Is there a link between running and writing? Some experts think so

by Christine Blanchette

runningAbout two weeks ago, I sat in front of my computer screen, feeling frazzled, my heart pounding. I was stressed – trying to meet a tight deadline for a fitness piece due that day. There was no time to waste, not even to make a cup of coffee. But I just couldn’t focus. I had to do something: RUN.

I didn’t have the time but I had to make some. I laced up my shoes and did a short run. With each stride I took, I started to relax and breathe more easily. After my workout, my heart was no longer pounding. I could finally focus on my writing.

From my experience as both a fitness writer and veteran runner, these two activities have a lot in common. Both runners and writers are striving to reach a goal. Both are results-driven.

For instance, a runner will train to race or participate in an event. A writer, on the other hand, will take on an assignment, gather information through research, and combine it with their creative skills in order to meet a deadline and see their work published. Both activities require discipline. And both need excellent time management skills.

If you have passion for both, these two activities go well together. And if you’ve never tried running, I believe it can help you become a better writer. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. There is no scientific evidence to prove that there’s a link between running and writing. But a lot of writers think there is one.
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Posted on January 18, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Upcoming Doc Project Mentorship deadline February 1

A message from CBC Radio’s mentorship program The Doc Project:

It’s that time again! CBC Radio’s Mentorship applications deadline is Wednesday, February 1

In the past two years over 60 of your CMG colleagues gone through this unique professional development program,  working intensively with veteran CBC producers/mentors to produce unique, innovative radio documentaries.

Their work has aired on 10 different CBC Radio One programs and a number of local shows across the country and have been recognized by The New York Festivals, Third Coast, The imagineNative Festival and The Gabriel Awards.   

As a CMG freelancer all that stands between you and the chance to work on a long-form passion project is a two page application … and a really good idea.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about The Doc Project or the Mentorship Program, acquaint yourself with some basic FAQs.

If you’re familiar with the premise, here is a little pre-application checklist:

• Ask yourself: do I qualify? The Mentorship Program is open to CBC employees and Canadian freelance audio producers who have demonstrated experience in audio production, and are looking to develop a pre-existing skill-set. This is not an opportunity for folks to make their first audio doc or learn the basics of audio storytelling.

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Posted on January 17, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 10-16

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:

  • Pain and possibilities abound for journalists in the digital age: As the print-heavy side of newspaper industry continues to shed jobs and shut down newsrooms, conversations about how journalism will look and survive in an increasingly digital age are thriving…
  • Member survey: What social media training do you need?: CMG Freelance is planning a day-long social media workshop in Vancouver with Katt Stearns, recipient of the 2015 Canadian Digital Marketer of the Year Award. Katt can help you focus your social media energies in the most efficient way possible…
  • Off the Page, with Marta Iwanek: Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with photojournalist Marta Iwanek, who in 2016 was named Canada’s Best New Magazine Photographer from the National Magazine Awards Foundation…

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

Pain and possibilities abound for journalists in the digital age

NASH 79 features several female journalists sharing stories of abuse on social media

By Steve Cornwell

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Tim Currie, director of the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College

As the print-heavy side of newspaper industry continues to shed jobs and shut down newsrooms, conversations about how journalism will look and survive in an increasingly digital age are thriving. At the Canadian University Press’s national student journalism conference (NASH 79) in Fredericton, New Brunswick last week, the conversation covered both the hopeful possibilities and the fresh challenges of journalism today.

Many journalists are searching for more opportunities to meaningfully impact their communities. In an interview at NASH, journalism professor Tim Currie said he believes that this focus will help journalists find their way forward.

“I think that journalists need to mean more to their communities,” said Currie, director of the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College. “If there is an opportunity in the digital age, it’s cliché to say, but it’s engagement, it’s community,”

As tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email allow for quicker and more immediate connections with readers than before, Currie said that journalists are well-positioned to make positive contributions to their communities.
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Posted on January 13, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Member survey: What social media training do you need?

CMG Freelance is planning a day-long social media workshop in Vancouver with Katt Stearns, recipient of the 2015 Canadian Digital Marketer of the Year Award. Katt can help you focus your social media energies in the most efficient way possible.

But we want to know what you really need help with the most…and if you’d come to our workshop in March! Please click on this link to fill out our survey. We’re also planning a live webinar series with Katt so there are questions about that as well.

We’ll draw 3 names from the survey participants and give each of the winners a choice of a $50 gift card from Staples (for your stationery), Starbucks (to keep you caffeinated) or The Bay (to keep you stylin’!).

Survey deadline is Friday, January 20th.  

*Access to the workshop and webinars is for CMG Freelance members only. Memberships start from as little as $15/month and there are discounts for members of our like-minded associations.

Check out the CMG Freelance website for more information.

Posted on January 12, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Page, with Marta Iwanek

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with photojournalist Marta Iwanek, who in 2016 was named Canada’s Best New Magazine Photographer from the National Magazine Awards Foundation, in addition to winning the Gold Medal for Photojournalism & Photo Essay for her incredible reporting of the 2013-2014 Ukrainian crisis, titled “The Maidan” (Maisonneuve).

NMAF: In your award-winning photo essay, “The Maidan,” you take the reader on a journey to a winter in Kyiv, where thousands of Ukrainians gathered to take a courageous stand against their government. You capture the Maidan as a place of fear and uncertainty, but also of community and solidarity. How did you get a sense of the place when you arrived, and what were the human emotions that spoke to you as a photographer?

Marta: I first arrived in Kyiv in early November (2013) before any of the protests had started. I remember driving through the centre of the city and thinking what a bustling metropolis it was. Then I went out east to work on a film and returned in late November a little after the pro-European protests had begun. Everything was still calm at that point and there was a sense of hopefulness among the crowd.
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Posted on January 10, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 4-9

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:

  • Writers’ Rights event in Toronto January 28: An optimistic view of the state of freelance journalism is a rare thing these days. But author and University of Toronto professor Nicole Cohen has one. She says that although it can be hard to stay positive in the face of challenging conditions for freelance workers, her research has demonstrated that there are some reasons to be hopeful…

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 January 9, 2017 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Writers’ Rights event in Toronto January 28

MQ10 - Writer's Rights R1.inddAn optimistic view of the state of freelance journalism is a rare thing these days. But author and University of Toronto professor Nicole Cohen has one. She says that although it can be hard to stay positive in the face of challenging conditions for freelance workers, her research has demonstrated that there are some reasons to be hopeful.

Cohen’s new book, Writers’ Rights: Freelance Journalism in a Digital Age will be the focus of an afternoon event later this month hosted by CMG Freelance and PWAC Toronto. The discussion is scheduled for January 28th from 1 to 3 p.m. at Metro Hall in Toronto. Tickets are free, but attendees are asked to register here.

The book explores working conditions for freelancers and looks to the future of journalism. Freelance work is increasingly precarious and is often associated with poor pay, heavy workloads and lack of access to social protections. But Cohen says the rise of freelance organizations and campaigns that push back against exploitative publishers challenges the idea that low pay and precarity are inevitable facts of freelance life.

“I argue that the conditions freelancers find themselves in are the result of particular histories and decisions made by publishers and corporate executives of media companies about how to organize production, organize labour, use digital technologies, etcetera,” she says.

This perspective, she says, gives freelancers the agency to try and protect their autonomy and improve their working conditions. But they can’t do it alone.
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Posted on January 6, 2017 at 10:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off The Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Dec 29-Jan 3

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:

  • Off the Page with Richard Kelly Kemick: Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with Richard Kelly Kemick, who was nominated for 2 National Magazine Awards in 2016…

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 January 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Page, with Richard Kelly Kemick

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with Richard Kelly Kemick, who was nominated for 2 National Magazine Awards in 2016–winning the Gold Medal in One of a Kind for his story “Playing God” (The Walrus), a reflection on his singular obsession with building Christmas villages. The story also won him a nomination for Canada’s Best New Magazine Writer.

NMAF: “Playing God,” your story that won Gold in the One of a Kind category at last year’s NMAs, was developed at the Banff Centre for Literary Journalism. Can you describe your experience there, and how this somewhat unconventional idea was developed into an award-winning magazine story. 

Richard: During my month at the Banff Centre––as every tagline on their website attests––I worked alongside some of the best editors and writers in the business (Ian Brown, Victor Dwyer, Charlotte Gill, to say nothing of the exceptional participants I was writing alongside). What I wasn’t expecting, however, was how affirming it would be for me as a writer. 

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Posted on December 30, 2016 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,