Freelance

Freelancers make up a big segment of SEJ's membership. The work is a tricky mixture of contract negotiation, copyright issues, time management and story-selling. This page offers resources specifically tailored to those journalists.

Various SEJ journalists have offered these links as sources of information. We pass them along as a service. The views expressed on these websites are not necessarily those of SEJ or its board.

Have other ideas for content on this page? Email SEJ web content manager Cindy MacDonald.

We also offer a member freelancers listserv: SEJ-Freelance. Go here for information on joining the listserv and accessing archives.

Members: Get listed in our freelance directory, which is searchable by publishers and others seeking experienced journalists to cover the environment and related topics.

See also the resource list compiled by SEJ freelancers Karen Schaefer and Meera Subramanian, who hosted a beat dinner in October 2010 at SEJ's 20th Annual Conference in Missoula, Montana to share information about how to make the freelance life work.

 


SEJ Freelance Task Force

The SEJ board of directors formed the Freelance Task Force in 2010 to better serve the growing number of independent journalists covering the environment.


 

Absolute Write
This site for beginners and professionals offers free newsletters, online forums, a writers directory, market listings, more.

All About Freelancing
For members of the National Association of Science Writers, this site provides links for science freelances, a frequently-asked-questions section, listservs, writing tips for specific subjects, time management, contract negotiations and advice.

American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
Offers a range of information to non-members, including:

  • Position Papers on indemnification clauses, "work made for hire" and "All-Rights" contracts.
  • Information sheets on:
    • Contract Tips for Freelancers
    • E-Rights
    • Copyright Registration
    • Protecting Your Writing
    • Intellectual Property

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
Established in 1946, ASMP addresses the concerns of independent publication photographers, offering resources and deep experience in dealing with issues such as licensing and other legal issues, business management, etc.

Association of Independents in Radio (AIR)
Since 1988, AIR has been providing producers in radio- and audio-based media with professional development programs and resources, including mentoring, training and printed and online publications, as well as conferences and activities that expand networking, advocacy, employment and funding opportunities.

Canadian Freelance Union
CEP Media formed this union for Canadian freelancers in 2006 to "utilize its resources to create a strong collective voice for media freelancers and other independent communication professionals." $25/year.

Freelance Journalists UK
Site aimed at freelancers in the United Kingdom, with links to contracts, markets, and discussion groups.

Freelance Online's Jobs Database

Freelance Success
A great subscription site ($99/year) for serious freelancers, providing a weekly newsletter; an online forum; access to tools and databases that make running a freelance business more profitable; practical advice on using technology, such as how to find sources online and how to locate editors who treat freelancers well (and how to steer away from those who don't welcome contributors); a personal link to writers' confabs and invitation-only networking groups; tips on how to manage your freelance business; and more.

Freelance Writing
Another freelancer's assortment of links, with news, agents, ideas.

Freelancers Union
This organization offers group health and dental insurance to freelancers, as well as useful discounts to Zipcar, Barnesandnoble.com, and other resources. Includes a helpful section on Unpaid Wages.

International Freelancers Academy
From the founders of International Freelancers Day, this website provides ongoing free video training to freelancers, consultants and solo professionals. Videos are available for 7 days only.

Internet Sources for Journalists and Broadcasters — Canada
Here you'll find journalists' websites, job listings, education links, professional journalism associations, awards, writers' organizations, information for freelancers, journalism-related mailing lists and more.

mediabistro.com
For folks who create or work with content, or who are non-creative professionals working in a content/creative industry — editors, writers, television producers, graphic designers, book publishers, people in production, and circulation departments, this "traveling press club" offers opportunities (both online and offline) for you to get to know each other, share resources, find job opportunities and interesting projects, improve career skills, and showcase your work. Bonus: they hold workshops and happy hours for freelancers all over the country!

National Writers Union
Offers a lot of diverse material even to non-members, including:

  • Writer Alerts
  • Book Authors Page, with advice on copyright, electronic rights, and royalties.
  • Journalists Page, with tips on standard journalism contracts, copyright, "kill fees," all-rights contracts, work-for-hire, and "indemnification" clauses. Also offers a contract-advice network, help with negotiations and tips on the sale of electronic rights.
  • Grievances Page
  • Contract Advice
  • Rights for Creators Campaign
  • National Writers Union Freelance Writers' Guide

Members Only services include:

  • Organizing and Education
  • Grievance Resolution
  • Contract Advice
  • Job Hotline
  • Health Insurance
  • Press Pass
  • Networking
  • Authors Network
  • Media Rates Database

Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC)
A national organization representing freelance writers and journalists across the country. Technical advice, book reviews, events, workshops, speaker's bureau, tons of resources. Includes extensive copyright info, all geared to freelancers.

Peter's Place of Freelance Journalism
Offers all kinds of links, with special attention to markets and to issues in Canada. With two freelancers named Peter on the SEJ board, we had to offer this.

Poynter Institute
Offers information here on National Writers Workshops, great one-stop shops for writing and reporting tips.

SEJ's Jobs Page
A collection of Internet sites listing job openings in journalism. Some may include environmental journalism jobs.

Worldwide Freelance Writer
Offers a free newsletter, markets database, writing software, links as well as additional perks for members.

Writers-Editors Network
Four levels of membership with paid job postings, market information, access to a media attorney, marketing tips, business-building strategies, and valuable networking help.

WritersWeekly.com
For newer freelancers, this writing ezine offers a free weekly newsletter, a books and courses list, articles, warnings, information on markets, and more.