Category Archives: Resources

new audio courses with @WritingPadUS start next week, discount for FC friends

Writing Pad’s LA, SF, and Online podcasting and radio fiction courses start next week w/ 99% Invisible Alum Sam Greenspan and Snap Judgment’s Eliza Smith. Friends of Freelance Cafe get a discount.


15% off the class by using the code FREELANCE.



Sam has been a producer and reporter at 99% Invisible since the early days and a long-time NPR Vet. He is now starting his own super-secret podcast. Sam will help you conceive, develop & produce an outline for your podcast & record a teaser. He will teach you interviewing techniques, sound editing, using music, archival material +more. Class includes a recording session at a professional studio.


PODCASTING w/ Sam Greenspan (99% Invisible)

June 28July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 9 (5 Wed. nights), 7:00pm-10pm, SF



Podcasts like Homecoming, Limetown and A Night Called Tomorrow have expanded the horizons of radio storytelling to fiction. Eliza is the producer of Snap Judgment’s fiction program and has adapted the short stories of Manuel Gonzalez, Amelia Gray, and Kelly Link into radio plays. Learn what works/doesn’t work for a radio play, the importance of scenes, the use of sound and music to enrich pieces, narrative structure, and the Snap Judgment Method for telling stories.


By the end of the class you will have, a draft of a stand out story that you can get published in a literary journal and submit to radio shows. You will record it at Snap Judgment Studios. Join the ranks of the 32 students who have published short stories from and 11 students who have gotten stories on the radio from our classes. For a preview, check out Eliza’s interview here:


RADIO FICTION w/ Eliza Smith (Producer Snap Judgment, NPR)

July 16, 23, 30, Aug. 13, 20, (4 Sun., 1 recording session), 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., SF

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Online Privacy for Journalists, a pdf guide

Hello FC community! This resource for journalists was recently brought to my attention with the following note. Please share if this is appropriate for your community!!

This is not an easy time for journalists all over the world, with the discoveries of surveillance on citizens, which includes journalists and their sources.

I’d like to ask you to share a guide, written by one journalist to his colleagues all over the world. The guide can help them protect their work and fulfil their mission.

If you can add it to your page, as well as share it over social networks, it would be a tremendous help to the free press.

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learn better pitching and production from NPR Training guides, PLUS webinar on 3/22

Check out the amazing resources below from NPR Training. Plus, attend their March 22 webinar to improve your audio skillsSign up here. (Also, I got 6/6 on this audio quiz. How about you??)


There’s been a flurry of activity at NPR Training the past couple of weeks. We’ve been posting, hosting and sharing like crazy as we try to help you improve your craft.

How can you pitch effectively?
Learn from the pros. Our Training team colleague Alison MacAdam gathered advice from editors at NPR for this guide to story pitching. If you are involved in pitching — or fielding pitches — be sure to check it out.

Improve your ears!
We recently released The Ear Training Guide for Audio Producers, which covers two dozen of the most common audio problems.

There are many ways to use the guide:

  • New to audio production? Take your time moving through the guide and learn how to hear — and prevent — each problem.
  • Newsroom manager or experienced producer? Use the guide as a starting point for a larger conversation about audio quality. Listen to the examples together, discuss the problems you’ve encountered, the tools you have available and share tips. How might you help each other prevent these problems in the future?
  • Elbows-deep in production and running into a problem? Look it up in the guide and learn more about a potential solution.
  • Too busy to do anything right now? Come back to it when you have time. Try to listen to a new example each week to keep your ears sharp!

We will host a webinar about recognizing and preventing common audio problems on Wednesday, March 22Sign up here.

We also put out this fun audio quiz, meant to challenge your ability to hear audio problems. Did you pass? Let us know!

Rob Byers (@robbyers1)
Production Specialist, NPR Training

PS We always like to hear from you. You can always reach us via email (, our websiteTwitter, and Facebook.

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Announcing the Third Coast Radio Residency, June 13-17, Chicago outskirts

Third Coast is offering a residency! June 13-17. Details below. -Mia
PS: Can you please do this so I can live vicariously through you?
PPS: Nishat Kurwa is fantastic.
We are very happy to say that Third Coast and Ragdale are teaming up to present our first-ever Radio Residency, June 13-17, 2016! Enjoy a week away from the demands and deadlines of everyday life to make radio, commiserate and share expertise. Nishat Kurwa (Youth Radio, Marketplace) – an outstanding producer/editor – will be on staff offering one-one-one and small group critique and guidance.

WHO: Third Coast seeks a vibrant group of 8 producers from diverse backgrounds and life experiences who represent the future of public broadcasting and independent storytelling. At the time of the residency, participants should be mid-project, allowing them to focus on writing, editing and production of their final works.

WHERE: Ragdale, one of the largest interdisciplinary artists’ communities in the country, is located on 5-acre campus 30 miles north of Chicago. Artists are given a private room and workspace, and all meals are provided including a family-style dinner each evening.

COSTS: Third Coast will cover residents’ flights and ground transportation. Ragdale is generously subsidizing the costs of room and board so that participants pay only $175 for the entire Residency.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants should submit project proposals by midnight (CT) on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Producers will be notified by April 8th.

Interested? Read all about the Third Coast Radio Residency, and send any questions to

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discount on equipment-sharing service KitSplit for FC members

Hey folks. Update on the equipment-sharing post I put out a couple days ago. KitSplit will offer a 15% discount on equipment rentals through the end of February. Discount code: Freelancecafe15. And if people have any questions they can reach out to
More about KitSplit follows:
ForbesFast Company, and No Film School have called KitSplit "the AirBNB of creative equipment" because we make it easy to rent top quality gear on-demand or to earn money renting out gear you own.
Sign up to join KitSplit here.
Once you join, you’ll be able to:
Save 20-30% renting gear from vetted professional and rental houses nearby
-Get your rentals delivered 
-Enjoy damage and theft coverage at no extra charge
-Make extra money on equipment you own while you're not using it
Thousands of creative professionals use KitSplit. I'd love for you to join them.
Many thanks,

Lisbeth Kaufman | CEO & Co-founder, KitSplit 
30 John Street, Brooklyn New York 11201
Read about us in Forbes and Fast Company

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equipment-sharing service – KitSplit – wants your business

KitSplit is a NY-based equipment-equipment sharing service – an interesting idea. This isn't an endorsement – I'm just passing it along. -Mia
PS: Should I let folks advertise on Freelance Cafe? Something I've been thinking about for a while…
Forbes, Fast Company, and No Film School have called KitSplit "the AirBNB of creative equipment" because we make it easy to rent top quality gear on-demand or to earn money renting out gear you own.
Sign up to join KitSplit here.
Once you join, you’ll be able to:
Save 20-30% renting gear from vetted professional and rental houses nearby
-Get your rentals delivered 
-Enjoy damage and theft coverage at no extra charge
-Make extra money on equipment you own while you're not using it
Thousands of creative professionals use KitSplit. I'd love for you to join them.
Many thanks,

Lisbeth Kaufman | CEO & Co-founder, KitSplit 
30 John Street, Brooklyn New York 11201
Read about us in Forbes and Fast Company

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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!

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Announcing FIRE – a pilot project to support Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors

See below for information about a new project in support of freelance investigative reporters and editors from my friend and first journo-boss Laird Townsend of Project Word. More info HERE.


Dear fellow journalists and supporters,

Project Word is pleased to announce the pilot of a new program, Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE).
FIRE will draw on the results of a 2015 national survey to help freelance investigative reporters do their valuable job in the public interest. The survey found that declining pay and other resource constraints were causing a crisis in independent reporting.
Launched with a $200,000 grant from an anonymous donor, FIRE has heeded the recommendations of freelancers themselves to craft a solution to the crisis.
The program is a collaboration between Project Word and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and will operate with complete editorial independence from its funding sources.
FIRE will serve reporters with two basic services: 1) a Help Desk for referrals, and 2) a Virtual Newsroom.
The Help Desk will provide advice and consultation to a wide array of investigative reporters, including those new to freelancing. The Virtual Newsroom will serve reporters with stipends accompanied by a suite of reporting tools—from research assistance and professional trainings, to editing help and legal review.
For more, visit Services and FAQs. If you are a reporter, please review FIRE’s Guidelines to determine whether you are eligible to submit an online application. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2016.
Beyond helping valuable stories reach the public, FIRE aims to contribute to a national dialogue about the role of independent reporters in a rapidly changing society. We believe that freelancers deserve the best chance to succeed in their work, to the benefit of us all. We are excited to help that happen.
Thank you for making FIRE possible.

Laird Townsend,
Project Director


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Kitsplit, a new way to get creative audio and video equipment in NY

Great new resource for NY producers – a peer-to-peer rental service – like AirBNB for camera and audio equipment. Details below!

KitSplit is New York’s first peer to peer rental platform for creative equipment like cameras, microphones, Oculus Rifts, and more.  We bring creators together to find low-cost, reliable, and convenient gear right when you need it.  And we provide an easy way to earn some cash by renting out the gear that you own.

We are thrilled to invite you to become the first members of the KitSplit community. We know you’ll find that KitSplit makes the rental process easier, less expensive, and more secure. And you’ll be happy to know that for our first month there are no fees, meaning that if you list equipment for rent you’ll get 100% of the rental price.  So sign up now!

KitSplit is currently a private beta and is invite only. Email us at to request your personal invitation code. Mention Freelancer's cafe and include your contact info + a link to your site or portfolio.

We hope that you’ll join us in this community and that you’ll invite other creators and friends to sign up.  We look forward to collaborating with you as you list, earn, find, and create.   


Kristina Budelis | Co-founder, KitSplit 
(254) 307-7548 | @kitsplit 

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New Gear Rental Company in NYC

Great new equipment rental resource in NYC. Check 'em out. (They have audio packages too.)


Cinema rentals simplified. We've made the process of rentals in New York easier (and cheaper!); 16by40 allows you to place your order online and even schedule the equipment's delivery to your office or shooting location. 

From a basic Chrosziel follow focus to a production ready Ikonoskop package, we are filling out our catalogue and continuously adding new products. 

Take a peak and tell us what you think, we'd love to hear from you! 

– Michael and Elisa
1-844-SHOOT-16  //

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