Tag Archives: Freelance

Knight Fellowships Freelance Conference at Stanford

Could there BE a more appropriate conference for FC? Check it out! -mia


Dear Journalist, I’m writing because I think you may be interested in attending a special workshop at Stanford on June 18-19. It’s a two day conference called The Future of Freelancing: Redefining Journalism, Reinventing Yourself, produced by the John S. Knight Fellowships program.

General registration opens this Friday, April 16. This is a one-of-a-kind conference, open to just 100 experienced journalists. Editors from the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Esquire, Mother Jones, AOL, the Bay Area News Project and many other traditional and online outlets will talk about their publications, freelance opportunities and the evolution of the craft. The first 40 writers to register will have the chance to meet one-on-one with an editor.

I’ve organized this as part of my Knight Fellowship and am happy to answer any questions you may have. I’ve put more information below.

Thanks so much for your time.

Christine Larson Knight Fellow 2009-2010 Conference Director, The Future of Freelancing Email: freelance@lists.stanford.edu Twitter: LarsonWrites

The Future of Freelancing: Redefining Journalism. Reinventing Yourself. June 18-19, 2010 Stanford University

Independent journalists are taking on a more vital and visible role in informing the public and reinvigorating the profession. The Future of Freelancing conference helps experienced journalists explore their evolving careers and stay inspired to do their best work. Registration Opens

April 9: Members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, or the Society for Professional Journalists.

April 16: Other experienced journalists To register, visit http://freelance.stanford.edu/

Keynote speaker David Granger will discuss the future of magazines, the media and what it means for writers.

Other speakers include: Daniel Zalewski, features editor, The New Yorker Sydney Trent, editor, Washington Post Mark Robinson, senior editor, Wired Clara Jeffery, editor, Mother Jones Jonathan Weber, editor-in-chief, Bay Area News Project Marcia Parker, West Coast Director, AOL’s Patch.com

The first 40 writers to register will qualify for a one-on-one meeting with an editor, assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration opens April 9 for ASJA members, SPJ Northern California members, and current or former Knight fellows; April 16 for the general public.

Sponsored by the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists, the American Society for Journalists and Authors (ASJA), ASJA Northern California, and The Society for Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter.

For more information, visit http://freelance.stanford.edu/ or e-mail freelance@lists.stanford.edu.

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The Sad Ocurrence

News writers are in a helluva fix. Despite spanking brand new news websites, micro-local blogging and dedicated journalism programs trying to figure out how to attract and retain readers, the future is bleak for writers. For it is a future which includes diminishing career prospects.

The fundamental nature of the paid writing career is being turned upside down with these emerging business models. That’s because none of them effectively address the issue of paying writers a living wage. Almost non existent in most of these new programs is any opportunity for advancement within the company or organization.

The labor is cheap for news sites and organizations. The unions are weak and there are few pennies being thrown to writers.

For most writers the future is freelance. The future is without benefits. The future is pay based on how many people click your story. The future is you get your $50 per story, shoot art for that story, hyperlink like mad, and get happy.

The ongoing changes have been fast and furious for writers. Besides layoffs at newspapers, periodicals and other news organizations, writers have had to grapple with learning new technology all the while finding that there are fewer outlets for their work.

Back in the day, journalism was one of the few stable careers that paid writers. Once the work of the blue collar set, by the late 70s journalism had been embraced as a career choice for college graduates. By the late 90s, it was very rare to find a journalist who had not attended university.

And while the pay was always low, at many places there was a nurturing of talent, some advancement opportunity, and the pride of covering your community and feeling like you were part of something larger. It was a career and a community. If I met a reporter from Miami, or Iowa, or Bakersfield, I felt a kinship with that beat reporter or editor.

That’s all over. From my vantage point, you’d be a straight up and down psycho to want to get into news reporting if you’re a young pup. Where’s the payoff? Yeah you got 250 to read your story (if you’re lucky), but you’re still ass broke with huge college loans. What happens when you reach your 40s and you want to settle down and buy a house?

There will always be news organizations like the NY Times that can scrape up the cream young journalists and pay them a nice salary. But, the majority of original reporting is done at the local level and I can guarantee you that unless new programs invest and nurture their talent, there will soon be a steep decline in news quality.

Locally, the Bay Area News Project seems like it will pay a living wage and that is very good. But that project is very much the exception. Right now the Baby Boomers are retiring and the Gen Xers are fleeing journalism fast as they can.

Jennifer Inez Ward


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CPA Workshop, Tuesday, Jan 12, 6:30pm, SF

Hey folks. Back by popular demand, we’re holding our CPA workshop again this year. Details below. -mia

Please Join us for a workshop with Jason Stallcup, CPA. Jason specializes in tax help for small businesses and freelancers. In fact, he’s known as the “freelance CPA”. Jason was a big hit last year, and has generously agreed to answer all our tax questions once again this year!

What: A free talk presented by Jason Stallcup, CPA http://www.jasoncpa.com/

When: Tuesday, January 12th 6:30PM

Where: Sandbox Suites http://www.sandboxsuites.com/, 123 10th Street, San Francisco

Hope to see you there for some great tax advice!

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FreelanceFolder is Looking For Writers

Hey folks. I’ve been reading this blog for awhile and it definitely speaks to me. Perhaps there’s some work in it for some of you writers? -Mia ______________________________

FreelanceFolder is Looking For Writers! via FreelanceFolder http://freelancefolder.com by Mason Hipp on 10/29/09

Are you an avid FreelanceFolder reader or someone who has always wanted to write for an audience of freelancers? Are you a top professional in your field with unique skills and the ability to write? Have you been freelancing for so long that you just have plenty of wisdom to share?

If any of that describes you, or if you just want to write for FreelanceFolder — then now is your chance. We are looking to expand our core FreelanceFolder team, and we are ready to hire two new paid writers on a long-term basis. Here’s what’s in it for you:

– Payment for every article written. – Exposure to an audience of over 20k subscribers. – Author by-line and photo on everything you write. – Become a part of our team and help a lot of freelancers.

If you’re interested in applying to write for us, you can find all of the requirements and instructions after the read more link. Job Requirements

So you’ve decided that you want to write for FreelanceFolder — that’s awesome.

Before you send us an application, though, make sure to check out the requirements below to see if you’re a good fit for the job. Here’s what we’re looking for in our new writers:

– *Excellent Spelling & Grammar.* We do edit all of the posts that get published, but you need to have really great spelling and grammar so that it’s not too difficult for our editors. – *Long-Term Commitment.* Some of our writers have been with us for over a year — and that’s how we like it. This could be a very stable income for you if the fit is right, so make sure you can write at least 4 articles per month and are committed to helping out over the long-term. – *Practical & Valuable Writing.* We want to provide the best possible content for freelancers, so we’re looking for authors who are comfortable writing practical, hands-on, concrete stuff. We’re looking for tutorials, how-tos, and other *really useful* articles. – *Basic HTML and Image Editing Skill.* Most of the posts you’ll be writing will require some basic HTML (like headlines, lists, etc…) and basic image editing skills. It will be really helpful if you have these already, though we can teach them pretty easily. – *Unique Ideas and Information.* A big part of having great content is coming up with great ideas for articles or content that aren’t written about everywhere. We’re looking for authors who can think ahead of the crowd and write articles that are new, unique, and exclusive to FreelanceFolder.

How To Apply

If you’re interested in applying, just send us a message using this contact form http://freelancefolder.com/contact/. In the subject line, put “Writer Application” and then in the body of your message include the following information:

1. Why do you want to write for FreelanceFolder? 2. Where can we see examples of your previous work? 3. Do you meet all of our above requirements? Why or why not? 4. How much do you charge for an 800-1200 word article with lots of usable information and detail? 5. Can you write How-Tos and Tutorials? 6. Do you have a specific topic or specialty you’d like to write about? 7. Any questions for us?

Apply to be a FreelanceFolder writer → http://freelancefolder.com/contact/

We’re all looking forward to expanding our team, and I’m really excited to start working with some of you. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, and we will definitely be in touch shortly!

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a question for print freelancers

Hey folks. This is from a colleague of mine in Philly. If any of you print folks have a minute to drop her a line, I would really appreciate it! Thx, Mia


Hello print freelancers!

I have a favor to ask–I am a student in a master’s program at the J School at Temple University and am currently taking my Comm Law requirement. For one of my assignments I am reviewing and analyzing a freelance copyright case from 2001 (New York Times v. Tasini). I am looking to talk to someone who has an opinion about the impact of the Court’s decision–whether good or bad–and has been affected by the decision.

In short, believe it or not, Wikipedia sums the decision up pretty well: ” New York Times Co. v. Tasini , is a leading decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of copyright in the contents of a newspaper database. It held that The New York Times , in licensing back issues of the newspaper for inclusion in electronic databases such as LexisNexis, could not license the works of free-lance journalists contained in the newspapers.”

I’d be happy to talk to someone by e-mail or phone. My assignment is due next week, so if you’re interested, please contact me by next Tuesday, October 27, at the latest.

Thank you!

Tori Indivero

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CPA workshop

We had our first official workshop Tuesday night – a tax presentation and Q & A with freelance CPA Jason Stallcup. It wasn’t a huge crowd – about 15 people – but I have to say I’m thrilled with how it went. Jason did a fantastic job of presenting tax information in an interesting, informative, and accessible way. The workshop attendees were totally engaged, asking lots of questions. And the location – Sandbox Suites (owned and run by another freelancer on the list) was perfect. But most importantly it was an example of the Freelance Cafe group working. It was a presentation for freelancers, by a freelancer, hosted at a co-working space owned by a freelancer. Love it. I hope this will be the first of many events like this one.

And if you need help with your taxes – call Jason!

Jason Stallcup, CPA

Also, if you’re looking for a workspace, check these guys out.

Sandbox Suites

123 10th Street, SF
p: 415-659-8197

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it has a name…

So apparently my idea is called “co-working” and it’s not a unique idea by far.

Dave Gilson sent me this BusinessWeek.com article about “co-working facilities” popping up all over the place. I’ve logged some of them in previous posts, but there are a number of new ones that opened in 2006.

There’s even a coworking wiki to help coordinate people and coworking facilities across the country and abroad. But there’s still not one in Oakland.

Also check out this slide show of alternative work spaces connected with the article.

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NYC Writer’s Room

Rob Gunnison put me in touch with Doug Merlino – a fellow j-school grad who is now working as a writer in NYC. He works out of a place called the Writer’s Room. It’s been around since 1978 and was founded to create an affordable workspace for writers of all kinds.

Here’s what Doug says about it.

“I love the place I work… Basically, you apply for membership and, assuming you are accepted (you send them a resume and some references), it costs $100 a month to work there. It’s basically a big room with cubicles and a separate kitchen and phone area. You keep your stuff in a locker and, when you come in, grab a place that’s free to work.”

He also told me about another similar place called The Paragraph. This place was founded by two women who wanted to create a work environment similar to what they had in grad school. YES! Their space is gorgeous – I need to find out how they funded it. They also do special events, round tables, etc.

And here’s yet ANOTHER one in Tribeca – The Village Quill. Apparently the waiting lists for these places get so long they have to keep opening new ones.

Finally – Doug pointed me to this NYT article that basically proves the value of these kinds of work spaces. So very encouraging.

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how could I forget

The Grotto – home of Po Bronson and other freelance superstars. It’s an amazing organization with one major problem – it’s exclusive to folks who are already relatively established in the freelance world.

Here’s an article by Po Bronson about writer communities.

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possible locations

My favorite space is at 23 Grand at Broadway. It’s next to Front Gallery, down the street from Luka’s TapRoom, and right across from a soon-to-be completed apartment/retail space currently called Broadway Grand. It’s 2000 square feet and costs $3500/month. I have no idea how reasonable that is for the size. Need to do more research here.

There’s another space on the corner of Broadway and Grand that’s 5000 square feet and $9000/month, but I think that’s a little too big/expensive. 🙂

The leasee for both of these spaces is Shahla Davoudi, owner of Elite Reprographics which is on the same block. We exchanged messages a few times and I’m sure I could set up a meeting with her if it came to that. (p. 415.957.1234)

There’s also a space available at 3237 Grand, right near the Grand Lake Theater. It’s $1200/month and it’s quite small (don’t know the square feet) – right next to a discount mattress place. I went to talk to someone there and they were pretty sketchy. But I won’t rule it out – especially for that price. (p. 510-432-0500)

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