Category Archives: Freelance Cafe West

deadline for the Sarah Awards very, very, short, short stories contest is tonight!

Hey creative people! You have until tonight to submit your entries for the Sarah Awards Very, Very, Short, Short Stories contest. Details HERE and below!


Welcome to the the 2016 Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Contest! We're excited to announce that this year we are partnering with the inestimable podcast, KCRW's The Organist. This year's winners will be featured in the forthcoming season of The Organist. Winners will also receive a free artistic interpretation of their work from artist Cal Tabuena-Frolli, a copy of Hindenburg Journalist Pro and $200. Deadline is Monday, November 21st at midnight EST. 
(Note: Pieces MUST be between 1-3 minutes long.)


You have three rules to follow, all thought up by members of the Sarah Lawrence College writing department faculty. They include: dialogue that must be used in the story, a sound that must be used in the story, and a narrative constraint that must be used in the story. Choose ONE author for each entry. (However you can enter as many times as you wish).


  • Dialogue: "It's a strange kind of justice."
  • Sound: Whispering
  • Narrative: Include the color green.


  • Dialogue: "The dog you know you are has mange."
  • Sound: A stomach growling
  • Narrative: A woman opens a high-end shoe store in a town with 80% unemployment.


  • Dialogue: "Do one thing for a person, and he think he owes you; do everything for a person, and he thinks you owe him."
  • Sound: Cicadas whirring
  • Narrative: The action takes place during the hottest summer on record.


  • Dialogue: "But I got lost in the graveyard."
  • Sound: A baby crying.
  • Narrative: The setting must be a locale where either salt or sugar is produced.


  • Dialogue: "The animals kept arriving."
  • Sound: Knives being sharpened.
  • Narrative: Someone dies from suffocation.

And More Rules…

  • Stories must be between 1-3 minutes.
  • Stories must be uploaded as either an MP3 or a .Wav file.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, however, each story must have the elements from one author–no mixing and matching.
  • Stories must include all three elements to be considered as a winner.
  • We welcome entries from around the world! However, entries not in English will need a transcript.
  • You can work as a team, however, we can only offer 1 piece of artwork and 1 copy of Hindenburg Pro to the winners.
  • Deadline is Monday, November 21, 2016 at midnight EST.
  • If you have any questions, please email:

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2016 ShortDocs Challenge – Radio Cinema – from Third Coast, deadline May 17

This is probably my favorite competition out there – the Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge. And this year's theme is so much fun – finding inspiration from mini-movies! Details are below – deadline is May 17. GO FOR IT!


The 2016 ShortDocs Challenge: Radio Cinema is live live live. 

This year’s Challenge is all about getting inspired by conventions of film. Let's show the world that RADIO really is the most visual of mediums.

Our artistic partner is Manual Cinema, an amazing film-inspired collective based in Chicago (you mighta seen them at Pop-Up Magazine last year.) Rule #1 of the Radio Cinema Challenge? Get inspired by one of their made-just-for-ShortDocs mini-movies

A couple of cool things about this year's ShortDocs Challenge:

1. ALL the submissions go up on our website (like always!) 

2. A winning piece will be chosen by Manual Cinema & turned into a live-on-stage cinematic performance.

3. Four ShortDocs winners will receive gratis registration to the 2016 Third Coast Conference (Nov 11-13) & other perks galore. 

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UnionDocs Documentary Intensive programs, application deadline April 1

And more fellowships!! These at UnionDocs. I'm a fan. Application deadline April 1.

Applications are open for some cool opportunities at UnionDocs documentary center in Williamsburg. Deadline for the summer intensive program is April 1st!
  • CoLAB is a 10 month fellowship for multidisciplinary non-fiction focused on artist development and the creation of short projects working in a group.
  • SDI is a 5 week workshop for filmmakers with feature docs in early development that pushes projects towards full production on every axis, practical to creative.
I was in the CoLAB several years ago, and can't recommend it enough. I connected with some amazing people and collaborators as a result. It's the place to be to explore the cutting edge in nonfiction storytelling. They usually select groups of people with very diverse backgrounds in art and different types of media, so it's a unique place to explore intersections of radio, film, visual art, and storytelling forms of all types. 
Check 'em out! 

The Collaborative Studio is a 10-month program for a select group of 12-14 media artists from the US and abroad who come from different backgrounds and different levels of experience (photography, visual arts, radio, human rights, journalism and more traditional forms of documentary). The program offers a platform for exploring contemporary approaches to the documentary and non-fiction arts, and consists of weekly production meetings, seminars, masterclasses and critiques with visiting artists. The main goal is the development of a collection of original short creative documentaries on a shared theme.

The UnionDocs Summer Documentary Intensive is a 5-week program for a select group of emerging filmmakers from the US and abroad. Based in one of NYC’s most exciting neighborhoods, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the program explores contemporary approaches to documentary film, offers a stronger understanding of the best practices and business of production, and helps to develop the foundation of your independent project. The program consists of screenings, seminar discussions, professional development sessions, critique, mentorship, many guest artist and industry professionals master classes and weekly visits to relevant sites around New York City.

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US-Japan Journalism Fellowship in Japan, application deadline April 15

Another exciting fellowship opportunity – travel to Japan! Deadline April 15.

Apply for the 2016 US-Japan Journalism Fellowship in Japan 
Deadline: April 15, 2016
The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) is now accepting applications for its 2016 US-Japan Journalism Fellowship, which will provide four American journalists with the opportunity to visit Japan from June 18, 2016, for a 2~3 week program of group meetings and customized individual interviews and site visits. 
This competitive program exposes the participants to key leaders, policymakers, and innovators at the center of the policy debates shaping US-Japan relations, Japanese society, and the future of Asia. The program aims to develop a cadre of journalists who have a sophisticated understanding of the complex dynamics of US-Japan relations and, more broadly, the US role in Asia. 
Please feel free to circulate this information among your networks and encourage interested candidates to apply. You can visit our website for more information on the program, directions on how to apply, and the application form. Those interested in applying are encouraged to contact Ms. Kaede Kawauchi < or (212) 679-4130 > in advance. 

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Ida B. Wells Fellowship for investigative reporters of color, deadline April 18

Exciting opportunity for journalists of color. Spread the word! Deadline April 18.

The goal of the Ida B. Wells Fellowship is to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of investigative reporters of color. The one-year fellowship will provide four emerging reporters with the opportunity to complete their first substantial piece of investigative reporting. 
Here is a link for more information:

Application d



 April 18, 2016.

The Ida B. Wells Fellowship will award each winner a $10,000 stipend plus funds to cover out-of-pocket reporting costs. The fellows will also receive extensive editorial feedback, legal counsel, research resources, assistance with story placement and publicity, training at the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, and journalism mentoring.

Journalists of color are strongly encouraged to apply to the fellowship, as are other reporters who believe their presence would contribute substantially to diversifying investigative reporting in other ways.

The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute incubates and supports important investigative stories with the potential for social impact. By providing reporters with editorial guidance, institutional support, and financial support, The Investigative Fund has produced stories that have sparked federal indictments, lawsuits, Congressional investigations, legislation, and the resignation of public officials. Our investigations have appeared in a wide array of outlets, including NPR and PBS as well as The Nation, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Cosmo, Slate, and GQ. Our stories have also won some of journalism’s top awards, including the Polk, the National Magazine Award, and the Emmy. 

And more from Poynter:

The Nation Institute's Investigative Fund has launched an investigative fellowship for journalists of color. The one-year Ida B. Wells Fellowship will go to four journalists and offer $10,000 each, travel and reporting costs and the chance to work with an Investigative Fund editor.

The fellowship is named after Ida B. Wells, a Jim Crow era investigative journalist. The fellowship seeks to bring more reporters of color into investigative journalism and newsrooms, which continue to be largely white and male. (You can explore what those numbers look like here.)

The Ida B. Wells Fellowship addresses these imbalances by identifying promising reporters of color, and other reporters from diverse backgrounds, who could benefit from editorial support and mentorship and who have the potential to help diversify the field.

Applications are due by April 18.

In 2014, BuzzFeed created a fellowship with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for investigative journalists of color. The first recipient, Melissa Segura, is now part of BuzzFeed's investigative team. Poynter has written about that team and about Fusion, which has built a diverse and young investigative team.

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upcoming workshops from CUNY’s new continuing ed program, CUNY J+

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism recently announced a new continuing ed program to teach digital skills to working journalists, freelancers, photographers, video journalists, and others. While I'm not involved in this particular program, I do teach at the j-school and can vouch for their excellent staff, resources, and overall community. Info about their workshops in the link and pasted below. Some discounts available. 



Mashable's Stacy Martinet leads a workshop for The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism's new CUNY J+ program of continuing education for journalists. Martinet discussed Snapchat, how it's being used by Mashable and its use for media organizations, at the CUNY J School on Wednesday, December 16, 2015. Photo by Skyler Reid.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is proud to launch CUNY J+, a series of affordable and convenient workshops to upgrade your toolkit with the digital skills of tomorrow. CUNY J+ is for working journalists, freelancers, photographers, video journalists, and other communicators who want to advance in their careers, change jobs or simply tell engaging, impactful stories in today’s media overload.

Check out here whether you are eligible for a discount!

CUNY J+ also offers custom training to newsrooms and organizations on site or at the school.Learn about what CUNY J+ can do for your team.

Below is our lineup for 2016. All workshops will be held at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 219 W. 40th Street in New York. Map


noun_10681Intro to Adobe Premiere Pro CC

This five-week, hands-on module is for anyone interested in learning professional video editing for storytelling. You will learn the principles of non-linear editing, how to use the interface and features of Adobe Premiere and how to plot and edit a sequence. Feb. 24, March 2, 9, 16, 23; 6:30 to 9 p.m. $250 Learn more.

noun_781Intro to Food Writing & Photography
Food journalism at its best is more than mouthwatering; it inspires us and brings us closer together. No wonder food is one of the most popular subjects for blogs, articles and books. This one-day workshop teaches food writing and food photography. March 19; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $249 Learn more.

noun_15342Video for Social Media with Bob Sacha

Video is a powerful engagement tool. Marketing research shows that including visuals with your social media posts increases engagement by 180%. This two-hour evening workshop will go over ways to enhance your social media output with better videos. March 30; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $25 Learn more.

noun_781Visual Storytelling: Seeing the World in a New Way with Maggie Steber

Throughout this weeklong master class, renown documentary photographer Maggie Steber will encourage you to take visual risks, recognize threads that run through your work and bring it all together in ways you had not thought about before. By application. April 4-8. $1,200 Learn more.


sensor ICONSensor Reporting for the Environment with John Keefe

Environmental reporting is becoming more and more important and sensors will be at the center of it to help journalists and activists gather data where data doesn’t exist -on global warming, water pollution and more. Join John Keefe, a pioneer in sensor journalism, to play with technology and explore journalistic applications. April 13; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. $25 Learn more.

noun_15342Video Storytelling for the Web with Bob Sacha

Over two weekends, this workshop concentrates on video storytelling for the web, focusing on non-narrated stories of compelling characters and short, sharply focused pieces targeted for online viewing. Students will leave the class with well-practiced new skills and a 1-minute edited video around an “object of meaning.” April 23-24, and April 30-May 1; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $599 Learn more.

noun_15342iPhone Video with Bob Sacha

This 4-hour, Saturday morning course will help you enhance your work or hobby with better smart phone videos. We will go over some tips, shoot some footage and review it. Videojournalist Bob Sacha has taught this popular class many times, to students and reporters from the worlds largest metro dailies. April 16; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $199 Learn more.

noun_17890Online Security Install Party with Mike Tigas

Bring your laptop and smart phone with you and together, we will install basic encryption for your email, chats and texts. You can never be 100% secure but ProPublica’s Mike Tigas can show you how to take real steps to protect yourself, your colleagues and your sources. May 11; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $25 Learn more.

noun_781Smart Phone Photography
Images produced with today’s smart phones now have sufficient quality to be published on all media platforms from digital to print. This Saturday morning workshop will help you enhance your work or hobby with better smart phone pictures. May 14; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. $199 Learn more.

noun_106529Data Storytelling and Visualization with Sandeep Junarkar
This 5-week course will teach you how to gather and analyze data to find stories and to visualize them as interactive narratives. This fast-growing discipline is at the crossroads of storytelling, statistical analysis and interactive design. June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; 6:30 to 9 p.m. $499 Learn more.

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Sound Walks – Stories Taking Place – 3 day seminar, Uniondocs, Brooklyn, April 22-24

Want to learn how to make brilliant audio tours? Attend this 3-day workshop on audio walks and site-specific storytelling. Uniondocs, April 22-24th.

Sound Walks – Stories Taking Place
An intensive 3-day seminar.

Technological developments have sparked a new generation of creative sonic experiences and uncommon tours through site-specific audio programs that are easily downloadable on mobile devices: a recorded and intimate voice guides an individual in a place and plays with the body, the imagination, the memory and the surroundings.

This seminar has been specially designed to teach and encourage audio producers and creative writers to reimagine the city, foster their creativity and sharpen their writing skills. To produce a successful site-specific audio program many skills are required, from research and journalism to sound storytelling to app designing, in addition to a considerable dose of observation, creativity and writing.

Produced by UnionDocs in partnership with Mathilde Walker-Billaud and Pejk Malinovski, the seminar will go into the various creative practices of site-specific audio walks and interventions. It will offer technical tools and skill sets for navigating through this medium and finding your own path in this emergent art.

Over the course of three days, 10 to 14 participants will learn from a team of seasoned guest speakers and practitioners — radio auteurs & producers, performance artists, writers, entrepreneurs, documentarists. The seminar will explore site-specific storytelling, sound design, audience engagement, instruction-based practice and more. Workshops, discussions, exercises, walks in the city (field trips) and a work-in-progress critique will help put this new knowledge into practice.

Pejk Malinovski, radio producer and poet, will lead the seminar as main instructor.



When: Friday, April 22th. – Sunday, 24th – 10am-5pm

Where: UnionDocs, 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Who is eligible?
Open to everyone. We are looking for radio producers, media & sound artists, app designers and writers interested in places, audio practice and writing.
Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience in audio practice and a project idea (if you have one), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required.
Please note: Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Focus is on discussions, observation, imagination and writing. The goal is to develop your project conceptually.

$385 early bird registration by March 29th.
$450 regular
Please note that the service charge (about 3% of the amount) is waived if payment is made via check.
Checks can be made out to UnionDocs and mailed to 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211.

Technology Requirements:
In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a b-y-o-m, bring your own material (laptop, headphones, recorder). Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.


(subject to change)

Day 1: Site-specific storytelling
Am: Pejk Malinovski
Pm: Alexandra Horowitz

The first day of the seminar looks in-depth at the ways we can tell stories about neighborhoods and places. It will include one field trip.

Day 2 : On-location participatory projects
Am: Todd Shalom

The second day of the intensive focuses on writing and producing participatory projects in a specific site. It will include one field trip.

Day 3 : The listener’s experience
Guest Instructor: Kara Oehler

The third day explores the multiple ways to build an audio itinerary and the possible tools to interact with the walker/listener. The afternoon will focus on students’ projects (work-in-progress critiques)

Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:
10:00a Warm up, inspiring references, listening exercises, ear training.
10:30a Presentation
11:45a Discussion
12:30p Share / Discussion / Exercise
1:00p Lunch (on your own)
2:00p Presentation
3:15p Discussion
4:00p Workshop Exercise
5:00p End

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Call for Applications – KALW Audio Academy 2016-17, deadline March 31

Hey folks. Grab this opportunity to learn from the magic makers at KALW. They're looking for applicants for the next class of the Audio Academy, a 9-month radio journalism training program (Sep 2016-June 2017). Deadline to apply is March 31. 

Application guidelines here and below:


Enrollment now open for the KALW Audio Academy!

KALW is calling for applicants for our 9-month radio journalism training program based at KALW public radio, an NPR and BBC affiliate station in San Francisco. This program is designed to give you a professional audio production education, tuition-free.

We’re looking for creative thinkers who are great writers and storytellers with a passion for covering diverse communities and some knowledge of the Bay Area.

Audio Academy participants will be trained to produce feature reports for KALW’s award-winning daily news program Crosscurrents. Your voice and your work will be broadcast on KALW during your time in the Audio Academy.

Training will include:

Working closely with reporters on developing stories, producing original feature stories for broadcast, interviewing potential guests/sources, researching topics, fact-checking, script writing, recording sound for pieces in the field, and learning story structure, voicing, digital production, engineering, and sound design. You will be responsible for minor administrative and production duties. You will also pitch and produce an entire Crosscurrents episode. The training will take place inside the collaborative and supportive community of the KALW newsroom. Our editors and engineers, along with other public media producers, will lead workshops on every aspect of production specifically for the Audio Academy. Previous featured speakers have included: Al Letson, Glynn Washington, Roman Mars, Hansi Lo Wang, Susanne Reber, Daniel Alarcón, Marianne McCune, and Jason DeRose.

Selected participants will make a 9-month commitment from September 2016 to June 2017: minimum 20 hours per week (one eight-hour shift at our studios and another 12 hours working in the field). The Academy includes a two-week break in late December and two flexible vacation weeks. Enrollment in a college or university is not necessary to participate.

To apply please put together a cover letter, CV, any audio/writing samples, and if you like, a short, original audio work that you craft for your application. Send it all to:

Application deadline: March 31, 2016, 11:59 PT

We look forward to meeting you!

KALW encourages a diverse pool of applicants from a variety of backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We value diversity.

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Seeking translated plays for a radio play contest, deadline June 1

Interesting opportunity for you international playwrights/translators! Plays must be adapted for radio. Deadline June 1. -Mia


Play for Voices
Words without Borders Are Holding a Contest!

Calling all literary translators, radio dramatists, and international radio drama enthusiasts! Play for Voices seeks radio play scripts in English translation.

Play for Voices is a new podcast of international radio drama slated to launch in the spring of 2016. Our monthly hourlong show will present new productions of contemporary and classic radio plays from around the world, exploring their aesthetic, social, and political contexts through inventive, multilingual sound design and interviews with authors, translators, and other interesting people. We'll feature English-language plays and plays in English translation.

We're excited to be partnering with Words without Borders for our first contest. We invite submissions of translated radio plays of all lengths and from all languages. The Play for Voices producers and Words without Borders editors will select the winners. The winning play(s) will be produced by Play for Voices and published in Words without Borders.

See here for contest guidelines:
Play for Voices
Words without Borders

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Digital Societies Fellowship, deadline March 4


Digital technologies are rapidly transforming traditional economies and challenging the legal and policy frameworks that ensure citizens’ privacy and civil liberties. Yet, digitalization is also the key to future innovation, offering promising new approaches for green technologies, creating new sectors of the global economy, facilitating democratic exchange and transparency, and rapidly increasing the pace of scientific discovery. Journalists interested in the Digital Societies Media Fellowships should aim to contribute to a nuanced transatlantic dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of the digital age for democratic societies and for the transatlantic partnership. Examples of possible topics include data security, surveillance, the sharing economy, smart cities, or new technologies to facilitate democratic transparency and engagement.


  • Travel and accommodation costs within reason for five days of research in the EU or the U.S., subject to final approval of individual travel plans. Fellows may choose their dates of travel anytime between April 1 – May 20, 2016.
  • an honorarium of $1,000


We seek journalists working in any medium who offer new perspectives on transatlantic policy debates and who may not otherwise have the opportunity to conduct transatlantic research.

Eligible journalists should:

  • be from the United States, based in the U.S., and seek to contribute to transatlantic policy debates by reporting about European practices and experiences in their area of research. 
  • be from an EU country, based in the EU, and seek to contribute to transatlantic policy debates by reporting about U.S. practices and experiences in their area of research. 

Note: we do not require fellows to be citizens of either the US or the EU, however fellows are responsible for securing their own visas, if necessary. We can provide an offer letter to support the visa application process.

We will give special consideration to journalists from regional or local media outlets who can demonstrate that transatlantic reporting is a new and important perspective for their audience and that their story ideas would be informative for regional or local policy debates. We also strongly encourage journalists from diverse backgrounds who can offer lesser-heard perspectives.


A minimum of three stories: each fellow is expected to publish at least three stories, in any medium, within two months of completing travel. Fellows must be able either to guarantee the publication of their pieces or to demonstrate a strong track record of publications. Fellows (and/or their employers) will retain full editorial control over the reporting. The Heinrich Böll Foundation will feature the final pieces on the HBS North America website following their publication.

Active social media engagement: while traveling and developing their stories, fellows are expected to actively engage with HBS North America over Facebook and Twitter and/or Instagram.


Please read the application instructions carefully before submitting your application. We will not consider incomplete applications.

A complete application consists of:

1. Resume: Please use U.S. format. This means no picture, date of birth, marital or familial status, etc.

2. Cover Letter. 

3. Proposal: Please include the following three sections:

  • Story proposals: please include a short description of each story you plan to cover (about 200 words each). You do not need to have interviews confirmed, but you should indicate whom you plan to contact. Please also specify the language of publication, medium (radio, print, etc.), audience, plans for publication, and your ability to translate stories into English or German if this is not the language of publication.
  • Travel Itinerary: please outline your dates of travel, destinations, and possible interviews in each location. You may travel for 5 days anytime between April 1 and May 20, 2016. Fellows may extend travel for a maximum of an additional 5 days, but these additional dayswill not be covered by the fellowship.
  • Social Media Engagement: briefly explain how you plan to engage with HBS North America in the course of your fellowship.

4. Work samples

  • Please submit two work samples.
  • If your previous work is not in English, German, Spanish, or French, please provide a briefsummary of each of your work samples.

To apply, click here. For questions, please contact Hannah Winnick, Program Director, Transatlantic Dialogue on Democracy and Social Policy, at

The application deadline is March 4, 2016. We strongly encourage early applications.

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