About the Freelance Committee
Welcome to the blog run by the Freelance Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists! Our committee is dedicated to those brave journalists who have chosen to try to make it all on our own. Here you will find a forum where journalists can trade ideas and promote our businesses. Do you have something to say that can help other freelancers? Perhaps you would like to share an idea or recent experience we all can learn from. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please e-mail Michael Fitzgerald, committee chair.
You also are welcome to contact any of our committee members with questions about freelancing.
Michael Fitzgerald has freelanced for nearly 10 years, writing for publications and websites including the Boston Globe Magazine, BNet, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., the New York Times and Yahoo! His most recent awards were 2nd place finishes in the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ 2009 Outstanding Article awards in the Business and Technology and Trade categories. His website is www.mffitzgerald.com.
Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, committee vice chair (Twitter: @WriterRuth), Email
Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com, www.communication-central.com) has been a full-time freelance writer, editor, proofreader and desktop publisher since 1984. She is the author and publisher of “Get Paid to Write! Getting Started as a Freelance Writer,” author of “Freelancing 101: Launching Your Editorial Business” for the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and owner of Communication Central, which holds a conference for freelancers every fall (2012: Oct. 12-13, Baltimore, MD; discount for SPJ members). She started out in newspaper journalism, selling her first freelance pieces to a local weekly while in high school, and has been published locally, regionally, nationally and internationally in newspapers, magazine, newsletters and websites. She also is a chapter coordinator, national newsletter editor and workshop presenter for the EFA; chapter president for the Association for Women in Communications; member of the SPJ and American Copy Editors Society freelance committees, among other association memberships; and teacher at Writers and Books and at Empire State College/SUNY.
Based in Kent, Washington, Dana (Blozis) Neuts is a freelance writer and editor as well as the owner and publisher of iLoveKent.net and iLoveWashington.net, hyperlocal blogs. Her work has appeared in many Seattle-area publications including The Seattle Times, South Sound Magazine, 425 and Seattle Business as well as national publications including HS Today and American Profile. She is past-president of the award-winning Western Washington Pro Chapter of SPJ, serves as the Region 10 Director of SPJ, serves on the membership committee, and chairs the freelance committee. She is running for the national office of SPJ Secretary/Treasurer in the fall of 2012. For more information, please visit VirtuallyYourz.com. Specialties: Business Writing and Editing, Features, Humor, Small Business, Nonprofits, Finance, Insurance, Travel, and Marketing Consulting and Implementation including Social Media.
Carol Cole-Frowe is an award-winning freelance journalist, photographer and blogger specializing in profiles, environmental, science, health, business and travel reporting. During the past 16 years, she has written or edited at several daily Oklahoma newspapers, OklahomaWatch.org, the Oklahoma Gazette, The Associated Press and Agence France Presse. She is immediate past president of the Oklahoma Pro chapter of SPJ and is vice president of programming. She also serves on SPJ’s FOI Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism/professional writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her website is www.carolcolefrowe.com.
Paula Pant is an award-winning multimedia journalist specializing in personal finance and entrepreneurship. Her writing has appeared on several premier personal finance websites, including MSN Money and Business Insider, and she is the About.com Guide to Budgeting and Personal Finance. Paula left her newspaper post in 2008 to travel to more more than 20 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, averaging one month per country. She now runs a popular finance blog, Afford Anything, based on the radical notion that money should never hinder your dreams. She is a landlord, a small business owner, a freelance journalist and she continues to travel frequently. Specialties: Money, Personal Finance, Real Estate, Passive Investing, Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship, Budget Travel
David Sheets is a sports editor and technology writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and its electronic alter ego, STLtoday.com, and is president of the St. Louis Pro Chapter of SPJ. He has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, Florida and Nevada over the past 28 years, and briefly was a freelancer during that time. He also edited the new “Freelancers Resource Guide” of the SPJ’s Freelance Committee.
Award-winning travel and lifestyle writer Crai S. Bower contributed more than 100 articles in 2010 for more than 20 publications and online sources. He is the travel commentator for NPR-affiliate KUOW and American Forces Radio and was featured in “Seattle 100: Portrait of a City.” www.FlowingStreamWriting.net
Eric Francis has been a journalist since 1990 and a full-time freelancer since 2008. He started his career in the alternative press and eventually found his way to The Times of North Little Rock, Ark., where he spent 11 years as a reporter, editor and managing editor. Along the way, he covered most every beat and became the first two-time winner of the I.F. Stone Award, presented by the Arkansas Press Association for reporting on fraud, abuse and waste in government. These days, his primary focus is feature writing and he’s produced stories about Ernest Hemingway’s Arkansas in-laws, the last of Little Rock’s blind broom-sellers, what it’s like to make a turducken, and the lives of Arkansas’s small-town newspaper editors and publishers. He’s also passionate about obituaries, and a spot on the NYT obit desk is one of the few jobs he’d give up freelancing for.
As a staff reporter-turned-freelance journalist, Anna Pratt, who lives in Minneapolis, Minn., has ventured into garbage houses, spent the night in a homeless shelter and witnessed a fistfight in a church basement, all for various stories. Over the past nine years, her byline has appeared in the Star Tribune, The Line, Southwest Journal, Minnesota Independent, and several suburban and community papers, web publications, and broadcast media in the Twin Cities. She’s had many beats, including education, community news, business, development, arts, civil/human rights and immigration. Pratt chairs the programming committee for the award-winning Minnesota Pro Chapter of SPJ and ran for president-elect of the chapter. She also serves on the organization’s national programming committee. To read more, visit annaprattjournalist.com.