B.C. freelancers invited to participate in Vancity survey

Vancity is interested in learning more about the changing nature of work. If you live in B.C. and are a freelance, contract or independent worker, you’re invited to participate in the survey the credit union is conducting to try and understand the effect of self-employment on British Columbians.

The survey takes about ten minutes to complete and asks respondents about the advantages and disadvantages of working independently. The information gathered will be published in a report on the gig economy in mid-June.

Vancity’s survey will be open until April 30. Participants will be entered in a draw to win one of three Visa gift cards in the amounts of $500 and $250.

You can find the survey here: https://live.madesurveys.ca/vancity.html

Posted on April 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

From Canada to the Netherlands, freelancers seek community and solidarity

Jim Verhoef, staff representative for Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten

Freelancing is a solitary career. But increasingly, freelancers around the world are seeing the value of community. Unions like our own CMG Freelance here in Canada are attracting a growing number of freelance members. And in the Netherlands, union membership among media freelancers is growing even faster.

According to Jim Verhoef, almost half of the nearly 8000 members of Dutch media union NVJ (Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten), are freelance journalists. Verhoef, a staff representative for NVJ, is currently on a work/study visit to the Canadian Media Guild’s Toronto office. He took the time to speak with Story Board recently about freelance organizing in the Netherlands.

Freelancers join NVJ for a variety of reasons, said Verhoef. He estimated that about one third of the union’s freelance members are former full-time media workers who have been laid off over the past few years. The rest of NVJ’s freelance membership, he said, choose to freelance because they enjoy the entrepreneurial nature of this kind of work.

“As well as being a union, we are also a professional association, and a lot of freelancers feel that if they join our professional organization that it implicitly gives them a kind of professional mark on what they do,” he said.
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Posted on April 17, 2018 at 11:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer April 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:

  • The Born Freelancer Interviews Daniel Sugar on Self-Publishing His First Novel: Writing a novel is the dream of many freelance writers, but few of us achieve this formidable goal. A first novel is therefore always an exciting event for a freelancer although the path to being published is often strewn with obstacles and decisions unfamiliar to the unpublished…
  • Freelance rates rising at CBC/Radio Canada: The Canadian Media Guild and CBC have agreed to an across-the-board wage increase of 1.5% for 2018-19. This increase is also applicable to all the minimum rates applicable to Freelance Contributors…

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 April 16, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Freelance Rates Rising at CBC/Radio-Canada

The Canadian Media Guild and CBC have agreed to an across-the-board wage increase of 1.5% for 2018-19. This increase is also applicable to all the minimum rates applicable to Freelance Contributors.

The increase is effective April 1st, 2018 and the new rates are posted in a downloadable Excel file on the CMG Freelance website along with other tips for CBC freelancers.

One notable rate increase is not based on the 1.5%. The minimum rate for Text Contributions jumps to 60 cents a word from 55 cents a word, where it had sat for the past 2 years. The increase comes as a result of the 2013 contract settlement which doesn’t expire until 2019, but the two sides agreed to a “wage re-opener” for each year of the contract.

“All freelancers should examine their newest contracts (April 1st or later) to make sure that the increase has been applied,” says Don Genova, CMG Freelance President. “Also, if you’re a regular contributor being paid over-scale, your base rate should go up 1.5% and your over-scale amount should remain the same, it shouldn’t be reduced as a result of the base improvement.”

Remember, the posted rates are ‘minimums’. Freelancers can negotiate rates over the minimums, which is usually easier to do with network shows with larger budgets.

Also, if you are hired on a ‘Freelance Specific Services’ contract, your rate is based on what a CBC employee would make for doing the same work. Make sure the money you’re offered fits in with the new rates being paid to employees.

If you have any questions about the increase and how it should be applied, contact CMG Freelance branch president Don at freelance@cmg.ca.

Posted on April 12, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

The Born Freelancer Interviews Daniel Sugar on Self-Publishing His First Novel

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.

 

Writing a novel is the dream of many freelance writers, but few of us achieve this formidable goal. A first novel is therefore always an exciting event for a freelancer although the path to being published is often strewn with obstacles and decisions unfamiliar to the unpublished.

Daniel Sugar is a Toronto-born and based freelancer who has written for various celebrities and a number of TV shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. A fan of the work of Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown and other best-selling authors, Salem Burning is his first novel.

THE BORN FREELANCER: Daniel, you’ve set your first novel in a turbulent and iconic era – that of the Salem witch trials. In it, a dishonourable young man breaks his engagement by falsely accusing his betrothed of witchcraft. The twist is, she turns out to actually be a witch. How did you come up with the story?

DANIEL SUGAR:  One day I thought, what if someone told a lie and it just happened to be true? And then I thought, and what if that happened in 1692? Once I had those two things, the entire story flashed through my mind and I couldn’t wait to write it. I saw the whole thing very clearly… It all poured out very quickly – I had a first draft in 9 days and then I polished it for about a year.

THE BORN FREELANCER:  What kind of research was required to construct a believable narrative?

DANIEL SUGAR:  While I was polishing the novel, I did a lot of research so that everything would seem authentic, the clothes, the food, the homes. I did an enormous amount of research for the scene where Lilly actually goes to trial. I was really afraid to make a mistake because the Salem witch trials actually happened and people really were executed. I took it very seriously – you have to honour the dead – you can’t make light of a terrible and shocking historical event.

THE BORN FREELANCER:  You’ve chosen to self-publish. What made you choose to go that route and not a more conventional author/publisher route?
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Posted on April 11, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: , , , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer April 3-9

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:

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 April 9, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Need some help with your taxes? Get organized with the New School of Finance’s free course

It’s tax season, freelancers, and that means it’s time to dig out that pile of receipts and tax slips and get them organized. If that idea fills you with dread, the New School of Finance has a free course that might help.

The Toronto-based fee-only financial planning firm’s Tax Prep Party is a short tutorial filled with good, basic information to help you get your papers in order.

There are two video modules — one is a general tax preparation checklist and the other is specifically aimed at sole proprietors. The course explains the various slips you’ll need to submit with your return and will remind you of all the little tax credits and deductions that will help you save money on your taxes. Tax Prep Party is presented by financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons, whose entertaining and energetic personality livens up an otherwise tedious chore.

Whether you’re completing your tax return yourself or hiring a tax preparer, Tax Prep Party will help you make sense of the jumble of slips and receipts. As a bonus, if you register for this free course you’ll be offered a discount on the New School of Finance’s comprehensive business course for freelancers, Sole Prop School.

The deadline to file your personal income taxes is April 30. Self-employed people have until June 15 to file their return, but you might not want to wait until that deadline to file… because you’ll pay interest on any taxes you owe between April 30 and June 15.

For more advice on filing your tax return as a freelancer, check out these posts from Story Board’s archives.

Posted on April 5, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Halifax freelancer meet-and-greet April 18

Halifax-area freelancers, mark your calendars: CMG Freelance is hosting a spring meet-and-greet on Wednesday, April 18 at The Marquee Ballroom (2037 Gottingen Street) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Come and join us for this casual social night where we’ll make connections, share ideas and discuss ways we can work together to improve the working lives of freelancers.

Enjoy a slice of pizza and a drink on us while you network with other freelancers and learn about the CMG and the support we provide to freelance workers.

If you’re able to join us for this event and you’re on Facebook please RSVP on this event page so that we’ll have a rough idea how many people will be attending. Hope to see you there!

 

Posted on April 3, 2018 at 10:06 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer March 27-April 2

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 April 2, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Vancouver media mixer on April 18

Vancouver media workers, freelancers and journalism students, come out and join us for a free networking event on Wednesday, April 18 at Shebeen Whiskey House (212 Carrall St.) in Gastown from 6:00 until 8:30 p.m. 

There will be free snacks and drinks on offer as you make connections, test pitches, and share advice with people working (and studying) in the media across the city. Mentors from a variety of media outlets will be in attendance.

The event is sponsored by CWA Canada, the country’s only all media union, with 6,000 members at media companies and newspapers coast to coast. CWA Canada is the parent union of the Canadian Media Guild, which represents members at media outlets such as VICE Canada, CBC, and The Canadian Press, as well as freelancers through its voluntary membership program. CWA Canada also has a free membership for student, volunteer, precarious and emerging media workers through its Associate Member program.

This event is free to attend, but please register to reserve your spot on this Eventbrite page.

Posted on March 29, 2018 at 9:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,