2017 Forum Freelance Fund applications open

The Forum Freelance Fund provides bursaries for Canadian freelancers to attend dangerous environment training courses. Applications are now open for the 2017 bursary program.

The fund provides bursaries of up to $2500 to Canadian freelancers. Foreign freelancers doing significant work for Canadian publications are also eligible to apply.

The deadline for this annual bursary competition is April 15. Winners will be notified by May 31. Bursary winners will then have two months to choose a hostile environment training course and register for it. Most courses run for 4 or 5 days.

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma runs the competition in association with the Rory Peck Trust, a U.K.-based organization devoted to promoting the safety of freelancers. The competition was founded in 2011 and has awarded 24 bursaries to freelancers since then.

More information and application requirements are available on the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma website.

 

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

The Born Freelancer on the Sanctity of Deadlines, Part 2

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


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In my previous post I talked about why deadlines should be considered sacrosanct.

Today I want to talk about how to ensure you always make deadline. Everybody will develop different strategies; these are a few of my own.

When is it due?

When a deadline is given, you can accept it or attempt to negotiate it. In many cases a deadline is set in stone; in others there is room to manoeuvre. It will depend on many external factors that your employer may have no control over.

Ultimately, only experience will tell you how much time you will need. 

Some freelancers work fast. Some require multiple time-outs during the process. Others will plough through in a mad fit of productivity. Only you know your own needs. You must learn to assess a project before you begin it to roughly determine how long it will take you to complete. If you don’t, you won’t last long as a freelancer. 

If you can negotiate the deadline, always ask for more time than you think you need. First, it is a useful tactic as they may come back to you with a revised deadline more to your liking but still less than you requested. Secondly, it gives you built-in cushioning for unforeseen developments.

As a freelancer you always have to expect the unexpected.

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Posted on March 22, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

CMG Freelance member wins RNAO media award

CMG Freelance member Alison Motluk has won an award from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario for her story Ottawa family sues fertility doctor for use of wrong sperm — his own, which aired last November on CBC Radio’s The Current.

RNAO’s annual media awards recognize outstanding journalism that contributes to a better understanding of nursing and health-care issues.

Alison Motluk is a Toronto-based freelance journalist who writes often about reproductive technology. Her work has appeared in The Walrus, Maisonneuve, The Economist, Nature and New Scientist, among others, and her radio work has aired on The Current, IDEAS, Quirks and Quarks and The Sunday Edition.

Posted on March 21, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Mar 14-20

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CMG Freelance social media workshop April 1 in Vancouver

Katt Stearns Mission Social MediaVancouver freelancers, get ready for a day-long workshop that will help you boost your social media skills in ways that will grow your influence and help you find new opportunities and potential clients.

Don’t Fool Around! Learn the Right Way to Use Social Media is scheduled for Saturday, April 1st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Vancouver Film School (306 Abbott Street).

This workshop will be led by Katt Stearns, the founder of Katt Stearns Consulting. Katt has helped numerous small- and medium-sized organizations develop marketing strategies to share their stories and grow their businesses.

Katt says she often sees freelancers struggle with social media because they don’t understand that it’s all about relationships.

“Social is a two-way conversation. And most of the marketing that we do is one-way. So you’re really getting to know the people that you’re working with. And those relationships, over time, start to lead to more and more opportunities,” she says.

Another mistake that freelancers make is that many of us feel we have to be on every single platform available.

“People feel they have to be everywhere,” she says. “Most people, they’ve got a business to run, they’re trying to get clients, they’re trying to run their day-to-day work. And if you’ve got 15 different social platforms set up it’s really tough for you to be excellent at every single one of them,” she says.

Stearns will help workshop participants decide which platforms best suit their needs by figuring out a broader business marketing plan. She’ll help you optimize your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to get more exposure and results. She’ll also explain how to build an engaging following and how to best use hashtags, contests, ads and promotions. During this workshop she’ll be inviting a few participants to share their social media accounts, for a live and interactive discussion on ways to improve their online marketing. You can connect with Katt Stearns on Twitter at @KattStearns.

This event is free for CMG Freelance members. Non-members can gain admission for $150, which also includes a year-long CMG Freelance Membership. Members of affiliated organizations can attend at a discounted rate. You can also become a member for just $15/month. Members of our like-minded associations such as TMAC, PWAC, and CWA Canada Associate Members are eligible for significantly discounted admission and memberships. Contact Don Genova for details on the discount at don@dongenova.com.

Did we mention that lunch is included?

You can register for “Don’t Fool Around! Learn the Right Way to Use Social Media” at this link. If you’re not close enough to Vancouver to participate, don’t despair. CMG Freelance is planning a series of webinars with Katt for sometime later this spring. Keep an eye on Story Board for details.

 

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

2017 Dave Greber Freelance Writers Awards Open for Submissions

greber_writing_award_logoAfter taking a break in 2016, the Dave Greber Freelance Writers Awards are back this year. Submissions for the 2017 awards opened this week.

Created in 2004 in the memory of freelance writer Dave Greber, the awards are given to writers of social justice-related non-fiction. There are two awards — one for books and one for magazines. The book award is for $5000 and the magazine award is for $2000. Work that has not yet been completed for publication is also eligible for submission.

Applicants must be residents of Canada and spend 70% of their working time as self-employed freelance writers in order to be eligible for the awards.

The closing date for submissions is Friday June 16, 2017 at 5:00 P.M. PST.

Check out the Dave Greber Freelance Writers Awards submission guidelines for more information or to submit your work for an award.

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Mar 7-13

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, publishing, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Freelance Finance: By the Hour, or by the Word?: Freelance writing jobs are split into two methods of compensation; payment by the word, and payment by the hour. After doing some interviews and research, it’s apparent that writers pretty much fall into one camp or the other…
  • Webinar: Storytelling for brands: Now, more than ever, brands are seeking the advice of artists (writers, podcasters, graphic designers, photographers) to help tell their stories in ways that authentically connect. The next in our series of professional development webinars will help you find success in this field…
  • Off the Page, with Simon Diotte: This week we’re chatting with Montreal writer and editor Simon Diotte. He gained recognition for his 2016 National Magazine Award-winning travel story “Sur les traces d’un écrivain voyageur” (“In the Footsteps of a Travel Writer”) published in Oxygène…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on March 13, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Freelance Finance: By the hour, or by the word?

by Steven Threndyle

Man Start-up Planing Startup Business Entrepreneur

Recently, a Vancouver-based company called Grizzly Coast Media created a bit of a stir online when it started posting jobs for freelancers that paid $50 for anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 words per story. If you take five hours to write 1500 words, you’re making $10 an hour. In Vancouver, where the typical one bedroom apartment rents for $1900 per month, you’ll be working for an entire month (200 hours, roughly) and not have any money left over to, you know, eat. (Or pay the utilities, such as high speed internet and, uh, hydro and gas).

Indeed, “Time is Money,” is probably the oldest self-help cliché, and in a day and age when writers can track every detail of how they spend their time on a project to the minute, it might be kind of depressing to find out that you only made $10 per hour on that last feature piece for Toronto Life, especially after satisfying endless requests from the fact-checkers.

Freelance writing jobs are split into two methods of compensation; payment by the word (say, $500 for a 500 word assignment—a fairly standard length and fee for a mainstream magazine. Note to newbies: this rate hasn’t budged since about 1987), and payment by the hour, a somewhat more nebulous standard that applies to advertising copywriters, technical documentation specialists, and freelance corporate gunslingers brought in to complete short term contracts. After doing some interviews and research, it’s apparent that writers pretty much fall into one camp or the other.
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Posted on March 10, 2017 at 9:48 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Webinar: Storytelling for brands

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Brand storytelling can be a lucrative industry for freelancers. Now, more than ever, brands are seeking the advice of artists (writers, podcasters, graphic designers, photographers) to help tell their stories in ways that authentically connect. The next in our series of professional development webinars will help you find success in this field. 

The webinar Storytelling for Brands is scheduled for March 23rd at 3 p.m. EST

The webinar will explore the evolution of content marketing, as well as best practices for developing successful branded content for clients who may contract your services as a freelancer.

The webinar will be led by Matthew Manuge, associate creative director at Blue Ant’s Media Solutions Group in Toronto. Matthew was recently named one of Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30. He has led successful creative campaigns for clients such as Canon, Axe, Samsung, Home Hardware, Bosch, Ford and more. Matthew has also worked in film and television on several feature films and documentaries, as well as producing and directing a 13-part television comedy series titled Free-Loading.

You can register for the webinar at this link. CMG Freelance and CWA Canada Associate Members can use their membership numbers to register. For a limited time, CMG Freelance is making live viewing of our webinars available to non-members. If you’d like to watch this one, you can use the special code “Storyboard” in place of a membership number.

Archived webinars are available for viewing by CMG Freelance and CWA Canada Associate Members on this members-only page on the CMG Freelance website. Subjects of previous webinars include contract negotiation, social media, freelance finances, and achieving “Inbox Zero.”

Students, volunteers and emerging media workers can sign up for a free CWA Associate Membership right here.

For information about the price and benefits of CMG Freelance membership check out the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on March 9, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Page, with journalist Simon Diotte

Off the Page is an interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. This week we’re chatting with Montreal writer and editor Simon Diotte. He gained recognition for his 2016 National Magazine Award-winning travel story “Sur les traces d’un écrivain voyageur” (“In the Footsteps of a Travel Writer”) published in Oxygène, where he is editor-in-chief. The story recounts a multi-day hiking trip in France in the company of a donkey named Muscade, following the trail of the great Scottish adventurer Robert Louis Stevenson who hiked the same path in 1878.

NMAF: For the uninitiated, tell us about Oxygène magazine and your readers?
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Posted on March 8, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,