The Born Freelancer Applies for a Line of Credit, Part 1

Maybe you’ve received them in the mail too.bornfreel2

Over the last couple of years I had got a number of “preauthorized” applications for “lines of credit” from one of the major banks.

I’d never really paid any attention to them.

A 9 to 5 friend was telling me how they’d had a line of credit for years; that they were so easy to get; and so useful to have.

In effect, you are pre-approved for a low interest loan (compared to credit cards) in advance so whenever you need it you can just take it out. No fuss, no bother, no hassle.

What a good idea. So why had I never bothered to investigate?

Well, mostly because I thought they were just another unwanted marketing ploy.

And, as a life long freelancer, I had always learned to manage to spend within my budget. If I couldn’t afford something I would wait and save for it. It meant rarely if ever going into debt and never ever needing to apply for a “line of credit”.

Until now.

I still didn’t need it but I thought it might be a good idea to apply for one anyway. Given the economic realities of the day, a line of credit could be a really good backup plan.

And since it was preauthorized, I figured, getting it should be a snap.

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Posted on May 22, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

CMG Freelance to sponsor Tyee MasterClass on The Art of Crowdfunding

CMG Freelance is teaming up with The Tyee to sponsor a MasterClass on crowdfunding that’s scheduled for Saturday, May 30th. in Vancouver. The workshop, called The Art of Crowdfunding, will be taught by filmmaker and media activist Ian MacKenzie (Occupy Love, Sacred Economics). It promises to “demystify the world of crowdfunding” and offer specific strategies for a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The first four current CMG Freelance members who register for this day-long course will get a $50 discount on the $200 registration fee. To receive your discount, use the discount code CMGFRIENDS when you register for the course.

If you are not yet a member of CMG Freelance but are interested in joining, you can get a year-long membership as part of your registration in the crowdfunding workshop. You’ll have the chance to register for CMG Freelance during the course registration process.

The Art of Crowdfunding workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 30th, with a reception to follow. The registration fee includes coffee and lunch. For more information about this workshop, check out The Tyee’s MasterClass webpage.

And check out the CMG Freelance website for more information on the benefits of membership.

 

Posted on May 20, 2015 at 11:40 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Freelance Funnies

by Lesley Evans Ogden

 

As a freelancer, you’ve no doubt read a plethora of recent posts about the gloomy outlook for journalism, and how tough it is for freelancers to make a living these days. Yet we’re a tenacious bunch, and there is much to enjoy and celebrate about our flexible jobs. One of the best antidotes for doom and gloom is humour, so I’ve scoured the freelance galaxy for a selection of anecdotes about funny, awkward and embarrassing moments that naturally arise from our unconventional and erratic work lives. Some are so awkward or embarrassing that the sources have requested to remain anonymous.

I suspect that many of these stories will resonate with your own experiences.

Enjoy!

 

Jennifer S Holland, Contributor, National Geographic, and Author. Latest book: Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart (2014)

Let’s see, which OOPS to share…there have been so many. One good one: I’m on the phone doing a serious interview when my husband arrives home in a silly mood, doesn’t realize I’m on the phone, comes bursting in singing–loudly–a very juvenile version of Strangers in the Night (in this version they’re not exchanging glances…I’ll leave it at that). I do the crazy snapping and cut-throat motion at him, but my source has stopped to ask if I need to call him back.

Yikes. I guess it’s just part of our charm.

 

~~~
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Posted on May 20, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer May 12-19

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?

From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Last week on Story Board:

  • Forum Freelance Fund announces new bursary: The Forum Freelance Fund has added a new bursary this year. The fund, which awards bursaries to freelance journalists for hazardous environment safety training, has created the Portenier Human Rights Bursary, a bursary of up to $3000 for freelancers and independent documentary makers whose work focuses specifically on human rights abuses…
  • New tools for freelancers: What freelancer doesn’t love a new app or tool that promises to improve their business? I’ve run across a couple over the past few weeks. As a bonus, these ones are fun to play with…

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 May 19, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Forum Freelance Fund announces new bursary

The Forum Freelance Fund has added a new bursary this year. The fund, which awards bursaries to freelance journalists for hazardous environment safety training, has created the Portenier Human Rights Bursary, a bursary of up to $3000 for freelancers and independent documentary makers whose work focuses specifically on human rights abuses. 

The Forum also provides a number of bursaries of up to $2500 to Canadian freelancers for safety training courses offered by approved course providers. Last year the FFF awarded eight such bursaries. This is the fifth year the fund has been operating. Applications for this year’s bursaries close on June 30th.

With more and more news organizations relying on freelancers to cover conflict zones and other dangerous areas, the FFF is a source of much needed safety training funding. Earlier this year the FFF, along with a number of other media and advocacy organizations, endorsed the Global Safety Principles and Practices, a declaration that is intended to protect freelancers worldwide.

For more information about the fund or to apply for a bursary see the Canadian Journalism Forum website.

 

Posted on May 15, 2015 at 10:08 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

New tools for freelancers

by Rachel Sanders

What freelancer doesn’t love a new app or tool that promises to improve their business? I’ve run across a couple over the past few weeks. As a bonus, these ones are fun to play with.

If you’re in need of new business cards, flyers or photo promo cards, Canva will help you create your own using customizable templates. The site has some free images and designs as well as the option to upload your own images, but there’s also a wide variety of images and designs that you can purchase. Canva has been around for about a year and a half and is rated highly on tech sites. Although hiring a graphic designer to create your business cards will no doubt result in better branding for your freelance business, Canva seems like a good option if you’ve got time or money constraints.

I found a couple of other interesting tools this week on the website of a software company called BeeWits. While their main product seems to be a web design project management kit, BeeWits has also created a great little quote generator tool (mainly intended for web designers, but useful for other kinds of freelancers, too) and, most recently, an hourly rate calculator aimed at helping freelancers figure out what they should be charging. It asks you to input your annual income and the amount you’d like to increase it by along with the number of billable hours you work each week and a variety of business expenses. It’s a fun little tool to play around with and will likely get you thinking about the value of your time — a useful thing for a freelancer to pause and consider on a regular basis.

 

Posted on May 14, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer May 5-11

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?

From Canada:

 

From The U.S. and beyond:

 

Last week on Story Board:

  • CWA Canada releases project on media worker rights and labour reporting: Labour stories are getting lost. At least, that’s what research for the recently launched Media Works: A Labour Rights and Reporting Project has discovered…
  • The Globe & Mail urged to “pay the writers”: A small campaign has blossomed on Facebook over the past few hours as freelance writers press The Globe and Mail to pay the writers of their popular Facts & Arguments essay. In the comments section of a Facebook post celebrating the essay’s 25th anniversary writers have been complaining that the paper does not offer any compensation for accepted submissions…

 

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 May 11, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

CWA Canada releases project on media worker rights and labour reporting

by Emily Katz 

Panelists (left to right): Arman Aghbali, Sara Tatelman, Maggie Reid, Haseena Manek, Errol Salamon. Photo © Moush Sara John

Media Works launch panelists Arman Aghbali, Sara Tatelman, Maggie Reid, Haseena Manek, Errol Salamon. Photo © Moush Sara John

Labour stories are getting lost. At least, that’s what research for the recently launched Media Works: A Labour Rights and Reporting Project has discovered. At a time when people in Canada are spending more hours than ever traveling to, thinking about, and simply being at work, this is concerning. As handbook co-writer Haseena Manek said, “It’s not that labour issues are disappearing, but in the Canadian media landscape, labour stories are disappearing.”

CWA Canada Organizer Katherine Lapointe explained, “We’re in a period where the nature of work is shifting and becoming more precarious, existing labour and employment laws no longer protect most workers, and union density is declining. We need labour reporting that critically investigates the impacts of these shifts on our society, and that explores how workers are finding new ways to collectively organize to improve their work and home lives.”

The Media Works project has two components: fourteen labour reporting audio documentaries, long-form articles and graphic journalism pieces, and a handbook that aims to inform media workers of their rights and to encourage and improve labour reporting.
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Posted on May 8, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Globe and Mail urged to “pay the writers”

A small campaign has blossomed on Facebook over the past few hours as freelance writers press The Globe and Mail to pay the writers of their popular Facts & Arguments essay. In the comments section of a Facebook post celebrating the essay’s 25th anniversary writers have been complaining that the paper does not offer any compensation for accepted submissions.

Toronto writer and editor Jaclyn Law started the string of comments, asking simply “Why not pay the writers?”

The post has since had over a dozen more comments, including one from Canadian journalist, journalism instructor, and former Editor-in-Chief of Chatelaine magazine Kim Pittaway, who notes that writers used to be paid for the Facts & Arguments column.

“When F&A launched, I was actually paid $200 or $250 for an essay. Then it dropped to $100. Then it dropped to nothing. Hey Globe and Mail, as Jaclyn Law says, how about paying the writers?” says Pittaway’s comment.

When contacted via Facebook for further comment, Law said “writers should be paid for their work, even if they aren’t professionals.”

Posted on May 6, 2015 at 10:39 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer April 28-May 4

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?

From Canada: 

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From The U.S. and beyond:

 

Last week 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 May 4, 2015 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,