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More Conference Successes!

Last month, October 11-13, 2019, was the fourteenth annual Be a Better Freelancer conference, and the first one that NAIWE co-hosted!

On Friday, lunch was a time for networking, socializing, and eating! The round tables were filled with attendees in conversations with one another, reviewing notes from the previous sessions, and studying the upcoming sessions to make the difficult decisions of which ones to attend.



The excitement carried over into the two 2-hour sessions, which were held after lunch. In the first conference room was a session on the business aspects of running a business. April Michelle Davis, NAIWE's executive director, spoke about setting up a business, purchasing a domain, and researching insurance options. Other topics that were covered included purchasing equipment, creating a work space, and developing a business plan. All that in just the first hour! The second hour consisted of handling business money and taxes, marketing, and maintaining business records.

Simultaneously, a session on building and further developing a website took place. Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, NAIWE's networking expert, discussed what to include, what not to do, and even how to generate traffic on a business website to further promote freelance services. Assistance with developing websites was also discussed to give the website a professional look; after all, it is one form of marketing!

Many thanks to our sponsors!

November Webinar: Pick a Hill to Die on

We wanted to get to know John McIntyre (NAIWE's Grammar Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some thoughts he shared with us.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft (or grammar) the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?

In an early post on my blog, “You Don’t Say” at, I published a simplistic explanation of the that/which distinction and was smartly rapped on the knuckles by Geoffrey Pullum, the distinguished linguist. The discovery that having been a newsroom grammar expert did not make me a full-fledged expert was humbling, and it led me to a reexamination—continuing—of what I think and know about grammar and usage. I learn, and unlearn, something nearly every day.


You can join in this conversation on November 19, at 2 pm ET, when NAIWE will host a webinar on some defensibles. Should we maintain the imply/infer distinction? Is the traditional sense of "beg the question" in logic hopelessly lost? Is "whom" dead to us? The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members.

To register for this webinar, please send an email along with your name and telephone number. An invoice will be sent to you for the amount owed.

Earn More While Working Less

I don’t know about you, but while I greatly enjoy writing, and I love to re-read my finished work (plus I metaphorically glow every time I hear the occasional “you changed my life”), I have never forgotten that under the capitalist system there’s always the component of money.

As a result, I have spent a good deal of my professional time and effort thinking about, and finding ways to increase, my income from writing.

Here are some of the methods I have used to accomplish this simple but important purpose:

1. Raise Your Rates

This is fundamental to increasing your income. In part, I’ve always thought of this process as a simple scenario: Suppose you’re in a room or on the phone with a stranger, and you ask them to give you $10. Chances are, they’ll scoff and brush you off with a forceful “no.” That’s a natural reaction. But when you are in a room or on the phone with someone who is negotiating to buy your work, you can ask them for that same $10 (extra) with a much greater likelihood they’ll say “yes.”

To read the rest of this article, please visit NAIWE member (and NAIWE's Professionalism Expert) Robert Moskowitz's blog.

December Webinar: Copyright and the Writer: How to Protect Your Work and Why

In December, we will be chatting with MJ Courchesne, NAIWE's Copyright & Permissions Expert, on the very important topic of copyright law.

As a writer, you know the value in your work, and have a keen interest in protecting it. You also may know that your work is copyrighted to you as soon as you put thoughts into a fixed medium, so why should you bother registering your copyright with the US Copyright Office? Using case studies and scenarios, this webinar will review the basics of copyright law in the United States, why you should register your work, how to go about registration, and some common misconceptions of copyright, permissions, and fair use.


Mary Jo (“MJ”) Courchesne is the owner and principal consultant of Gryphon Publishing Consulting. A publishing veteran with more than 20 years of experience in trade, academic, and direct-response publishing, she has spent the last 18 years specializing in licensing, subsidiary rights, and permissions. MJ is a polished presenter on copyright, and she firmly believes that everyone from authors to publishers to corporations should know their rights when it comes to intellectual property. To that end, MJ served as adjunct professor in the George Washington University’s Masters in Publishing program for 11 years, instructing a course titled Editorial Content, Rights, and Permissions. She has also presented sessions on rights at the Independent Book Publishers Association annual conference and is a member of IBPA as well as other publishing organizations such as the American Society of Picture Professionals, the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, and Washington Publishers.

The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members. To register for this webinar, which will be held on December 16 at 2 pm ET, please send an email with your name and telephone number. An invoice will be sent to you for the amount owed.

October's New & Renewing NAIWE Members

Betty Barr (Woodbridge, VA); Audra Gorgiev (Okotoks, AB); John Hookey (Lakewood, CO); Katherine Houk (Dickinson, TX); Acadia Legall-Cobarrubias (Culpeper, VA); Elizabeth Miranda (Washington, DC); Annie Smith (Phoenix, AZ).

Be sure to post on your NAIWE website, and we will link to it when you renew!

From CMOS Shop Talk

Q. You advise capitalizing the shared generic term in topographical names (“the Illinois and the Chicago Rivers,” CMOS 8.53). Do you advise the same for other things, such as churches (“the Anglican, Armenian, and Catholic Churches”) and parties (“the Democratic and Republican Parties”)?

A. Yes, Chicago’s rule for rivers, mountains, and the like would normally extend to other types of proper nouns—including the names of political divisions (CMOS 8.51), streets (CMOS 8.56), and buildings and monuments (CMOS 8.57). As with those categories, the rule would apply to churches and parties only when each of the formal names (or sometimes a shorter version thereof) incorporates the generic term, capitalized as part of the name—the Anglican Church, the Democratic Party (in the US), and so forth.

As rules go, however, this one is pretty arbitrary. It took three editions of CMOS to settle on a recommendation for the plural forms of topographical divisions. The 14th edition introduced the current recommendation (which had formerly applied only when the generic term preceded the names: Lakes Erie and Huron)—only to have it reversed for the 15th and then (after an in-house poll and input from readers) reinstated for the 16th. As for churches and parties, these weren’t capitalized even for singular entities until the 14th edition (the 13th listed “Republican party”; its Democratic counterpart was absent from the list). So a preference for lowercase wouldn’t be unreasonable—particularly for churches and parties. Just be consistent.

Member Benefit


As a NAIWE member, you may guest post on the NAIWE blog. Articles should be between 500 and 1,250 words and of interest to our members. All guest posts will include a member byline and a link to the member’s active NAIWE website.

Visit the NAIWE website to see all of the member benefits.


"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal."

—Thomas Jefferson

Why Should You Join an Association?

If you are focused on actively developing your craft, you are an ideal member, and we invite you to join NAIWE!


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