By Sarah Choukah
On May 5, PWAC members met at Concordia University’s Journalism School for a free afternoon workshop. Speakers discussed four themes to help freelancers improve their business — contracts and copyright, nutrition, financial planning and personal branding — and offered generous answers to wondering writers.
Bruce Wilson and Tracey Arial started the session with a review of contracts and copyright issues. They introduced members to areas of author copyright that could, if well used, mean greater income, and pointed out a contract’s most common pitfalls.
Maria Fortino gave a crash course in good grocery shopping and food label reading. The nutritionist highlighted the basics of proper nutrition, then explained how even the busy, the lonely, and the frozen dinner regulars could make the right food choices.
Following a break warmed up by coffee and discussions, financial planning consultant Richard Lapointe addressed retirement worries with optimism and honesty. He talked about various kinds of investment and possibilities for all wallet sizes, outlining the best type of stock options and the utility of mutual funds. He reminded members on setting retirement goals early and saving money every year: advice today’s middle-class, showing historically low saving rates, needs to follow.
Finally, Mitch Joel, president of marketing consultancy firm Twist Image, advised on personal branding. Assisted by slick visuals and video presentations, Joel showed how freelancers could improve their sales by adopting different self-promotion techniques.
Each speaker walked out of the conference room with appreciation gifts. Likewise, the Quebec Chapter executive should be thanked for organizing such events — workshops are great occasions to meet fellow freelancers and break away from our computer screens’ blinking cursors.