I didn’t make it to the Future of Freelancing at Stanford, but the website has already posted conference highlights. Also, here are links to blog posts about the conference:

And a perspective on writing for free, this one from Advertising Age.

Check out the comments after the articles, too.

April 30, 2010 12:00 amtoMay 2, 2010 12:00 am

Thanks to Linda Jue for sending this announcement:

Journalism isn’t dying, it’s on the cusp of a new era. While the journalism industry is still recovering from the collective shock of mass layoffs, buyouts and closures, there have also been some impressive new ventures to emerge in the last couple years as brilliant reporters, managers, administrators and educators react to the demands of a changing mediascape.

The 2010 BookExpo America New Title Showcase takes place May 25-27 in New York City. Register your Lulu print-on-demand book by May 7th and Lulu will display it physically at their New Title Showcase booth and will also list it, along with your contact details, online and in the printed catalog given to BEA attendees. The cost is $399.

April 13, 2010
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

You know you need to go: The Northern California chapter of the Society of American Media Photographers (ASMP) presents: Smartphones and the Future of Photo Publishing.

“If you thought the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and the Internet revolution of the 1990s were big, well, they were. But a new revolution merging the best features of personal computing, instant anywhere, anytime communication, and carry-everywhere portability promises to dwarf them both.

I enjoyed Ed Hasbroucks’s recent article on the intricacies of learning a foreign language. Here are a couple of excerpts:

“We tend to think of the problem of understanding a foreign language in terms of “knowing what the words” (or maybe sentences) mean. But If that were true, all we would need anywhere would be a phrase book. Anyone who’s
ever tried, and failed, to use a phrase book to communicate in a completely unknown language has quickly realized that there are multiple layers of coding that one must master before one can look up a foreign word in a dictionary or phrase book.

“One layer down in a spoken language, which groups of sounds or syllables

March 27, 2010
9:00 amto12:30 pm


There are still a few spaces left for the Women’s National Book Association’s annual signature event, “Speed Dating with Agents, Editors, and Publishers” on March 27th. You don’t need to be a WNBA member—or even a woman—to participate. The WNBA says:

“Fiction & Nonfiction: Whether your manuscript is ready to be launched into the world or your amazing story is still a work-in-progress; don’t miss this opportunity to discuss your work with those who are in-the-know in the industry. Attending this event could change your writing life, and it certainly will be more exciting than your typical Saturday morning!”

A list of the agents participating this year is here.

Earth Calendar

February 16, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Here’s a list of international holidays, searchable by date, country, religion, and more. The listing doesn’t skimp: for the US, it shows 15 holidays in January, including National Pharmacists’ Day and Elvis’s birthday.

US and UK spellings

February 16, 2010 | Leave a Comment

If you need to write using UK spellings, here’s a good resource.

Sin and Syntax

November 18, 2009 | Leave a Comment

sin_002_180x284Love writing? You’ll love the Sin and Syntax website, on which author Connie Hale offers writing exercises (she’s teaching at Harvard) and discusses grammatical and stylistic issues such as Barack Obama’s use of pronouns (politically correct but grammatically reprehensible), her own pet punctuation peeves, and the secrets for writing sinfully succulent prose.

Hale is the author of Sin & Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose. She also wrote Wired Style (the manual for Wired magazine) for which she was dubbed “Marion the Librarian on a Harley, or E. B. White on acid.” Her articles have been published in many newspapers, and in magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic Adventure, Smithsonian, Health, and Honolulu.

Thanks to April Orcutt for sending along the link to this probably-too-true-to-be-funny essay from the New Yorker‘s Shouts & Murmurs

Subject: Our Marketing Plan

by Ellis Weiner

Hi, Ellis—

Let me introduce myself. My name is Gineen Klein, and I’ve been brought on as an intern to replace the promotion department here at Propensity Books. First, let me say that I absolutely love “Clancy the Doofus Beagle: A Love Story” and have some excellent ideas for promotion.

Travel writer Edward Hasbrouck (author of “The Practical Nomad“) was elected Co-Chair of the Book Division of the National Writers Union by delegates to the NWU’s biennial national convention earlier this month in Chicago, which he attended as part of the San Francisco NWU chapter delegation. He notes that is a sizable contingent of travel writers in the NWU, and encourages all writers who are serious about trying to make a living  to consider joining the NWU.

Wondering what happened to the talented journalists who’ve been adversely affected by  the fact that the traditional newspaper business model no longer works (not to mention the the economic downturn)?

Thanks to Gayle Keck for this link to The Journalism Shop, “an easy-to-navigate site for finding highly skilled newspaper veterans interested in taking on freelance assignments. All members are former Los Angeles Times staffers offering a wide range of skills and interests, from investigative reporters to book reviewers, page designers to project managers.”

And the Los Angeles Times photographers have set up shop at Pro Photography Network (“We will shoot anything, anywhere, for anyone.”)

August 24, 2009
12:00 am

The deadline for National Geographic Traveler’s World in Focus photo contest is August 24th.

Grand prize is a 10-day safari trip for one person to Tanzania.

Categories are:

  • TRAVEL PORTRAITS: Travel photos of locals working, playing, celebrating
  • OUTDOOR SCENES: Landscapes, aerials, wildlife, waterscapes.
  • SENSE OF PLACE: Scenes in cities, towns, and villages that suggest a feeling of place.
  • SPONTANEOUS MOMENTS: Photos that capture fun, quirky, unrehearsed moments.
  • PHOTO ESSAY: Up to six images that convey a story around a particular theme.
October 4, 2009
10:00 amto5:00 pm

Lisa Alpine and Carla King are offering a seminar on self-publishing from 10:00 – 5:00 on Sunday, October 4th, 2009, at Fort Mason Center.

Here’s the scoop:

“You’ll learn everything you need to know to do it yourself:

  • What the various POD printers, online services, and distribution companies do (and don’t do) for you
  • How to outsource: book design, mailing list management, blogs, and other essential tasks
  • What to watch out for when using POD “subsidy” publishers
  • Options for distribution and fulfillment
  • How to use your eBook to sell your print book

Thanks to Diane LeBow for forwarding this press release:

For Immediate Release (August 13, 2009)

National Writers Union Opposes Settlement of Class-Action Lawsuit Against Google for Copyright Infringement

The National Writers Union today announced its opposition to the proposed $125 million settlement of a class-action copyright infringement lawsuit brought by writers and publishers against Google because its massive book-scanning project violated their copyrights.

August 13, 2009 12:00 amtoAugust 16, 2009 12:00 am

The 18th annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference runs from Thursday, August 13 through Sunday the 16th, 2009

“The conference has an extraordinary reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. Alumni have published books, articles, and photos—many as the direct result of lessons learned and contacts made at the conference. There is no finer travel writing conference anywhere in the world.

If you love copy editing like I love copy editing, you’ll get a belly laugh from Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, edited by the folks at Vanity Fair.


August 18, 2009
3:00 pmto5:30 pm

California Lawyers for the Arts is offering an Intellectual Property Seminar on Tuesday, August 18, 3 – 5:30pm at Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 265.

Attorney Erick Howard will discuss the general parameters of intellectual property in the performing, visual and literary arts. Usually there are hand-outs given to participants to help explain the basic elements of copyright/ license usage as well as publishing. At the end of the seminar participants are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.

Looking for health insurance? Kaiser offers small business plans (no “pre-existing conditions” issues) for companies of two people or more. So, theoretically, two self-employed individuals could create a company of two partners (no employees needed) and qualify as a small business.

I’ve been investigating health insurance plans recently, and have heard good things about Kaiser from multiple sources. Thanks to Laurie Weed for this link. Now I just need to determine which would work best: a straight copay plan, a copay with deductible, an HSA, HRA, PPO, PPO with HSA, point-of-service … or some other plan configuration.

I’m thrilled to announce that the Bay Area Travel Writers newsletter is now live as an online e-zine. April Orcutt, who has contributed to Travel Writers News many times, is doing an excellent job of editing it.

One reason I’m thrilled is because the newsletter contains lots of useful tips and information for travel writers; the other reason is because I worked very hard to get the online newsletter up and running, and now that it’s working I’ll have a life again. In addition to April, Diane LeBow, Marc Longwood, and Bradley Charbonneau all contributed many hours to the site development.

April 14, 2009
6:00 pmto9:30 pm

From the Northern California chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers:

The Eloquence and Intention of Film in the Digital Age — An evening with with Jock McDonald and Thomas Heinser — At LeftSpace studios

This event will blow your pixels off! Two highly acclaimed photographers Jock McDonald and Thomas Heinser talk about shooting Film in todays digital world. Don’t miss this one!

Thanks to Michael Shapiro for sending this hilarious-but-sad Craig’s List post and ranting response. (I’d include the link, but the post is evidently no longer up.)

Local Freelance Food Writers Needed (SF)

Reply to: gigs-1043393944@craigslist.org
Date: 2009-02-20, 2:40PM PST

Do you love to eat? Are you deeply entrenched in Bay Area food culture? Early stage website for everyone who loves to cook seeks writers for San Francisco, Peninsula, and East/North/South Bay neighborhood pages. Must have an active sense of humor and love to cook!

James Wood’s essay in the New Yorker about Geoff Dyer “He combines fiction, autobiography, travel writing, cultural criticism, literary theory, and a kind of comic English whining. The result ought to be a mutant mulch but is almost always a louche and canny delight.”

Magazine Death Pool

January 7, 2009 | 1 Comment

From Suzie Rodriguez: I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of weeks about the outlook for print newspapers and magazines (as opposed to online versions). If you’re concerned about what’s happening with the traditional magazine industry, there is good reason. An increasing number of mags are folding; those hanging on are laying off staff–many (perhaps most) of whom join the ranks of freelancers. That means rising numbers of us are chasing ever-diminishing possibilities.

WordPress Lessons

December 28, 2008 | 2 Comments

Here’s a link to the WordPress HELP section that includes lessons o:

  • Introduction to Blogging
  • First Steps with WordPress
  • Design and Layout
  • Creating Individual Pages
  • Using Images
  • and lots more
« go backkeep looking »
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