“It’s like professional speed-dating, really informative and a great panel of people giving advice.” That was the opinion of freelance journalist Rosie Taylor who came along to the MJA event: “How to Survive – and thrive – as a health and medical journalist” — an evening which combined one-to-one chats with experts and an opportunity to swap notes, socialise and network.
Moderator, and MJA executive member Nicola Hill introduced the panel of experts who started off the evening giving one tip each. “Always put the word ‘pitch’ in your email’s subject line,” said Lucy Elkins, Commissioning/Consultant Editor Daily Mail and herself a freelance journalist. This advice was echoed by Pat Hagan who has been a freelance journalist throughout his successful and varied career. He added that, for print, it was important to think of how a story could be laid out on the pages.
Accountant Martin Connell urged all freelancers to learn about IR 35, especially if they only worked for one outlet. (This link will take you to an HMRC page where you can check your employment status).
Associate Professor at City University, Dr Barbara Rowlands was able to give advice to freelancers who wanted to explore a portfolio career, and Anna Sayburn told the audience if they wanted more money, they should simply ask for it.
“It was really interesting to get different perspectives on freelancing” said freelancer Sabeha Syed, a member of the Guild of Health Writers. Mary Cooke agreed: A new freelance member, she took advantage of the excellent makeup services provided by top artiste Lynne Somerville-Lunn and then had her byline photo taken by resident photographer Trevor Aston: “This evening is just what I needed – it’s a great event,” she added.
Everyone agreed that this event, the second time it has been organised by the MJA Executive Committee, is one to be repeated. Thanks to Edelman for providing the room for the event.
Join our guided tour of the RCP Garden
The MJA has organised a tour of the medicinal garden of the Royal College of Physicians with Dr Henry Oakeley, RCP Garden Fellow on Thursday June 6, 2019. Follow this link for more information and to book you place.