking documentaries in post for our next event on Tuesday, March 8th at KQED in San Francisco.

We are seeking long-form works with a final running time of 40 minutes or longer. Principal photography should have been completed, and we encourage filmmakers to submit cuts that are in the later stages of post-production (i.e. NOT first or second cuts).


Also, filmmakers who submit are eligible for FINE CUTSour editorial consultation program now in its second year.

To submit, visit:


And for more details about Rough Cuts and our programs, visit:


Rough Cuts is a series of work-in-progress documentary screenings that are produced every other month at various locations throughout San Francisco. For each evening, we screen one rough cut of a long-form documentary and then moderate a conversation about the film. These post-screening discussions are designed to give the filmmaker a better, more objective sense of what is working and not working with his/her film, with particular attention paid to improving the film’s structure and narrative clarity. We hope that the series also provides a welcome space for local filmmakers, film professionals, and fans of documentary film to meet, talk and catch up.

2016 IFP Filmmaker Labs for first-time feature filmmakers, deadline March 1

See here and below for info on the IFP Filmmaker labs. I don't have direct experience with this, but if any of you do and want to share, shoot me an email or post on the FC facebook page.


Application for the 2016 IFP Filmmaker Labs are now open! Deadline to apply: March 1st

To apply for the Documentary Lab,click here.

To apply for the Narrative Lab, click here.

The Labs are presented with the generous support of the

20121203-Foundation-Award_header (1)

About the Program

IFP’s unique year-long mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most:  through the completion, marketing and distribution of their films.  Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.

Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production.

The IFP Screen Forward Labs, a yearlong program and incubator for the creators of serialized projects that push storytelling forward! For more information, click here.

2016 Program Dates 

Application Deadline: March 1st

Time Warner Foundation Completion Lab
 May 9 -13, 2016
Narrative: May 23 – 27, 2016
Independent Film Week: September 17  – 22, 2016
Distribution Lab: November 2016

To keep up to date, follow IFP: on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Youtube.