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For all the aspiring freelance writers out there in cyberspace:
Stanford University held a conference earlier this summer (June 18-19, 2010) on The Future of Freelancing: Redefining Journalism. Reinventing Yourself.
Here's a description of the event: "125 successful freelancers and 50 top editors, agents and experts met at Stanford for two days to talk about the changing market for great writing. The results: A thought-provoking new collection of knowledge about the economics of writing, the increasingly vital role of the independent journalist, the impact of technology on publications, and the future of storytelling."
As I mentioned in an earlier post, social networking is an excellent way to find job leads, particularly if one is trying to get started as a freelance writer. The freelance journalist Damon Brown gave an informative talk about the importance of sites like Facebook and Twitter. To read a recap of his talk, just click on the link below.
"Freelancers: Tweet and Facebook Your Way to Jobs and a Devoted Following" : http://freelance.stanford.edu/reports/socialmedia/
NB: I think this information is equally valuable for Ph.D.'s seeking other alternate careers (unrelated to freelancing) outside academe. In many ways, without a social/virtual network of contacts to give one a leg up, a resume/job letter submitted cold by a newly minted Ph.D. is simply another needle in a proverbial haystack.