Author Archives: Barbara Mantel

Barbara Mantel

About Barbara Mantel

Barbara Mantel (@BJMantel), an independent journalist, is AHCJ’s freelance community correspondent. Her work has appeared in CQ Researcher, Rural Health Quarterly, Undark, Healthline, NBCNews.com and NPR, among others. She helps members find the resources they need to succeed as freelancers and welcomes your suggestions.

To collaborate or not to collaborate?: Tips to help you decide

Photo by Marcus Aurelius via Pexels.

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5 fellowships and grants to explore

In February, I wrote about the soon-to-be-created Awards, Grants & Fellowship tab in the Freelance Center and highlighted five opportunities with approaching deadlines. Since then, the tab has been created and populated with descriptions of 19 non-AHCJ awards, grants and fellowships. Please email me if you have suggestions to add to the list.

Most deadlines for the listed awards are sometime in the first four months of the year and so have passed, but several fellowship and grant deadlines are approaching. Here are five of them:

The Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship

These fellowships are open to U.S. citizens who are full-time print journalists, including freelancers. Recipients receive $40,000 for a full-year fellowship or $20,000 for a six-month fellowship. The goal of the program is to “provide support for journalists engaged in rigorous, probing, spirited, independent and skeptical work that will benefit the public.” Winners are expected to produce four print articles. The competition opened in June, and applications must be received by October 1, 2022. The online application must include a fellowship proposal, work samples, two references, a professional autobiography and a project budget.

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New and updated freelance market guides

Photo by Christina Morillo via pexels.

After a two-month hiatus from working on the market guides, I’m back to ensuring AHCJ’s existing pitching advice from various publications is current.

I have reviewed most of the market guides created or updated in 2021 to confirm editors quoted are still working at their respective publications. Where that is the case, those guides are now marked “Checked for accuracy July 13, 2022.”

Where editors have changed, in most cases, I have interviewed new editors and revised the guides. In total, three updated guides —  for The BMJ, Next Avenue, and Spectrum — and one new guide for AARP have been posted on the AHCJ website this month.

There are now a total of 29 market guides, with more coming every month. Please email me with suggestions of publications you would like to see added.

New market guide

AARP pays freelancers $1 per word for articles between 800 and 1,400 words in length. Its health channel publishes “innovative and engaging content that can help Americans 50 and older make informed decisions on how to live the healthiest life possible,” according to its guidelines for writers. Editors ask that writers be careful to avoid language that stigmatizes age, including terms such as “seniors” and “the elderly.”

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Beyond PitchFest: New market guides and tips for negotiating contracts

Photo by Paola RodriguezEditors attentively listen to freelancers pitch their ideas during PitchFest at Health Journalism 2022.

Hello freelancers! Many of you may be finalizing your pitches for the editors you met at PitchFest during Health Journalism 2022 in Austin and preparing to sign contracts. To help, I have added some new and revised market guides to the Freelance Center and provided a list of resources for negotiating contracts in case they contain clauses you don’t like.

And don’t forget to join our monthly Lunch & Learn discussion this Thursday. We will be discussing sourcing and reporting. Lunch & Learns provide an opportunity for member freelancers to chat about a designated topic over Zoom every third Thursday at 12 p.m. CST The Zoom link stays the same every month, and it can be found on the Networking tab at AHCJ’s Freelance Center.

New and revised market guides

Since last blogging about the market guides, I have added two new ones and one revised guide. Here are some quick summaries:

Grid News

This digital publication pays $2 per word for feature articles that range in length from 800 to 3,000 words. Science & Technology Editor Lauren Morello said, “Our sweet spot is the collision of science and medicine and policy.” Features typically approach a story through multiple lenses such as science, economics, misinformation, the law, politics and technology.

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How to ghostwrite or co-author a book with experts

Wendy Lyons Sunshine is an award-winning writer, editor and collaborator based in Sarasota, Florida, whose byline is in scores of publications including Scientific American and Psychology Today.

Sunshine’s first book, “The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family” (McGraw-Hill), is an award-winner that she co-wrote with two child development experts that has since been translated into multiple languages.

Her most recent book, “Raising the Challenging Child: How to Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation (Revell),” is a five-star rated collaboration with leaders of a social services agency.

In this new “How I did It,” Sunshine shares her journey into book authorship and offers tips to journalists interested in collaborating with an expert on a book project. (The following Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity.)

How did you come up with the idea for your first book, “The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family?”

I began freelancing for some local publications, and that’s how I met the first set of authors, Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross. I was assigned to cover the amazing work they were doing in the community, helping turn around really difficult cases with some adopted children who are struggling. By the end of the process, they felt I really understood them, and so they asked me if I would help them write a book to capture their message to share with more people than they could reach directly.

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