Freelance Files

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Freelance Files is a regular column for and by environmental journalism freelancers in which a rotating cast of writers share hard-earned wisdom here about myriad aspects of weaving a life and business out of their independent status. Also check out's Freelance Resource Page.

For questions and comments, to suggest future Freelance Files columns or to offer to write one, email Freelance Files Co-Editors Christine Woodside at and Elyse Hauser at

June 1, 2016

March 1, 2016

  • Longtime science journalist Janet Raloff, editor of Science News for Students, provides tips on how writing effectively for adolescents, while satisfying in and of itself, can also pay dividends in helping us learn to make complex topics accessible to adults.

December 15, 2015

September 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

  • Science journalist and editor Hannah Hoag dives into the sad state of affairs that drives freelancers to supplement their income with better-paying work. Photo: Hoag and the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian Arctic research icebreaker she lived and worked on in 2008; courtesy Bennie Mols.

March 1, 2015

October 15, 2014

July 15, 2014

  • Perhaps the biggest value in fellowships is that they can provide a base of knowledge about issues a journalist has not yet investigated. And there’s no telling when that knowledge will come in handy. Read how freelancer Lisa Palmer's experiences with fellowships profoundly shaped her career, and explore resources to help you find a program that will best suit your needs.

April 15, 2014

  • Freelance writer and editor Jennifer Weeks extolls the virtues of freelancers attending conferences and shares her wisdom on choosing ones that meet your needs ("SEJ’s annual conference... my favorite after a decade of freelancing"), and what to do before, during and after. Photo: © Roger Archibald.

January 15, 2014