Author Archives: Carolyn Crist

Carolyn Crist

About Carolyn Crist

Carolyn Crist (@cristcarolyn) helps AHCJ’s freelance members find the resources, tips and contacts they need to create and run a successful business. A freelance journalist and author, Crist covers health, medicine and science stories for national news outlets such as Reuters, Runner’s World and Parade. She also writes for trade and custom publications. Contact her at

What the CARES Act means for freelance writers now

Photo: perzon seo via Flickr

Freelance writers and other independent contractors have faced obstacles in securing federal funds to help with lost income during the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, a second round of funding just approved may be worth a try.

Throughout April, the $350 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowed banks to dole out funds to small businesses, with the application for independent contractors and sole proprietors opening on April 10. Within a week, however, the funds ran out. Continue reading

Freelance reporter reveals challenges in Georgia’s inmate health care

Max Blau

Max Blau

For more than a year, Atlanta-based freelance journalist and AHCJ member Max Blau investigated the troublesome health care delivery in jails across his state.

He filed records requests, conducted tough interviews and weaved together a series about his findings — all while reporting and writing other stories at the same time to pay his bills. Continue reading

Should freelancers pitch right now? Yes, and here’s what to do

Photo: Dan Simpson via Flickr

In numerous groups, forums and discussion lists, freelance journalists are asking three big questions: Do I pitch right now? Can I pitch COVID-19 stories? Can I pitch non-coronavirus-related stories?

The answer to all three: Yes! A resounding “yes, absolutely.”

Some freelancers have reported a decline in work, and others seem booked around-the-clock. Those who have lined up work are reporting similar trends: Continue reading

Another AB 5 lawsuit update: Motion denied but groups consider appeal

Photo courtesy of David Lena and GSALA Federal Courthouse expressing civic architecture by way of association with City Hall and similar patriotic symbols incorporated into the building.

After a Los Angeles District Court judge declined to halt the current limits on freelance journalists and photographers in California, the two national organizations that filed the lawsuit are thinking about the next move — possibly an appeal to the 9th Circuit.

On March 20, Judge Philip Gutierrez denied a motion for preliminary injunction on California Assembly Bill 5, which restricts journalists to 35 submissions per publication per year as freelancers. Gutierrez also dismissed the lawsuit entirely. The two rulings came as a surprise on Friday since the next step in the case was scheduled to take place on March 23. Continue reading

AB 5 lawsuit moves forward in California court

california-flag-on-the-round-button-isolated-on-white_fyCzJLi_A lawsuit against California’s new independent contractor legislation took a step forward on March 11. U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez heard comments from both sides, and the next hearing is scheduled for March 23. That date could move based on COVID-19 updates.

Ultimately, the judge didn’t rule on the motion for preliminary injunction to halt Assembly Bill 5, and he didn’t indicate when that might happen. The next hearing at the end of March will focus on the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Continue reading

AHCJ freelancers contribute to new book on science writing

Several AHCJ members are part of a new book, “The Craft of Science Writing,” which was published at the beginning of February. The 300-pager, available for $10 as an ebook and $25 as a paperback, is a collection of articles from The Open Notebook, which covers the stories behind science writing.

Among the more than 35 contributors, AHCJ members include Christie Aschwanden, Jeanne Erdmann and Kendall Powell. You’ll also recognize The Open Notebook editor Siri Carpenter, Washington Post health editor Laura Helmuth, New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer, and many more. Continue reading