The ASJA Weekly
May. 23, 2014

Announcing New Eligibility Guidelines for ASJA Membership
Making a living at freelance writing is more challenging than ever before, with lower fees and more writers competing for assignments. But if you're serious about it, ASJA is here to help you. We invite you to take your place among your fellow professionals in the freelance ranks.

Our eligibility guidelines have changed to allow former staff journalists who are now freelancing to qualify sooner than before. Did you leave a staff job six or more months ago? Are you seeking an advantage as an independent journalist? Joining ASJA is the best move you can make for your freelance career, and now up to half of your application portfolio may consist of bylined work written while on staff. Don't wait! You may qualify right now.More

What You Should Know about WEAF and Why It Needs You
By Paula Dranov

I hope you never need financial aid from ASJA's Writers Emergency Assistance Fund, but you would be surprised at the well-known, well-established writers who have asked for help. We recently awarded $4,000 (WEAF's maximum grant these days) to a National Magazine Award winner with amazing credits who had been unable to work because he and his wife had been focused for more than a year on helping his mother-in-law, a cancer patient, through an all-encompassing and harrowing legal battle that sucked up all their available assets and left them deep in debt.More

Should You Write for Yourself or for the Reader?
Writer's Digest
People who come to my writing workshops always ask me the same thing: "Should I write for myself, or for the reader?" It's a tricky, loaded question, but I always answer it with one of my own: "Do you want to get published and be paid for it, or are you not really concerned about other people buying and reading your book?" Most people respond that they want to get their work published, have people read and enjoy it, and make a few bucks in the process.More

Publishers Weekly Gets Into the Self-Publishing Business
Publishers Weekly is getting into the self-publishing business with launch of a new site dedicated to self-publishing. The site is a joint venture with PWxyz and Mediapolis, a technology firm co-founded by Pritzkat.More

How to Be a Successful Writer: A Bookstore Owner Gives the Inside Skinny
The Huffington Post
The Book Doctors first got to be friends with Word Bookstore when we did a Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for books) at their Brooklyn store a couple of years ago. It's such a beautiful, little, Brooklyn, exquisitely-curated indie that fits in perfectly with its neighborhood — exactly the kind of bookstore alleged "publishing pundits" like to scream is dying. More

4 Observations From The Atlantic's '100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism'
10,000 Words
Don't worry — longform storytelling isn't going anywhere, thankfully, and The Atlantic writer and journalist Conor Friedersdorf has released his take on the best nonfiction journalism of 2013. If you don't follow Friedersdorf or receive his The Best of Journalism newsletter, you're missing out, because he takes the time to scour the Web for terrific journalism and serves it to you right on a silver platter (AKA your email inbox).More

Merriam-Webster Adds Da 'Yoopers' to Dictionary
The Associated Press via ABC News
Da "Yoopers" up dere in da U.P., Michigan's Upper Peninsula, have hit it big with inclusion of their nickname in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and the company's free online database. The moniker for native or longtime residents of the Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking and its Scandinavian roots was among 150 new words announced by the Springfield, Massachusetts, company.More

'News on Demand' Caters to Reader Attention Spans
Columbia Journalism Review
Readers are busier than ever and their time is at a premium. Which is why journalist Marie-Catherine Beuth is developing News on Demand, a mobile news service that tailors information to users' attention spans. The app will present the day's five main news stories as articles of varying length, curated from numerous news sources, said Beuth. Users will then be able to read about the stories that most interest them, at the lengths that best suit the time they have available. More