WEBINAR: Income Replacement and Taxes during Covid-19

A free CFG Lunch and Learn webinar is planned for members in good standing on Tuesday, April 14th at 12 noon ET.

A representative from the New School of Finance  will bring us up to date on government initiatives for income replacement as well as other protections for the self-employed and others affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

There will also be information about filing your income tax for 2019 and we’re leaving ample time for a Q+A session.

If you’re a CFG member click here to register.

For more information about to cost and benefits of membership, check out this page on the Canadian Freelance Guild website.

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: , , ,

Canadian Freelance Guild launches

We did it! On Wednesday, April 1st, we welcomed into the world a brand new association for freelancers.

On January 14th of this year, PWAC members voted to join the independent membership of the Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch at a new home with a new name, the Canadian Freelance Guild.

Within a scant two and a half months of the vote, a dedicated transition team has merged the two membership databases, launched a new website and a new logo, developed bylaws, and is already offering timely professional development webinars as one of the main benefits of membership.

April 1st marked the day that all former PWAC members were asked to renew their yearly dues (at a new, lower rate of $150 per year) and we got the payment system working as well. Yes, a few glitches, but that was to be expected.

Both PWAC and CMG Freelance have a long-standing reputation of defending freelance rights and providing professional development and advice for our respective memberships. That will carry on as a basic tenet of the CFG.

There are plans in the works to offer a number of webinars to members in good standing over the coming weeks.

Need to learn how to get more from Zoom, the popular video meeting software? We’re offering Session III of our popular Zoom tutorial on April 6th. The first two sessions were booked solid in short order, so don’t wait. If you’re a member, click here to register!

And on April 14 at noon ET, a representative from the New School of Finance will tell us about government initiatives for income replacement and other protections for the self-employed and others affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be information about filing your income tax for 2019 and we’re leaving ample time for a Q+A session. If you’re a member, click here to register now.

A founding convention and election of officers for our new association will be held in October of 2020.

Together, we’re better.

Don Genova and Doreen Pendgracs
Transition Committee Co-Chairs
Canadian Freelance Guild

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 11:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

2020 Forum Freelance Fund training bursary open for applications

Applications are now open for the 2020 Forum Freelance Fund competition. The fund offers bursaries of up to $2500 to help Canadian freelancers pay for hostile environment training.

Bursaries must first be applied to course fees with the remainder to be used for travel costs.

This year’s application deadline is April 10, 2020. Winners of the bursaries will be notified by May 31 and will have until July 31 to choose a hostile environment training course from an approved provider. Courses must begin by February 29, 2021.

However, these dates will be extended if there are any course closures due to COVID-19.

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma runs the competition in association with the Rory Peck Trust, a U.K.-based organization devoted to promoting the safety of freelancers.

Information about the application requirements are available on the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma website.

Posted on March 31, 2020 at 3:33 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

The Born Freelancer on the COVID-19 Crisis

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.

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It seems to me we freelancers are in a unique position during this crisis.

Unique, in this case, being both good and bad.

We are psychologically better prepared than most to adapt to the rapidly-evolving circumstances being forced upon us. But we are also among the most easily compromised financially as freelancers are always the first to get “the chop”.

First, to our strengths.

Some generalizations. We are used to working at home. Often but not always alone. Usually with little or no direction. We continuously have to reinvent ourselves. We must be frugal. We know how to save! We must be strong enough to handle pressure, deadlines, rejection, disappointment.

We must also be sensitive enough to understand the hopes and fears of others. We are good at networking. We are good at planning and adapting to new circumstances.

The list goes on.

And so for many of us the initial hardships forcing others into minor meltdowns, such as working from home, are already part of our lifestyle. We are no strangers to the nature of the challenges that now face all of us – namely, adapting to enormous change that mutates daily.

Our troubles are more related to where we are on the employment “food chain”. We are usually the first to be let go and the easiest for employers and government to exclude from any mandated benefits. So we must be prepared to look out for ourselves as much as possible – while also helping those around us.
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Posted on March 24, 2020 at 2:54 pm by editor · 3 Comments · Tagged with: , , ,

The 5-Minute Freelancer Q&A #43 — Tom Hawthorn

by Monte Stewart

Photo by Paige Lindsay

Award-winning journalist Tom Hawthorn has spent most of his career as a freelancer. He is well-known for contributing obituaries to The Globe and Mail, but also writes about living people for other media outlets.

During the 1990s, he served as a staff reporter with two daily newspapers. He has also authored a number of books, including The Year Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country, about Canada’s centennial year, and is currently working on a biographical history of The Ubyssey student newspaper.

When he is not freelancing, he works part-time at iconic independent bookstore Munro’s Books in Victoria, B.C.

In this Q&A, Hawthorn, explains why he cherishes awards shaped like tombstones and offers tips – along with a few caveats – to current and prospective freelancers.

How did you end up becoming a full-time freelancer?

I did four stints as a summer intern – at The Vancouver Sun in 1980 and ’84, and The Globe and Mail in arts in 1986 and sports in ’87. I spent the 1990s as a staff reporter and desker at The Province in Vancouver and The Times Colonist in Victoria. In between and ever after, I’ve freelanced, mostly to newspapers and magazines.

Having learned journalism at a student newspaper [The Ubyssey], I’ve always enjoyed generating my own story ideas. I also have to say I can freelance full-time in part because my partner, also a journalist, has a union job with solid benefits. This would be much harder as a solo effort.

Who do you write for?
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Posted on March 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

The Unfulfilled Promise of Publishing with Partner Programs

by Liz Gallo


In August of 2018, I joined Medium’s Partner Program.

For the uninitiated, Medium is a publishing platform founded by Ev Williams who also co-founded Blogger and Twitter. They started their Partner Program in 2018 as a way for writers to earn money from their content.

Medium appeared to be not only an alternative to more traditional online publishing models but also a new way of being a published writer. No longer did I have to wait months just to have a submission rejected or search aimlessly through digital publications and blogs trying to decide where to submit my work. I could publish my work instantly and start earning money.

Even better, I would soon discover, there was a community of Medium writers reading, sharing, and publishing each other’s work. The platform also gives you access to stats on the performance of your articles. I could see the number of views, reads, and fans for each article. An avid poet, I saw my poems being read and making money. It was exciting.

In an interview via phone, Medium writer Roz Warren said when she first started publishing on the platform Medium “felt like the future.” A freelance writer with numerous publications under her belt, including The New York Times blog, she had hoped to replace the money earned via other freelance writing work with earnings from the platform. I’ll confess I had similar hopes — hopes of my writing becoming a lucrative side-hustle.
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Posted on March 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm by editor · One Comment · Tagged with: ,

Public Lending Right Program’s 2020 registration period now open

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, 2020. 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. Forms should arrive by March 27 and need to be returned before May. If you don’t receive a form by the end of March, you can contact program administrators at plr@canadacouncil.ca.

The minimum payment the program will send out is $50. The maximum payment issued in 2019-20, was $4,500.

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

Posted on February 26, 2020 at 9:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

3 ways freelancers can build trust with clients

by Robyn Roste

As a new freelancer, nothing was more exciting than bidding on and winning a gig.

I’d do a happy dance and bask in the initial adrenaline rush. And then I’d get on with my day.

I’d work on assignments and turn them in when I was finished, but every now and then I’d receive an inquisitive email. The inquiries were always the same, just checking in, wondering how things were going, would I be hitting my deadline?

When I got serious about freelancing I recognized my approach to client communication left room for improvement.

Before jumping into a new assignment I’d check with my editors about their communication expectations and make a point to adhere to them. While some clients preferred weekly updates, others only wanted to hear from me if there was a problem.

On top of doing a better job of meeting client expectations, I also began looking for other ways to build stronger relationships.

Here are three areas that have made the biggest difference for reassuring clients that I’m working hard for them.
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Posted on February 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Feb 11-18

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The Born Freelancer on “It’s All Been Done Before”: A young freelance writer I know was lamenting the other day how hard it was for her to come up with anything original. “It’s so frustrating” she said, “I mean, it’s all been done before”. But even if true, it’s still almost always possible to come up with a fresh, new, lively take on anything. The trick is in finding your own unique, authentic voice to do it in…

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 February 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer on “It’s All Been Done Before”

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.

bornfreel2

A young freelance writer I know was lamenting the other day how hard it was for her to come up with anything original. “It’s so frustrating” she said, “I mean, it’s all been done before”.

But even if true, it’s still almost always possible to come up with a fresh, new, lively take on anything.

The trick is in finding your own unique, authentic voice to do it in.

Today I’d like to talk about how to achieve this worthy goal.

Spoiler: It is a lifelong pursuit.

The ignorance-is-bliss approach

Most rookie creatives tend to fall into one of two camps: Those who appreciate and study (to some degree or another) the history of their chosen field; and those who plunge into it without any thought of those who have worked before them.

The latter approach certainly has strengths but also a surfeit of weaknesses.
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Posted on February 11, 2020 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,