CBC Doc Mentorship Program spring deadline

CBC Radio’s Doc Mentorship Program has a spring deadline approaching.

Experienced audio freelancers are invited to submit a pitch to the program by May 7, 2021.

The program, which is also open to all CBC employees, is accepting applications for three different mentorships: the Doc Mentorship program,  The Current’s Advanced Doc Maker program and the Emerging Indigenous Doc Maker program.

The program pairs up documentary makers with experienced CBC producers who provide guidance and mentorship through the process of making a radio documentary. Mentors are happy to provide feedback on pitches before the formal application process, so applicants are advised to contact the mentor they wish to work with before they apply.

You can find more details about the Doc Mentorship Program and how to apply, on the Doc Makers website. If you have any questions about the program, you can email docmentorships@cbc.ca.

And for information about CBC rates and contracts, check out this page on the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on April 12, 2021 at 4:56 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Nominations Open for Two Vacant Positions on the CFG Board of Directors

The CFG Election Team is now accepting nominations for two vacant positions on the CFG Board of Directors: Treasurer, and Director at Large: Membership.

According to the CFG Bylaws, the Treasurer “shall be responsible for the safe control and custody of all funds and securities of the CFG and shall keep or shall cause to be kept full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the CFG. They shall perform such other duties as shall from time to time be determined by the Board of Directors.”

The Director at Large: Membership “shall have such duties as are delegated to them by the Board, including responsibilities for Membership and Communities and perform other such duties as assigned by the Board.”

Candidates must be nominated and seconded by CFG members in good standing. Click here to view or fill in a nomination form. Authorized nominees will have a chance to place a 500-word statement, photo, and short video on the CFG website. 

Nominations will close at 6pm Eastern Time, Thursday, April 22nd, 2021. Candidates will have a chance to ‘meet and greet’ with members during the CFG Monthly Mixer at 4pm ET on Friday, April 30th.

Electronic Voting will take place on May 7th, 8th, and 9th. Details to follow.

The CFG’s election policy can be found at the bottom of this page, along with the bylaws of the CFG.

Questions about the election can be sent to CFG Organizer Don Genova in order to be forwarded to the Election Team for consideration.


Your Election Team

Karen Tankard, Elle Andra-Warner, and Don Genova

Posted on April 8, 2021 at 10:04 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

2021 Access Copyright Payback claim period now open

Writers and visual artists, the 2021 Access Copyright Payback claim period is now open and you have until until May 31 to submit your claim.

If you were affiliated with Access Copyright as of December 31, 2020 you’re eligible to submit a claim this year for written and visual work published in books, magazines, journals and/or newspapers between 2000 and 2019. Works published in 2020 will be eligible for a claim next year. Payments will be sent out at the end of November.

If you’re not yet registered with Access Copyright and you have published work that fits the claim criteria, now would be a good time to register via Access Copyright’s online affiliation portal so that you’ll be ready to submit your claim next year.

For a full explanation of how Access Copyright and the Access Copyright Foundation could contribute to your income stream, check out this Story Board post from 2016.

You can find more information and submit a claim on the Access Copyright website.

Posted on April 6, 2021 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

The Born Freelancer Stays Focused

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.


One of the most frequent complaints I hear from non-freelancers during this pandemic is, “I just can’t stay focused on anything”.

Call it staying focused or living in the moment, it has always been one of the most important tools in a freelancer’s toolkit, pandemic or no pandemic.

I would posit the most successful freelancers have had to develop such skill sets in order to survive the sometimes volatile lifestyle their careers may generate.

Staying focused is a skill set that can be learned after repeated effort. The knack is to be aware of what it is you need to do and what is preventing you from doing it.

First, a few painful examples from my own steep learning curve.

The live TV show

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Posted on April 1, 2021 at 6:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

Webinar: Beyond News Releases – Simple Steps to Effective Media Relations

CFG Guelph/Kitchener-Waterloo Presents:

Beyond News Releases – Simple Steps to Effective Media Relations
Presenter: Michael Strickland
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
7:00 – 7:45pm Eastern Time

“Truth is, media releases and pitches clog newsroom faxes and emails by the hundreds each and every day,” explains Michael Strickland. “Few ever generate the hoped-for headlines. Many get deleted based on little more than a failed subject line. Fortunately, there are simple things anyone can do to elevate their messaging above the noise.”

In this webinar, Michael will cover a few of the tactics and strategies that any communicator can adopt to get a specific announcement noticed and/or build long-term relationships with key media contacts. Some of these support a good news release, while others, such as opinion writing, an experts list, or editorial board meeting, offer effective alternatives. Most are scalable for any organization size or strategic objective.

About Michael Strickland

Michael Strickland, CFG founding member, is a writer/editor, strategic storyteller, and story coach. He began his career as a print and TV journalist, on the receiving end of too many failed releases. As the head of media relations at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, he produced and distributed more than 1,500 headline-generating releases. Today, he freelances stories that capture his interest while at the same time helping others share their strategic stories.

This event has been organized by and for the members of CFG Guelph/Kitchener-Waterloo.  To help raise funds for future programming, this Community  is also offering attendance to CFG members and the general public for a small fee: 

CFG members = $5
General Public = $25 (use the promo code CFG0413 to reduce the fee to $15)

You can register for this event right here. A link to the Zoom URL will be sent to you half an hour before the meeting.  Check your spam or junk folders if you don’t receive the email with the URL.

Please log in ten minutes before 7pm ET so we can start promptly. You should have the latest version of the Zoom application downloaded to your computer ahead of time or use the Zoom webpage when prompted.

Please direct any questions to CFG Guelph Leader Montaha Hidefi at montaha.hidefi@yahoo.com.

Posted on March 24, 2021 at 8:31 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

Poll is Now Open! Vote for CFG Director: Membership

CFG Election: Director: Membership Management and Development

The election is open for voting and we need your participation! Poll will close at 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, March 14th. To read more about the candidates and view their introductory videos, click here.  Members in good standing can click here to vote.

Please take part in electing our second director at large, responsible for membership management and development.


Posted on March 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Do you have written or visual work in a published book? Register for the Public Lending Right Program

Canadian authors, illustrators and photographers with one or more published books, can now register for the Public Lending Right Program. The program is a Canada Council for the Arts initiative that sends payments every year to creators whose books are in Canadian public libraries.

This year’s registration period runs until May 1, 2021. To register, you’ll need to fill out and mail in a signed registration form along with photocopies of the title page, copyright page and table of contents of the book or books you’ve contributed to.

If you’ve already registered but you have new books to add to your file, fill out the blue file update form you’ll receive in the mail over the next few weeks. If you don’t receive a form by the end of March, you can contact program administrators at plr@canadacouncil.ca.

Eligibility for the program doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a payment — the minimum payment the program will send out is $50. The maximum payment issued in 2020-21, was $4,500.

For details on eligibility criteria or the application process, see the Public Lending Right Program’s website.

Posted on March 9, 2021 at 7:17 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

Replacing objectivity with fairness and accuracy in the newsroom

by Stephen Wentzell

Over the last few years, polarization around journalism has contributed to an environment of distrust around the industry, particularly its writers. Journalists are finding themselves under a microscope never-before imagined in an industry that has traditionally called for round-the-clock neutrality.

“Is objectivity an outdated concept?” asks Manisha Krishnan, senior editor at VICE News.

Krishnan facilitated a workshop centred around this question last month at the 83rd annual NASH student journalism conference. The event, aptly named Disrupt, took place in a virtual setting this year in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Krishnan covered subjects including toxic workplaces in Canadian media and sexual violence against women. She said she believes accuracy and fairness can transcend objectivity.

“Just because someone has an opinion, doesn’t mean they’re not capable of covering something in an objective way,” she told her audience.

What is journalistic objectivity?

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Posted on March 4, 2021 at 6:08 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

Board of Directors Election Update and Candidate Profiles

When nominations closed on the February 25th for the very first Canadian Freelance Guild Board of Directors, every position but one had been filled by acclamation. During our Media Mixer on the 26th, we had the successful candidates introduce themselves, as well as the two candidates for the remaining position, the Director for Membership Management and Development. You can watch the introductions and conversation here, but below are the names and positions of 5/6ths of your new Board of Directors.

The First CFG Board of Directors will be:

George Butters – President, Halifax
Montaha Hidefi – Vice-President, Guelph
Helen Edwards – Secretary, Victoria
Paul Verhaegh – Treasurer, Calgary
Tina Pittaway – Director at Large, Dartmouth

There will be only one election, March 12-14, for the position of Director – Membership. There are two candidates, Lisa Caroglanian Dorazio from BC and Grant Frost from Nova Scotia. Voting will take place on line. Details to follow. Here are Lisa and Grant’s biographies and statements, with video statements to follow soon:
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Posted on March 3, 2021 at 8:14 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Myriad Ways to the Book Publishing Market – Part One

by Steven Threndyle

Most magazine writers and newspaper journalists think about writing a book at some point in their careers. Maybe it’s a deeper dive into a story that was part of a feature package, or a biography of an important event or persona in Canadian life.

Recent non-fiction books by Bruce Kirkby, Justin Ling and Bob Joseph took very different paths to get into print and show how fractured and complex the book publishing landscape is right now.

None of them followed the traditional agent/proposal/advance sale that has been the norm until recently.

Persistence… and an agent’s assistance

Although he graduated from Queens University in engineering physics, Bruce Kirkby has fashioned a professional career as an adventure travel writer based on impressive exploits like crossing Oman’s Empty Quarter by camel and making the first rafting descent of the Blue Nile Gorge as part of a National Geographic team.

He’s a bit of a media polymath; in addition to book and magazine writing, Kirkby hosted No Opportunity Wasted, a reality TV show that aired on CBC and he does corporate speaking engagements throughout North America.

His newest book, Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya, (Douglas & McIntyre, 2020) proved to be his most challenging creative endeavour yet.

As an antidote to the endless restlessness of “always-on” modern Canadian life, Kirkby, his wife Christine and their two kids Bodi and Taj journeyed (by canoe, ocean freighter, rail and on foot, but not jet!) to a remote village in the northern Indian state of Zanskar, living as guests in a Buddhist monastery for three months.
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Posted on February 25, 2021 at 9:02 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,