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.
Photo by Coffee Channel via Flickr
Most of the guides in the Freelance Center are now current. I hope to update the remaining two by the end of the month and will continue reaching out to editors for new market guides.
Let me know if you would like to see pitching instructions from a particular publication or if you have a contact for a publication that you think I should approach. You can contact me at email@example.com.
The latest additions included revised guides for Cosmopolitan, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News and Nature Medicine and a new guide for Prevention. I’d like to thank freelance medical writer and editor Erin Boyle and AHCJ board member Jeanne Erdmann for their help.
Cosmopolitan pays $2 per word for print stories, but the print magazine is published only nine times a year. Not every issue will have a health story, according to Lifestyle Director Ashley Oerman. The fee for digital stories depends on the amount of reporting required and the writer’s experience level. Those story ideas are often generated by Cosmo’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team. Nevertheless, Oerman said she welcomes freelance pitches for both print and digital, especially around mental health and the health care system. Story ideas should be tailored to the target audience, women ages 18-35.
Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News is a monthly print magazine and website aimed at a specialized audience of health care providers. Managing Editor Adam Marcus said freelancers have the most success pitching him feature stories, which typically range from 900 to 1,200 words. Fees start at 75 cents per word and can go higher depending on the amount of research and the number of interviews. “One thing that many freelancers don’t understand, initially, when writing for us is that we’re not looking for consumer-oriented news or features,” Marcus said. “We’re looking for things that are directed at practicing gastroenterologists.”
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJEditors met with more than 60 freelance journalists seeking assignments at the Freelance PitchFest at Health Journalism 2016.
AHCJ’s annual Freelance PitchFest is going virtual for 2020.
With our annual conference having been postponed, AHCJ has searched for a way to replicate the opportunity for independent journalists to connect with editors and pitch stories to them.
We are happy to announce that editors from some of the top magazines and newspapers have agreed to go virtual to meet you for the AHCJ Virtual PitchFest. This session has been created to give you an opportunity to pitch your ideas one-on-one with editors from selected publications. Continue reading
As many health care journalists have reported that they’re covering “all COVID, all the time” during the past two months, AHCJ freelancers offered their advice about the best ways to approach reporting and writing, as well as their own mental health while working on assignments.
Overall, the advice highlights many of the principles that reporters already hold dear — choose your sources carefully, review the science behind published studies, and find ways to carve out personal time from a 24/7 news cycle.
Related to news coverage at this moment, the freelancers also suggested doing background research with new webcasts and press briefings online, finding story ideas in new communications and newsletters created by trusted sources, and creating a routine to stay on top of the most recent research.
During the current coronavirus outbreak, freelancers have reported a mixed bag — some work is on pause, but other work is booming. Whatever your situation, several journalism organizations have stepped up to offer emergency relief and reporting grants.
While reviewing the list below, the most important factors to keep in mind are the eligibility requirements for each application. In some cases, the grant is meant only to support those who have contracted COVID-19 and lost work because they were sick. In other cases, the grant is designated for particular types of reporting work. Continue reading