Freelance Boot Camp Kicks Butt

We know it was a difficult choice, given the glorious spring sunshine last Saturday, but we still had a great turnout at the Freelance Boot Camp. Many thanks to the chapter exec (Giancarlo? Craig?) for luring in such great speakers who generously gave us their time. That’s you too, Marijke!

The afternoon kicked off with Peter Schneider from the Canada Council for the Arts. If you’ve got at least one book or four short stories published, you are eligible to apply for a CCA grant. Schneider obviously has a lot of respect for writers and their craft and his gentle demeanor reduced the anxiety many of us have when we talk about government agencies and the bureaucracy that’s part of the game. What’s more, the grants are awarded to writers in various stages of their careers, even emerging ones. So if you think you’re not established enough to win a grant – think again.

We switched gears with Lise Palmer, a consultant who helped us think about time management in a different light. The trick is to identify your strengths and make them habitual. It’s more than merely slogging through the morning, because you’re a morning person. If cramming at the last minute makes you really productive, then keep that ‘last minute’ free of other activities; you’ll be productive without the stress of dealing with other commitments. Brilliant!

Then we jumped into the post-digital age with Marijke Vroomen-Durning, our home-grown blogger extraordinaire. She pointed out that is possible to make money on the web, for the web, and by the web. She gave some useful tips on how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook  to your advantage while remaining professional. (Don’t have a personal conversation on Twitter or Marijke will ‘unfollow’ you!)

We ended the afternoon with a talk from Joe Sisto, an entertainment lawyer.  He talked about copyright issues and identified a number of places where writers can register their works. Why register? It creates a paper trail, a record that shows you expressed an idea in a written form at a certain point in time. If you’re pitching a book or a novel, keep those query emails, people. Incidentally, Sisto is part of the Clinique Juridique des Artistes de Montral (CJAM), an organization that helps artists with their legal issues. Their next legal clinic is May 3rd. Check out the flyer for more info.

That’s the report from Freelance Boot Camp. Stay tuned for information about our next event!


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