two weeks in san francisco

Initially I intended to spend a long weekend in San Francisco to attend my good friend's wedding, but then I found out about a longform nonfiction journalism conference happening at Berkeley and extended my stay, opening up the possibilities to see even more amazing authors and artists. Here's what went down:

eleanor beardsley in paris (pledge so hard)

If you love song parodies and NPR and "Watch the Throne," boy, are you in luck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSb0s_z0QF4 This video is almost two years in the making — I wrote "Eleanor Beardsley in Paris" originally in 2012, and when I heard that Carl Kasell was retiring this spring, I realized we had to make the video a reality.… Continue reading eleanor beardsley in paris (pledge so hard)

a magazine pitch that totally worked

Back when I was a baby freelancer, pitching felt like a mystery. I knew in theory how to write an article pitch, sure, but they were usually half-baked. I usually didn't know what the what was yet and wanted an editor to tell me what to do. In the last nearly two years as a full-time… Continue reading a magazine pitch that totally worked

the sound of one man networking

Back in August, amid moving and other craziness, I got a last-minute invite to talk at Weapons of Mass Creation in Cleveland. It was one of those moments where against better judgment I said YES, and it worked out great. They just posted the video of my talk, so I'm posting it here! (I sound… Continue reading the sound of one man networking

freelance financial transparency

This piece in the New York Times yesterday about writers getting asked to work for free reminded me about the ongoing struggle freelancers have to get paid. I'm a big believer in fiscal transparency — to the point where I've been known to ask people questions about money that I later realized were super awkward. But… Continue reading freelance financial transparency

grazing + finding creative inspiration

A consumer packaged goods expert recently divulged to me that she never, ever looks at her competition. That really took me by surprise, because I always over-research everything. (My local branch librarians know all about me and my extensive interlibrary loan requests.) Instead of looking at the competition, she told me, she examines parallels. What… Continue reading grazing + finding creative inspiration

never network alone

Q. Do you have any tips for networking? I've debated asking a fellow freelancer about getting work, but I'm afraid of stepping on her toes. A. When I started freelancing, I thought that meeting other freelancers was the best way to get gigs. They get gigs, and I want gigs, so they can give me some… Continue reading never network alone