Category Archives: Freelancing

Writing about new subjects, pursuing fellowships help freelancers keep careers fresh

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJBara Vaida (speaking) moderated a panel full of advice for freelancers on how to keep their careers rewarding. Lynette Clemetson, director of the Wallace House for Knight-Wallace fellowships, talked about the value of a mid-career fellowship to reposition a journalist’s career.

Journalists desiring to keep their freelance career fresh might consider writing new types of stories for different publications, says Laura Beil.

Beil is a Dallas-based independent journalist who typically doesn’t write about sports but decided to change it up a bit recently by successfully pitching and writing an article about obesity among high school football players. Continue reading

Experienced freelancers provide valuable tips, advice

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJEmily Gurnon, an editor with PBS Next Avenue, urges attendees to do research on the publications they pitch to. Michele Cohen Marill (right), an independent journalist in Atlanta, moderated the session.

Ah, the freelance life. Sleeping until noon. Working in your pajamas. Picking and choosing just the right assignments that appeal to and massage your fragile ego…

NOT!

As anyone who has done it can attest, being a freelance journalist is hard. And complicated. And just like staff jobs, there are rules, protocols, and methodologies to follow. Continue reading

Freelancers weigh in on what it takes to successfully write a book at #AHCJ17

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJFreelance journalists take notes during a panel that focused on writing books.

“Can you afford to write a book?”

This question keeps many journalists awake at night. It also served as the title for a compelling panel discussion at Health Journalism 2017.

The harsh and rewarding realities of taking on a book project – from the original moment of inspiration to the promotion of the final product – were explored by experts, including publishing industry veteran Amanda J. Moon. Continue reading

Journalists explain how freelancers can add audio, video to boost pitches – and income #AHCJ16

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJ

Seeing Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary about how Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans was transformative for independent journalist Andrea King Collier.

“When I saw Spike Lee’s Katrina story, I said to myself, ‘That’s the way I want to tell stories,’” said Collier (@andreacollier) during a panel at Health Journalism 2016 on multimedia skills for freelancers.

An award-winning independent journalist and author, Collier’s work has appeared in O the Oprah Magazine, Essence, Town and Country, The Washington Post, and other publications. Continue reading

Here’s how one journalist discovered the rush to robotic surgery was ahead of the evidence

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

What does it take to write an award-winning article? For Richard Mark Kirkner, the process involved finding the right idea, pursuing the reporting doggedly, and then putting it together in one compelling piece. This is the way reporting and writing go for most of us. But Kirkner had an edge with this particular story idea: He knew a bit about the subject, and he knew one of the best sources to tap as well.

Two years ago Kirkner read an article about robotic surgery that piqued his interest. As a result of his previous work, he knew a bit about the issues, and, better still, he knew many of the best sources to tap. Then he found an editor receptive to his pitch. Continue reading