Media Works Handbook looking for freelance pitches

Have you got an idea for a story related to labour and the media? A new project is looking for pitches from members of CMG Freelance and CWA Canada.

The unions have partnered with CUP and the NCRA on a project called Media Works: Labour Rights and Reporting Handbook. The handbook is seeking stories that cast a critical eye on subjects such as freelance work, working for “exposure,” diversity in media, unpaid internships, and organizing media workers.

Pitches may be proposals for 1000-1250 word articles, videos, radio documentaries, photo-stories, or graphic journalism stories. Fees for accepted pitches will  be between $250 and $400 depending on the story’s length and complexity.

All contributors must be CWA Canada Associate Members or members of CMG Freelance. Click here to find out whether you’re eligible for a free CWA Canada Associate Membership. Information about CMG Freelance membership is available here.

The Media Works Handbook is also looking to hire an editor who will need to put in between 160 and 360 hours on the project between January 5th and February 27the, 2015. For more information about that position, check out this job listing on the CMG Freelance website.

And for more information about submitting your story ideas, click here.

The deadline for all submissions is December 7th at midnight ET.

 

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Nov 18-24

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:

 

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 November 24, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Workshop on the rights of media workers

Next Wednesday, CWA Canada is holding a free two-hour workshop to share information for media workers about basic employment rights.

The event, scheduled for Wednesday November 26th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at The Foundry in Toronto, is open to all media workers and will provide information about the rights of freelancers, interns and other types of media work. Snacks will be served.

Reserve your ticket and find more information about the event and the venue here.

And to learn about CWA Canada’s associate membership program for students, volunteers and precarious media workers, click here.

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

The Born Freelancer on Being a “Real” Freelancer

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? Your input is welcome in the comments. 

I was talking to a freelance colleague of mine recently who was being dismissive of a fellow freelancer:

“Pffft! He isn’t a real freelancer; he’s only writes when he wants to write”.

In other words, he had another full-time job and only wrote what moved him to write. He was every bit as talented a writer as any full-time freelancer; he had just made his lifestyle choices early on in his career. He had decided to keep his work separate from his passions.

I’ve known lots of writers who feel the same way. One I knew years ago told me she’d rather work at any job for the money so she could keep her writing life separate. She still considered herself a professional freelancer (not a hobby writer) and expected to be paid when she did write but only when she had a project she felt sufficiently moved to undertake.

I would posit that contemporary freelancing is what you make of it. It takes on as many different forms as there are individuals engaged in it. Today I thought I would consider the pros and cons of some such modified freelancing options with the hope that it might help some of you clarify your own thoughts when facing similar choices.

So first, let’s start with the advantages of writing (or any creative act) as a full-time revenue stream.

Advantages of full-time freelancing

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Posted on November 18, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Nov 11-17

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:

  • Unpaid Pan Am writing jobs raise ire: Last Thursday, Toronto freelance writer and investigative journalist Andrew Livingstone ran across a job ad posted by the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games…
  • Motivation and its evil twin: procrastination: To make a go of it as a freelancer, an abundance of motivation is crucial. But as we all know and hate, motivation doesn’t come in steady waves. It tends to ebb and flow over time, sometimes waning when we need it the most. Procrastination is one of those nasty habits that sometimes gets in the way…

 

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 November 17, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Unpaid Pan Am Games writing jobs raise ire

 

The altered version of the Pan Am Games' ad for unpaid feature writers.

The altered version of the Pan Am Games’ ad for unpaid feature writers.

Last Thursday, Toronto freelance writer and investigative journalist Andrew Livingstone ran across a job ad posted by the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.

The ad was seeking five writers to produce feature content for websites, publications, newsletters and brochures. Duties included interviewing sources, fact checking and writing to deadline, as well as attending and covering events and activities. The educational requirements included a degree in journalism, communications or public relations.

The positions were unpaid.

Livingstone made his outrage known in a series of tweets that garnered more than 40,000 impressions over the course of the day. The tweets, and many of the responses he got to them, are collected here in a Storify. Thursday was the application deadline and by the end of the day the job posting had come down.

Livingstone says what bothers him most about the Pan Am Games asking writers to work for free is that the Games are a $1.5B operation funded with government money.

“It really irked me because of the high-paid staff members at the organization, a number who are on the province’s Sunshine List for making over $100,000 annually,” Livingstone told Story Board via email this week.

“The amount of money going into the project is incredible, and for them to try and get people to write for them without pay is just awful.”

Livingstone also pointed out that the listing gave no indication of what benefits a writer would receive from accepting such a position.
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Posted on November 13, 2014 at 9:07 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Motivation and its evil twin: procrastination

Screen shot 2014-11-06 at 11.52.21 AM

graphic and background image by Lesley Evans Ogden

by Lesley Evans Ogden

 

To make a go of it as a freelancer, an abundance of motivation is crucial. But as we all know and hate, motivation doesn’t come in steady waves. It tends to ebb and flow over time, sometimes waning when we need it the most. Procrastination is one of those nasty habits that sometimes gets in the way.

This summer, one of the sessions at Courage Camp, a Colorado-based workshop for freelancers, specifically delved into the prickly topics of motivation and procrastination. Julia Galef, President and Cofounder of the Center for Applied Rationality, led off the session by dispensing with some conventional wisdom about procrastination: that it exists because we are perfectionist overachievers. “Research,” says Galef, “has not borne this out.” One of the leading researchers in procrastination is Dr. Piers Steel, a Professor at Human Resources and Organizational Dynamics at the University of Calgary.

Steel has developed a “procrastination equation,” written a book by the same name, (and even provided tongue in cheek instructions for writing your very own article on procrastination).

As Steel describes it, motivation, the level of our readiness to take action, can be defined as follows:

Screen shot 2014-11-06 at 11.36.33 AM

What does this mean?
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Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Nov 4-10

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:

  • Journalists react to Pan Am Games’ ad for unpaid feature writers: Yesterday, Toronto freelance writer Andrew Livingstone ran across a job posting seeking volunteer writers to produce features and other promotional material for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Livingstone took to Twitter to voice his outrage. His tweets ignited an angry conversation about unpaid writing…
  • The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #18 — Andrew Braithwaite: In this regular feature, Story Board asks Canadian writers to share a few details about their work habits and their strategies for navigating the ups and downs of freelance life…

 

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 November 10, 2014 at 9:02 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

A Twitterstorm about unpaid writing… Storified

Posted on November 7, 2014 at 9:02 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #18 — Andrew Braithwaite

EnRoute_Bermuda___31C8060 (1)In this regular feature, Story Board asks Canadian writers to share a few details about their work habits and their strategies for navigating the ups and downs of freelance life.

 

Andrew Braithwaite is a Canadian-born writer currently living in San Francisco. He’s written about food and wine, architecture, travel and culture for such publications as enRoute, Wine & Spirits, the Globe and Mail, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Walrus, and Reader’s Digest.

Andrew took the time to speak with Story Board this week about staying focused, the benefits of being a generalist, and the advantages of placing limits on certain aspects of your freelance career.

 

Do you think as a freelance writer that it’s better to be a specialist or generalist?

I’m definitely a generalist. For me, it’s the easiest way to stay motivated and excited about the things that I write about. Anytime I’m caught up in a lot of assignments on one topic, I get kind of bored. In terms of how to navigate the market, I don’t know whether being a specialist or a generalist is better. But in terms of actually getting the work done, it’s nice to have more subjects to write about just to keep yourself interested in sitting down at the computer every day.
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Posted on November 6, 2014 at 9:00 am by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: , ,