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The Freelancers’ Roundtable

Eva Holland | Longreads | February 18, 2016 | 6,339 words

A conversation between freelancers Eva Holland, Josh Dean, Jason Fagone, and May Jeong about pitching stories, negotiating contracts, and breaking into a tough industry.

Posted inDiscussions, Featured, Nonfiction, Profiles & Interviews, Story

The Freelancers’ Roundtable

A conversation between freelancers Eva Holland, Josh Dean, Jason Fagone, and May Jeong about pitching stories, negotiating contracts, and breaking into a tough industry.
Illustration by: Kjell Reigstad

Eva Holland | Longreads |February 2016 | 25 minutes (6,339 words)

There’s been more talk than usual lately about the state of freelance writing. There are increasing numbers of tools for freelancers: among them, the various incarnations of “Yelp for Journalists.” There’s advice floating around; there are Facebook support groups.

With the exception of one 10-month staff interlude, I’ve been freelancing full time now for seven and a half years. I’ve learned a few things along the way, but I also still have a ton of questions, and often feel as if I’ve outgrown some of the advice I see going by in the social media stream.

So I gathered a handful of well-established freelance writers and asked them to participate in a group email conversation about their experiences and advice. Josh Dean is a Brooklyn-based writer for the likes of Outside, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Popular Science. Jason Fagone lives in the Philadelphia area and has recently published stories in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Matter, and Grantland. May Jeong is based in Kabul, and has written for publications including the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, and Al-Jazeera America. (She managed to fit in her contributions to this roundtable while reporting from a remote corner of Afghanistan, so thank you, May.) As for me, I live in Canada’s northern Yukon Territory, and my work has appeared in AFAR, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian, and other places on both sides of the border.

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