How to take advantage of AHCJ’s Freelance Center

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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.

The AHCJ website is packed with information that is sometimes difficult to find. That should be remedied early next year with AHCJ’s planned website redesign. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to review the offerings of the Freelance Center

I’ll start with the Networking tab. There you can find articles about networking at conferences, tips for starting a local writers’ group and lists of other organizations to consider joining. Most prominent on the tab is the list of Lunch and Learn Zoom meetings, held on the third Thursday of every month, except in July and August, when we give everyone a breather. These meetings, which are held at noon CT, are not recorded, allowing freelancers to chat in an uninhibited way about the designated topic. 

The next Lunch and Learn is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15. The topic is finding and keeping accountability partners. Join the discussion if you have a colleague you periodically check in with to review your story ideas, preview a pitch, get support at low moments and vent about editors. We’d like to hear about your experience in keeping that relationship going. And if you want to establish such a relationship, join in with your questions.

At the October Lunch and Learn, we will chat about tools and apps that we have tried to help us stay organized at work. It’s a way to help one another avoid the worst and figure out the best. The Zoom link stays the same every month.

The other tabs at the Freelance Center are:

All the tabs feature new and updated content. For example, under the Pitching, Reporting & Writing tab, you can read tips for ghostwriting a book and how to expand into niche publications. On the Tools & Apps tab, I recently added resources for video editing and hosting and building websites. On the Awards, Grants & Fellowships page, there are now nine awards listed and 12 grants and fellowships. The latest one is the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, where fellows attend the annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America and commit to completing one short-term story and one long-term in-depth project about any research-based aspect of aging.

Please email me with suggestions for resources you would like to see at the Freelance Center.

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