How 8 freelancers made *more* money in 2020
Plus, the little-known truth about the PRO Act
UPDATE: After sending out this newsletter on 3/10/21, I received a lot of emails disputing my take. You can see my follow-up email here.
In recent weeks, I’ve seen a lot of online chatter about the PRO Act and how it could be the end of freelancing. (Akin to the infamous AB5 in California.)
But, in good news, I think those fears are unfounded.
Unlike AB5, which used an ABC test to determine employment status and other things in general, the PRO Act *only* uses it to determine who can unionize. So while they both use ABC Tests, they use it for completely different things… It's a complete win-win for freelancers, who gain a new right, without any risk of jeopardizing or altering their employment status the way AB5 did.
Wanting to do my due diligence, I also reached out to Professor Michael LeRoy, a labor law expert who discussed the PRO Act in this interview (and whose quotes, he said, were “egregiously misrepresented” in this article by a Forbes contributor).
He echoed Magner, saying the PRO Act seems to convert “freelancing into employment—but only for purposes of forming or joining a union.” In summary, he said:
“The PRO Act will not kill freelance work for writers. It will allow freelance workers to vote for a union, if they choose (or vote against). For writers in particular, it would open an avenue to join a writer’s guild—that is my supposition.”
Professor LeRoy offered a lot more background — more than I can include in this newsletter — but if you’d like to read it, I’ve pasted his thoughts into this Google Doc.
The bottom line, though? Take a deep breath, and keep pitching!
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[Susan’s note: I was surprised how comprehensive this guide was! Definitely a solid primer on pitching.] Use the code susan50 at checkout to get 50% off — but only until midnight EST tomorrow. Grab it while you can!
Three things every writer needs to know about where to pitch (featuring yours truly in my friend Dana’s excellent newsletter)
A glossary for new freelance writers (only I’d edit the definition for “dek”; that actually refers to the one-or two-sentence summary that often comes after headline — to make your pitches pop, include a proposed hed and dek)
This collaborative Google Sheet, which highlights freelancer pay gaps: see what others were paid for similar stories, and add your own experiences to the mix
1,700 journalism jobs and internships from Inside the Newsroom (paid subscription required, but free weeklong trial available upon request)
NPR’s source of the week, which enables you to find diverse sources by expertise or location
How Delia Cai grew Deez Links from zero to 2,000+ subscribers (a year old but still offers some great tips for new newsletter writers!)
If you’re looking for content gigs, I’ve found a lot of gems in the curated Content Writing Jobs newsletter
Learn to pitch with confidence at this 3/21 workshop from Kendra Stanton Lee ($25–$45 sliding scale)
This newsletter lists paid fellowships, internships, and entry-level journalism jobs
How to find an angle for any science story, a free email master class from The Open Notebook
MIT Technology Review is offering $7,500 fellowships to report on Covid-19 and inequality
Finding freelance work on Twitter, a $20 webinar from The Writers’ Co-Op (through March, use the code BIRTHDAY4URBIZ to get 20% off any product in its store)
Bummed LastPass is changing its free membership? I just found out that 1Password offers a FREE membership for journalists!
Writers With Faces is hosting daily (free) Zoom workshops all of March, where “we can look at each other's faces as we write, for comforting solidarity/vague intimidation”
Amy Paturel is offering a two-day personal essay writing workshop in April ($250, scholarships are available)
Hope spring is springing where you are,
PS. Here’s the link to 7 Pitches That Sold again — use susan50 to get 50% off ‘til midnight tomorrow!