The Weekly Wrap: Creative & Freelance News


Conviction in Freelance Reporter’s Murder

Kyle Billy Fletcher was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing Dan Aiello, a freelance reporter for The Bay Area Reporter and California Progress Report.

Fletcher’s lawyer said his client “may be a lot of things, a drug dealer, a male prostitute, a liar, but he is not a murderer.” Fletcher claimed he was acting in self-defense to ward off a sexual advance from Aiello.

But Aiello was found with a belt around his neck and footprint in the middle of his back that matched Fletcher’s shoes. According to the prosecutor, Fletcher stepped on Aiello for leverage and pulled the belt until he strangled the freelancer to death.

Fletcher is set for sentencing August 24, and faces 26 years to life, reported The Bay Area Reporter.

Northside Media is Accused of Stiffing Freelancers

Northside Media, which owns Brooklyn magazine, has reportedly stiffed freelancers, made some jump through hoops to get their money and had others waiting months or years to be paid.

Part of the problem, according to HuffPost, is that Northside Media was bought by Zealot Networks in 2015. But Zealot ran into financial problems and Northside bought itself back in 2017.

It appears there’s a period where both of the companies are claiming they’re not responsible for the freelance invoices.

Some claim payment issues and delays were a problem before Zealot entered the equation.

Lily DePaula, a former assistant for Northside’s co-founder Daniel Stedman, says taking advantage of young, starry-eyed writers, mostly women, was part of the company’s business model across.

To get favors from artists and vendors and to handle outstanding debt, Northside allegedly sold people on the opportunity to be attached to a cool brand or pushed the idea that they were all a family.

Sarah Zorn, who worked as the food editor, has filed a lawsuit to get the $8,000 she claims Northside owes her.

Gothamist also ran a story about Northside’s failure to pay freelancers. And some reportedly received a payment, or part of it, afterward.

This tweet and thread show some of the people involved:

Nigerian Blogger Bashed For Re-posting Gay Poets Story

Linda Ijeki, a popular Nigerian blogger, is facing backlash after she posted a gay poet’s story on her blog, reported Within Nigeria.

The poet had reportedly opened up about his depression and suicide attempts. And in addition to approving comments that some deemed to be cyber-bullying toward the poet, some worry that Ijeki put him in danger by posting his full name, picture and official details because in Nigeria gay people are reportedly often targeted for violence.

Instagram Queen and Blogger Makes Forbes List

Huda Kattan, co-founder of Huda Beauty, who is now reportedly worth $550 million has earned herself a spot on Forbes 2018 list of America’s self-made women.

Kattan quit her finance job to become a makeup artist and launched a blog in 2010.

She has since launched a reality series on the Facebook Watch called Huda Boss, which shows followers a behind-the-scenes look at her empire. She has also amassed 26.1 million Instagram followers. And she claims she has never spent a dime on advertising.

YouTuber Wins Tesla for Referral

Ben Sullins, a YouTuber who focuses on the data behind electric cars referred enough people to Tesla for the company to give him a free Founder’s Series next-gen Roadster.

He was able to achieve this even though Tesla founder CEO ordered YouTubers to stop advertising their promo codes online. Watch this CNBC video to see how he did it.


This YouTube star referred $10 million in sales to Tesla—and won a free car from CNBC.

New Series Showcases Creatives of Color

Corey Emanuel Omnimedia launched Lend Me Your Lens, an online series that delves into the journey of successful creatives of color.

“I wanted to ignite positive emotions, behaviors, and attitudes toward one’s creative endeavors. I wanted to create what I felt was missing from the unscripted genre of entertainment and make it accessible across the globe, says creator and producer, Corey Emanuel.

The first episode features Jennia Fredrique, who discusses how she went from being just an actress to writing and directing while having a family.

The series will air every Thursday says Black Enterprise.

The Briefs

Teen blogger Lucy Powrie landed a three-book deal with Hachette Children’s Group. The Youtuber and blogger behind Queen of Contemporary will create a teen series called The Paper & Hearts Society, which is about finding friendships at a book club. Hatchett locked down world rights book. Powrie, who is now 18, launched her blog when she was 12 but now will make her debut as an author next year, reported The Bookseller.

Kelly Sue Deconnick was chosen to write Aquaman after reportedly giving a 40-minute pitch at DC Comic writers’ summit. The creator of the comic book series Bitch Planet is only the second woman DC Comics has placed at the helm of a male solo lead character in mainstream comics, reported SYFY Wire.

Award-winning photographer Roland Freeman donated over 100 photographic prints to The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. The images are from his  Arabber Series, which documents people, mostly African American men, who sell foodstuffs from horse-drawn wagons throughout the streets of Baltimore.

The Baltimore’s Arabbers: Calls From a City Street exhibit is running at the museum. The images are also published in the book, The Arabbers of Baltimore.

Photoshop will be available for iPad users. The exact release date and full details about the iOS Photoshop app haven’t been revealed yet, but some are expecting Adobe to fill us in at the MAX creative concert in October, reported TechRadar.

Speaking of creative—I’m covering Baltimore’s Artscape from the ground this weekend. Follow my Facebook or Instagram stories to tag along.

Go For It

The London Magazine is hosting an essay competition. Participants can be from anywhere and can write on any theme or subject. Submissions must be 1500 words or less and previously unpublished.

Entry fee for the first essay is £10 or £5 for students. First prize is £ 500. The deadline is August 31.

Get more info

The H.G. Wells Short Story Competitions are underway. There is a contest for those under 22 and a contest for those age 22 and older. The theme for both is peace.

Submissions should be between 1,500 and 5,000 words. Entry is free for the under-22 competition and £10 for those older. There’s a £1,000 prize for the winner of the under-22 category and for those 22 and up, the grand prize is £250. The deadline is July 23.

Get more info

Did you see last week’s photography and writing contests? There’s still time to enter.

Well, you know where I’ll be. If you want me to post anything particular from Artscape or have any questions, hit me up.

Have a creative weekend!!

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