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Career Development: Freelance Center

Health Journalism 2011 offered several sessions focused on the needs of freelancers

Insight into what editors wish writers knew 

Amanda Moon, Scientific American Books, (right) discusses how she works with writers as MSNBC.com's Linda Dahlstrom looks on.
Amanda Moon, Scientific American Books, (right) discusses how she works with writers as MSNBC.com's Linda Dahlstrom looks on.

We love writers, declared the three panelists at "What Editors Wish Writers Knew," a well-attended freelancers' session at Health Journalism 2011. They shared some harsher facts, too. "I feel like what I do for a living is keep writers waiting," confided Sarah Austin, Self's news and health features director. The panelists also explained some of the realities of the organizational structure of magazines, how to get their attention when you pitch a story and the need for writers to do some research about a publication's audience.

Sample monthly magazine editorial process: One editor distributed this sample timeline of the editorial process to help freelancers understand the process.

What editors wish writers knew: Linda Dahlstrom, of MSNBC.com and Today.com, shares tips for freelancers on how to approach editors and get assignments.

Best practices in blogging and social media: Most freelancers have heard by now that they need to be "building their brand" through blogging and social media. In this panel, several experts shared their tips on doing just that.

Looking for story ideas?

Panelists shared dozens of ideas on many health care topics, including end-of-life care, how to report on autism and potential treatments, health reform implementation, localizing national stories and much more. Read about them in our dispatches from the conference.

Looking for freelance work?

AHCJ members can be listed in the Directory of Independent Journalists. We will post your bio, specialties, resume, some clips and a link to your website. Read more about how to get listed.