I like to think that one of the most-important and vital elements of EFA membership is access to our Freelancer newsletter, especially during the current coronavirus issue. Of course, that’s a somewhat selfish or self-serving perspective, since I’ve been editing and producing the Freelancer for well more than 10 years now. However, I don’t put the newsletter together alone, and I’m certainly not the only reason that it’s a valuable membership resource.

Why It Matters
Our Freelancer newsletter is an important vehicle for keeping the membership informed about trends in freelancing, tips and techniques for various aspects of what members do (writing, editing, publishing, business management and more), EFA events and services and general news. A good portion of our members still prefers to receive the newsletter in print, which I love; I appreciate the convenience and eco-correctness of digital publishing, but I’m a print person from way back. Since not everyone reads our digital newsletter or participates in our email discussion list but everyone receives the Freelancer one way or the other, the Freelancer might be the only way some of our members keep up with what we’re doing and how colleagues approach their various projects, services or business lives.

Putting It Together
What goes into putting together an issue of the Freelancer? Here’s a breakdown of my tasks:

  • Solicit member input for feature or news articles, member news (achievements, publications, awards, etc.), resources, general and organization news, etc.
  • Manage advertising
  • Choose and edit submissions
  • Lay out issues (in InDesign)
  • Manipulate photos/graphics — resize and color images for the web version and black-and-white for the print edition
  • Incorporate corrections from proofreaders
  • Create PDFs for web and print versions
  • Oversee printing and mailing services

The EFA office provides a mailing list for the print edition and posts the digital version to our website.

Choosing Content
If you’re wondering whether you have anything to offer as a Freelancer article or item, the answer is “yes”! Whether you’re an old hand or a newcomer to freelancing, or if you’re either an experienced editorial professional or new to your chosen niche, you can contribute to the newsletter. I look for and welcome articles about craft, trends, problem-solving, tools (software, books, hardware) and more. As long as it’s relevant to being an editorial freelancer, it’s good.

Articles can be short or long; if you have a topic that deserves substantial depth, we could run a series of articles about your topic.

In recent months, we’ve featured a history of the EFA to launch the association’s 50th year, invaluable information about resources for coping with the coronovirus pandemic, tips on the writing craft, highlights of the EFA presence at conferences of colleagial organizations, business advice, this year’s call for nominations for EFA officers and more.

I edit any and all submissions, for both style (the Freelancer uses AP or journalism style, for the most part) and coherence. Our proofreaders will review the laid-out pages to make sure we fix anything I might have missed (or messed up) in the editing process.

How You Can Contribute
Members are encouraged to contribute to the Freelancer by writing articles, submitting personal and general news items, and proofreading.

In case you were wondering, the editor of the Freelancer doesn’t receive any compensation for this service. Writers get bylines and proofreaders are listed in the masthead of every issue they work on, so you do get visibility and something to add to your portfolio.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about the EFA’s Freelancer newsletter, and especially if you’d like to write for it or suggest topics that someone else might be interested in covering, feel free to contact me at newsletter@the-efa.org.

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
Freelancer Editor
EFA Board of Governors