Weekly Wrap: Freelance & Creative News
New York Freelance Law Recovers $250K
On May 15, 2017, New York City implemented the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, a body of law to protect independent workers.
A year later, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) reported that under the act $254,866 in lost wages were recovered.
DCA says they received 264 complaints from freelancers over that first year. The most common problems (98%) were about payment violations. And out of those cases, the Navigation Program, which provides mediation, secured the full payment in 90% of the instances where money was owed, reported Metro.
Brutality Against NJ Freelancer Was Racially Motivated
Jerry Wolkowitz, a 55-year old freelance photographer, was found on May 1 in a New Jersey parking lot in critical condition.
Police have arrested 25-year-old Jamil S. Hubbard. He allegedly attacked Wolkowitz from behind, punching him. Then drug Wolkowitz into the parking lot and drove a Chevy Malibu over his body before stealing Wilkowitz’ Kia Forte.
Hubbard is black. Wilkowitz is white. And authorities say, race was the motive for the crime, reported app.
Google Settles Adsense Lawsuit
Google agreed to pay $11 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of terminating accounts for an alleged breach of contract then refusing to pay the publishers who owned those accounts.
Google reportedly denies any wrongdoing but is agreeing to pay the cash to avoid the hassle and cost of dragging the matter out.
The settlement applies to people who faced this issue between May 20, 2010 and May 7, 2018. Thousands of publishers are believed to be affected.
If you lost at least $10 under those circumstances during that period, you may be able to get a piece of that $11 million.
No Novel Funny Enough For Comedy Award
The UK’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction will not be awarded this year.
Of the 62 novels submitted, the judges decided none were worthy “to join the heady comedic ranks of [the late] PG Wodehouse” or previous winners. So they are withholding the award “to maintain the extremely high standards of comic fiction that the prize represents.”
Next year the winner will receive a larger rollover prize next year–if there’s a winner.
Usually, the winner gets a case of champagne and a rare breed pig named after their winning novel. Next year, the winner will get “a methuselah of bubbly and a particularly large pig,” says The Guardian.
Please, please, please… if you have ever written for or been compensated/awarded with a pig, please share your pig-payment story in the comments section. Please!
‘The Great Gatsby’ Writer’s Home Is On Airbnb
The Great Gatsby‘s author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda lived in Montgomery, AL in 1931 and 1932. The house that they lived in dates back to 1910. Downstairs there’s a museum dedicated to the couple. Upstairs, there’s a two-bedroom apartment that’s listed on Airbnb for $150 a night, reports The Star.
This house is reportedly the only site on the Southern Literary Trail open to the public for overnight stays.
If you go, let us know!
PhotoALBM Makes Offer To Flikr Users
PhotoALBM CEO Ed Romanov is offering Flickr users a one-week free trial to play with PhotoALBM.com and 50% off the membership for those who join. With the discount, it makes a PhotoALBM membership only $2.50/month.
PhotoALBM services include personal photo album, instant blogging platform, and directory of pro photographers.
The platform is driven by Artificial Intelligence and among the features, Romanov lists instant sharing, background music, different viewing modes and animations, as well as anywhere availability because it lives in Amazon cloud.
To take advantage of this offer, use promo code: FLICKR. My guess is you don’t really have to be a Flickr user for the free trial or discount.
Author James Patterson Pledges $250,000 for Booksellers
Author James Patterson pledged $250,000 to the Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program. The money is used to give bonuses to employees at indie and independent bookstores.
Bonuses range from $750 to $1,500 and can be used for any purpose. And you can nominate yourself.
The money is distributed by the American Booksellers Association, and their website will have the nomination form until September 30.
With this year’s pledge Patterson will have donated $1.1 million to the program, says Publisher’s Weekly.
Facebook Disabled 1.3 Billion Accounts
In the six months through March, Facebook says it disabled 1.3 billion accounts that were fake, reported New York Post. So, if you’ve seen an unexplained fluctuation in your followers, that could be a factor.
Facebook Suspended Groups Gaming Instagram
Facebook suspended 10 groups that were allegedly running game on Instagram by making their posts seem more popular than they really were.
The groups had hundreds of thousands of people. In the scheme, group members would follow, like, and comment on each other’s accounts to make Instagram believe those accounts and posts were popular, which gave them ranking that pushed them in front of a wider audience, explained PetaPixel.
Top Instagram users are earning thousands of dollars pers sponsored photo, so it’s not hard to see why users work to inflate their numbers, PetaPixel added.
Twitter To Hide Troll Tweets
Twitter is giving trolls a smackdown (somewhat literally) by burying tweets that “detract from the conversation.”
In order to see the hidden tweets, other users have to scroll to the bottom of a conversation and click “Show more replies,” or you change your settings to “See everything.”
According to TechCrunch, if a user’s tweet is hidden in one instance, all of that user’s tweets will be hidden from search results and public conversation until his reputation improves.
Twitter expects the feature to affect less than 1% of accounts holders but to have a significant impact on user experience, reducing problems like abuse and harassment.
Creative Community Calls For RElease of Liu Xia
Celebrated writers, poets and artists are calling on China to lift restrictions and free poet and artist Liu Xia. She has been under house arrest since 2010.
Reportedly, she has no charges. She is suffering from depression and failing health. She is only allowed limited communication and is being denied the opportunity to travel abroad for medical treatment.
A PEN America post says the action is retaliation against her for her late husband Liu Xiaobo’s calls for democratic reform. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
“Artists who are free to speak must do so on behalf of other artists whose voices are being stifled,” said Khaled Hosseini, author of the Kite Runner.
Here is a collection of videos related to the cause. #FreeLiuXia can be used to show support or search for posts on social media.
To Be Remembered
Journalist and author Tom Wolf died at 88.
Wolf is credited with being a leading voice of the “New Journalism” movement, which brought elements of long-form nonfiction to articles. Publisher’s Weekly says became a fixture in New York’s social circles and was known for his “trademark stylish quirk.”
Wolf wrote fiction and nonfiction books. Some of his best-known works include The Right Stuff, winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1980, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities.
Apartheid Photographer Sam Nzima
South African photographer Sam Nzima passed away at age 83. He ’s known for an iconic apartheid photo of Hector Pieterson being carried after being shot by South African police during the Soweto uprising. The image was wildly published around the world but Nzima was never paid for the usage, reported PetaPixel.
Last year, Nzima discussed plans to open a gallery and journalism school.
Opportunities To Get Some $
Cybersecurity Writers Wanted / $5,000 month
Codeless is looking for cybersecurity writers asap. And if you’re willing to put in 6-8 hours five days a week, they say they’ll start you at $5,000 a month, if you’re good. And they’ll increase that as you get better. Here are the deets.
Vancouver-based Junior Screenwriters / $1,500 – $3,000
The head writers for an independent animated series are looking for junior screenwriters who must be based in Vancouver. The series targets children ages 4 -7+. There are 52 eleven-minute episodes per season.
The job pays $1,500 -$3,000 per manuscript, depending on solo writing or co-writing, and there aren’t any royalties offered. To apply
Silicon Prairie News is currently looking for freelance writers in Iowa and the Kansas City areas. You need journalism experience and knowledge of AP style. Pay wasn’t mentioned. More details
The American Bar Association Fiction Contest
The American Bar Association is accepting submissions for the Legal Short Fiction contest through 5 p.m. CDT on June 1.
The story must “illuminate the role of law or lawyers in society” in 5,000 words or less. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The prize is $3,000. Find out more.
May 30: Getting to Know Ad Fraud webinar @ 2 pm EST
An in-depth look at what ad fraud is, how it occurs and how to take action against it. A live question and answer session with a panel of experts will also take place. Info and sign-up here.
Billionaire Bill Cummings released Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist.
Cummings founded three local newspapers, became a real estate magnate, and now tells his story, which includes entrepreneurial ventures, business philosophies and more.
Evelyn Duesbury, author and former professor, is offering Writers’ Guiding Dreams, a book for writers and those who teach writers. The aim is to “encourage writers to use their nighttime dreams to guide their writings. It offers tips for beginners and for improvement.
The PR Calvary is a platform that connects freelancers and independent communication specialists with clients. It uses an algorithm to create a “heat map” allowing clients to find the best match based on factors including
- your specialty, which considers your skills, experience and contacts,
- your proximity to the client,
- or your rate.
Freelancers can sign up and create a profile for free and get discounts on subscriptions on PR services, such as media databases and campaign evaluation tools. PR Calvary takes a fee after you complete the assignment and the client pays.
The company is UK-based but I was able to sign up access the profile setup page. So, I’m assuming you don’t have to live in the UK. Check it out here.
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‘Til next week!